It is quite easy to extend your garden with a fall harvest. We all plant our summer gardens and fill them with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers and the like. The more we plant, harvest and either freeze or preserve, the more money we save at the grocery store. Honestly, a lot of us are growing our own veggies so we have the freshest vegetables for our families and can save money on produce.
Extending your garden with a fall harvest will help you save even more money. Canning and freezing the fresh veggies that you have grown in your garden can save you a lot of cash. This will also help to provide your family with quality food over the course of the winter.
Growing Fall Broccoli
Broccoli can be planted as seeds until the middle of July. You will be able to start harvesting in late October or early November. Depending upon when frost hits your area, you can still be eating fresh broccoli through until late December.
Growing Fall Brussels Sprouts
Planting the seeds for brussels sprouts by the beginning of July is advisable as planting too late can reduce your harvest. By planting your brussels sprouts in a protected area, you can have fresh produce all the way into the middle of winter.
Growing Fall Carrots
Carrots are one of the easiest vegetables to grow for a fall or winter harvest. They should be planted by the middle of July for proper growth and an abundant harvest. The coolest thing about growing carrots is that in most areas they can stay safely in the ground until you decide to use them. This helps to keep the carrots fresh and crisp until you need them.
Growing Fall Bush Beans
Bush beans should be planted before the end of July. They do grow quickly in the hot, summer weather so you will have a decent harvest before the first frost.
Stopping Vegetable Waste by Preserving the Harvest
It is very easy to preserve your home grown vegetables for use later in the year. The easiest way is to freeze your fresh produce. However, you can’t just stuff the veggies in a bag and be done with it. It’s easy, but not that easy. There’s still a little work involved in the process.
Let’s say that you’ve had an incredibly wonderful harvest of broccoli this year. You’ve shared with your friends and family and even looking at broccoli starts bothering you. This is when you need to “Save the broccoli.”
Grab a big pot with a lid and fill it with water. Toss a little salt into the water, cover it and turn it onto the high setting for the burner. Once the water is at an absolute rolling boil, toss the broccoli in and leave it uncovered. Let it boil for three to five minutes. Remove it from the water and let it cool down. Place the veggies in either an air tight plastic container or a zipper bag. This will help to ensure that the broccoli stays fresh until you decide to use it.
This process can be used to preserve most garden vegetables for the winter. Canning is also an appropriate way of preserving veggies for future use. Some people choose to can their produce so they do not need to take up space in their freezer. Others feel that the vegetables stay fresher when frozen. Whichever method you prefer for storing your food, you will be saving money and enjoying your homegrown vegetables throughout the winter season.
The ability to extend your harvest with a fall garden will benefit your family in many ways. Healthy vegetables that came directly from your garden will always taste better. Knowing that your harvest has not been treated with harmful chemicals is always a plus. And above all else, you have saved a ton of cash because you didn’t need to buy veggies. It’s a win, win situation.
Want to learn more about fall planted vegetables for your garden?
For more information go to:
Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Fall Vegetable Gardening
Fall Vegetable Garden by University of Illinois