Fall Garden Planning

Photo by Greta Hoffman on Pexels.com

Where I live, a person can plant two gardens, a spring garden and a fall or winter garden.

The spring garden is tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, beans and other vegetables that require warm temperatures to grow and produce fruit. In July these plants in these spring gardens stop producing fruit due to the high temperatures, but will return to production at the end of August when temperatures start dropping. Squash and okra will continue to produce during the hot months of July and August provided the plants are watered regularly.

Fall or winter gardens are for plants who like cool temperatures. We do not get a frost until November and the cold temperatures do not really hit until January. Four to five months of growing cool season plants.

I plant onions in my winter garden, as I cook a lot with onions. Easy to plant and grow. They also are planted in the spring garden, after the cold weather in February. I also start planting radishes and beets. For me, beets grow better in a fall/winter garden than they do in a spring garden, although they can be planted in both seasons.

Radishes grow well year around, except in the strong heat of summer. The strong heat is hard on the seedlings, so during July and first part of August I do not plant radishes. I love radishes, you plant the seed and in 21 to 30 days you have radishes to enjoy. I plant my radishes in two rectangular planters, varying the plant times for a continual harvest. In the spring, I dump out the planters, adding new soil and compost for another year of radishes.

This year I am wanting to add more to my fall/winter garden than the usual radishes, beets and onions. Area gardners do well with cabbage. We like eating cabbage. I am planning on a few cabbage plants.

I am going to experiment with peas. For the spring garden, peas have to be planted the end of February in order to produce fruit before the heat. I am thinking of planting peas at the end of August, and see if I get more fruit before the cold arrives in November that would kill the pea plant. I am also going to mulch or cover with straw to help prevent the cold from reaching the plants.

Gardening is an adventure. The one thing I have enjoyed about moving to Texas is the gardening. Being able to grow a garden year around providing fresh vegetables is a pleasure and blessing. We enjoy eating fresh home grown vegetables.

Anyone can learn to garden. Most people struggle with growing plants due to the watering. I do the simple “finger test” when it comes to if a plant needs water or not. I place my finger an inch or up to the first joint into the soil. If the soil is moist, I do not water. If the soil is dry, I water.

The second reason for a struggling plant is the amount of sunshine. Plants that love the shade struggle growing in full sun. Plants that love the sun, struggle growing in the shade. Learning the sun/shade requirements of plants helps the gardener.

This year, my corner garden was planted near an oak tree, getting late morning and midday shade. Having shade during these times helped the sun loving plants to be cool during the strong heat of June and July. It saved on water use and the plants seemed happier.

The third element to growing a really good garden or plants, is to talk to your plants. This is not an old wives tale, it is a fact of science that talking to your plants helps your plants. Going out at least once a day to talk to your plants helps them to grow. The reason, observation. If you are looking at your plants once a day, you can observe how they are growing, see if they need water. Additional benefit, you relax while talking to your plants.

Do not be afraid to step out on an adventure of gardening or growing plants.



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