It’s that time of the year to rock that knitwear, leather jackets and jeans, and your trenchcoats! Feel the cold breeze pass through you as you jump into a leaf pile and listen to the sound of leaves as it crunches under your feet, or you can indulge yourself with a pumpkin pie. There’s a lot of fun things to do this fall season, including gardening!
Community gardening can help increase the availability of nutritious foods, minimize adverse environmental impact, strengthen community bonds, and benefit humans, plants, and animals. Starting your fall garden is an underrated activity. Probably because of the emerging cold weather and shorter daylight. But certain crops can withstand the wintry feels of fall.
Read below and learn some tips on starting your community garden, and what vegetables are perfect for this season.
1. Start Early
Know the perfect time to start gardening in the fall season. Growing crops does not happen overnight, and you need to plan ahead of time to have better results. The suggested time to start your fall garden is in the peak of summer, where you can have leverage in growing crops because soil conditions are still favorable.
2. Know your crops
Different crops tend to have different needs. These needs include soil quality, average growing time, “days to maturity,” weather preferences, cold hardiness, and the like. Lettuce, carrots, spinach are all excellent crops, but can they withstand harsh weather?
Not all crops have the same needs in planting and growing, and this should be enough for you to spend time looking up crops that are fit for your garden and the type of weather your place has. We’ll talk more about this later.
3. Identify your Hardiness Zone
It is also best to consider your regions’ hardiness zone – a geographical area where particular plants and crops grow best in that specific climate. It is a rough guide that determines plants’ and crops’ growth and survival for a particular zone.
For example, the term “hardy to zone 8” would mean that a crop can withstand a minimum temperature of -12.2℃ (10℉) to -9.4℃ (15℉). The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard in determining your hardiness zone, although you can use other zone maps.
4. Prepare your Garden
Before imagining your harvest, clean your garden first! Plow the soil, cut useless weeds, brush off falling leaves, and remove debris. Cleaning your garden is the start of your bountiful harvest.
Moreover, the cold temperature that comes with fall lessens the emergence of pests in your garden, and less fertilizer is needed because of the colder weather that winter brings. Also, don’t forget to add compost to your soil garden!
5. Prepare your Tools
Preparing your garden tools is as essential as preparing your garden. When you have the right tools for cleaning, sowing, and growing crops, a better result will come your way. Tools such as gardening gloves, pruners, a shovel, rake, a wheelbarrow can undoubtedly make a difference in growing your crops.
Row covers can protect your crops from the chilling weather and hold moisture. Weed cutters are very useful in cutting unnecessary weeds for a much spacious space in your garden. A Mattock can easily loosen up soils and remove thick roots too, and don’t forget your hat!
6. Buy Excellent Seeds
A successful crop starts with excellent seeds, and buying it from the right market will give you that guarantee. If you are lucky enough to have gardeners as neighbors, you can ask them some advice on what seeds are excellent for the fall season! Gardeners love to share their ideas, and you can always guarantee that they will not waste your time.
7. Top Crops for the Fall Season
As stated above, certain vegetables are excellent for a fall garden. Here are some of them:
- Lettuce is a cool-season crop. It can last all season long as long as you plant it one small crop at a time.
- Radishes are also cool-temperature vegetables. You can harvest them as early as twenty days!
- Mustard greens can take a light frost, and they are easy to grow and harvest. Just continually moist your soil for the maximal growth of this green leafy vegetable.
- Kale is one of the treasures that you can add to your garden. You can try growing kale this fall, and indulge yourself with its nutritious dark-green leaves. Kale can also withstand freezing temperatures with a taste that is suited for both adults and children.
- Collards are one of the most cool-season crops. This vegetable can produce many harvestable leaves and improves its taste after a frost.
8. Time and Effort is Key
A better way to have a good harvest this fall season is by merely being there every step of it. From plowing your community garden to preparing your tools and crops, spending some time and effort for your fall garden can undoubtedly make a difference.
Community gardening is one of the best activities to do this fall season. Not only does it let you take the creativity out of you, but it can also teach the younger generation the importance of reaping what they sow. Let the wonders of this season make you fall in love with fall.