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Tips For Planting A Last-Minute Autumn Garden

With summer nothing more than a waning memory, the cooler, crisp weather means that the fall season is here. You don’t have to put your gardening on hold until next spring just because summer is over. In fact, depending upon where you live there are loads of different plants and vegetables you can put in during the fall that will bloom beautifully and grow over the next few months. Here are some tips you’ll find helpful if you’re in the mood to put in a fall garden.

Prepare the Soil

Just as with any spring garden, it’s wise to till the soil so that you get a fresh base of dirt to work with. If you don’t own a rototiller or don’t wish to do the heavy labor yourself, call a professional landscaper and ask what they charge to till a garden of your size. Most landscapers are not all that busy during the fall so you should be able to find one that’s available and who offers his/her services at a reasonable cost.

Choose Your Vegetables

Again, depending upon your location, you have some choices when it comes to vegetables you can plant in your fall garden. Even if you live in a cold region, you call still plant things like bok choy, lettuce, radishes, arugula and spinach. If you live in one of the southern states or in the Southwest, don’t hesitate to put in mustard greens, collard greens, turnips, leeks and carrots. Remember that some vegetables are ready to pick in just about a month so if you want to serve fresh veggies in a few weeks, be sure to put in some radishes and spinach. If you’re hankering for some fresh basil, be sure to plant a bit as that too will be ready to pick in about 30 days.

Tend to the Weeds

Just like during the summer, you’re going to have to deal with weeds that start growing between your plants and rows of vegetables. The best time to pull weeds is in the early morning after sunrise and following a light rain. This is when you’ll stand a better chance of getting the entire root out when you yank a weed. If you’re not all that crazy about weed pulling, consider putting some wood chips down around your plants and between the rows of your veggies. You may want to talk to a professional landscaper as well.

Harvesting Tips

By far, the most fun (and rewarding) part of growing a fall garden is harvest time! After you’ve worked so long and hard to grow your own fresh vegetables and herbs, there’s nothing that can bring you more pleasure then going out to pick what you’ve grown. Harvest your greens before the leaves start to turn yellow or brown and while they’re bright green, young and tender. To see if your carrots are ready, just pull out one and look at the end tip. If it’s nice and orange and not white, your those beauties are ready for the salad bowl. Beans and peas are ready to be harvested when the pods are not completely full. Beets are best harvested when they’re about 2 inches in diameter. Any bigger than that and they’ll be “woody”.

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