Seed & Weed Wednesday; Fall Planting
Fall has arrived – sweaters, pumpkins, colorful leaves, and FALL PLANTING! I know, many of you are thinking that is ridiculous, planting happens in the spring. But trust me, lots of planting happens in the Fall and will yield great results to get you energized in the Spring (and maybe even provide you with some fresh produce over the winter depending on how harsh the weather is this year). It is actually pretty simple – best part is you plant it, mulch, and forget about it until Spring. No worrying about weeding and tending to it the way you need to in the warmer months. Sounds good to me!
What To Plant
Not everything is good for planting in the Fall. So what should you plant? Here is a list of my favorites:
- GARLIC!! Always number one on my list – garlic is a staple in my diet and I look forward to the garlic scapes every Spring. And garlic has incredible immune boosting powers – fighting off viruses to keep you healthy!
- Asparagus. Asparagus is a perennial and requires patience when waiting to get a full harvest from it. But once you do, it will be bountiful and delicious. Definitely worth the wait.
- Carrots. If you want super sweet, big carrots, plant some in the Fall and harvest them in the spring. The Remember, you can eat the greens too! I love them in a pesto! Garlic scapes and carrot greens make an amazing pesto!
- Broad Beans. Usually people plant these in the Spring as well, but they are hearty enough to withstand the winter and produce some great protein for you!
- Turnips. I know, most people turn their nose up at this lowly vegetable. But we really need to give it more credit. It is easy to grow, withstands cold/harsh weather, the entire plant can be consumed – leaves and all! And it is LOADED with vitamin B. Did you know that one of vitamin B’s super powers is lowering the impact of stress on your body and boosting immunity? Who doesn’t want more of that right about now? Sign me up!!
- Rhubarb. I love rhubarb! It is a perennial and extremely hardy, requiring very little effort on your part. Remember however that the leaves are toxic, so it is not suggested if you have young children or pets that can access the plant.
- Onions. Onions planted in the Fall make a great Spring harvest because they take so long to mature, it works out perfectly!
- Kale. Kale is very hearty and will likely provide you with greens much of the winter! And kale is so versatile – easy to add to soups, salads, stirfrys, make chips, etc.. So many options!
How to Care For Your Fall Planting
The top difference in caring for your Fall planting versus the Spring planting, is in the mulch to keep the roots of your plants protected. I like to do this with leaves. I personally use whole leaves, but some people prefer to use pre-mowed leaves from their lawn so they break down faster. Not only do the leaves help protect your plants, keeping the roots warm, but they also break down and put necessary nutrients back into the soil. One of a gardeners primary jobs is to build the soil. Each plant we grow depletes the soil of nutrients, and if we are going to be sustainable, we have to put those nutrients back into the soil. Chemical fertilizers are not the same as building a soil full of nutrients and micro-organisms that happen when using compost and leaves.
Another method to extend your growing season is the use of a cold frame. This is a little more difficult and requires you to build a structure that encloses the plants similar to a mini greenhouse. It can be built using old windows. Check out this premade cold frame here or even better – use this book to learn how to build your own!
What Are YOU Planting This Fall?
Please tell us what you are planting this Fall – share pictures of your prepared garden beds! Maybe it will lead to so crop sharing/swapping – how cool would that be?
And as always, check out what seeds are available in our seed library at The Garden Of Gratitude. Or leave some seeds to share with others to plant this Fall! (Here is a link to our seed saving Seed & Weed Wednesday) Building a community where we share our resources (and knowledge) is vital right now.
With Love & Gratitude,