QUESTION: When should you start planting fall vegetables?
ANSWER: There’s no straightforward answer to this question. It depends upon your gardening goals, your location, and also requires a little math. But here’s how you can figure it out so you plant at the right time!
You first need to make a list of what you’re hoping to grow in your fall garden. Once you know what you’re growing, you must decide if you’ll be growing it from seed or from a seedling. This will make a difference as to when you should plant.
It’s also important to note how many plantings you hope to accomplish during your fall gardening season. This mainly pertains to the fast-growing crops.
Next, you need to see how long it will take each plant variety to reach harvest. There are some fall crops, like lettuce and radishes, which can reach harvest in approximately four to six weeks.
There are other crops which will take months. When you know how long each crop will take to harvest, count backwards. This will give you an approximate time as to when they should go in the ground.
Another factor to when you should plant a fall garden is your planting zone. As you’re counting the length of harvest for your crops, you should also take a peek at the first expected frost date.
Some fall crops can handle a light frost while others cannot. If you’re racing the frost date, this will also determine how soon you should plant your fall garden.
A general rule of thumb is most people start their fall gardens somewhere in July or August. Again, this will vary based upon what you’re growing, how many plantings you hope to achieve before the first frost date, and your location.
If all of this feels overwhelming, you can browse the internet for planting calendars. Typically, they ask for your zip code and will give the dates when you should plant specific crops.
Hopefully these tips will help you plan out your fall garden. Ensuring you plant things at the appropriate time makes a large impact on the success of your garden.
Use these tips, and the suggestions which work best for you, to try your hand at producing a gorgeous fall garden.