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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fall Garden Planning

Have you planned your fall garden yet? Even if your summer garden is still going strong, it's time to get your fall garden plans set. And if you missed out on summer gardening this year - you still have time to get in some plants for fall!

You can search the archives of this blog to see some examples of tire gardening and some great vegetable gardening tips that will allow you to get a fall garden going quickly.

Remember, to plan your fall planting schedule, you need to know the plant hardiness zone that you are in. Here in West TN - we are pretty much in zone 7. I can look this up here on an interactive map: Interactive USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and it will tell me what zone I'm in. Then I visit Victory Seed to find when we usually get our first frost in the fall and when we plan for our frost-free date in the spring. So here in West TN, our typical first frost in the fall is around October 27th; last frost in the spring is around April 8th.

Here are the plants that do well as fall crops and information on when they need to go into the ground:

Broccoli: can start as seeds indoors or outdoors 16 weeks before frost; transplants go outdoors 10 weeks before frost; harvest 4 weeks after first frost. You could stagger your planting at 16 and 14 weeks to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 16 weeks.

Cabbage: can start as seeds indoors or outdoors 16 weeks before frost; transplant go outdoors 10 weeks before frost; harvest 4 weeks after first frost. You could stagger your planting at 18 and 16 weeks to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 16 weeks.

Cauliflower: can start as seeds indoors or outdoors 14 weeks before frost; transplant go outdoors 8 weeks before frost; harvest 2 weeks after first frost. You could stagger your planting at 16 and 14 weeks to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 14 weeks.

Carrots: plant as seeds directly outdoors about 11 weeks before first frost; harvest 2 weeks before to 2 weeks after first frost. You could stagger your planting planting at 16, 14 and 12 weeks to increase your harvest. Time to maturity is about 10 weeks.

Peas: plant as seeds directly outdoors about 10 weeks before first frost; harvest at first frost to 4 weeks after. You could stagger your planting at 12 and 10 weeks to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 10 weeks.

Beets: plant as seeds directly outdoors about 8 weeks before first frost; harvest at frost to 2 weeks after. You could stagger your planting at 10 and 8 weeks to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 8 weeks.

Lettuce: plant as seeds directly outdoors about 8 weeks before first frost; harvest at frost to 4 weeks after. You could stagger your planting each week to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about7 weeks.

Spinach: plant as seeds directly outdoors about 8 weeks before first frost; harvest at frost to 4 weeks after. You could stagger your planting each week to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 7 weeks.

Radishes: plant as seeds directly outdoors about 4 weeks before first frost; harvest at frost to 2 weeks after. You could stagger your planting at 8 and 6 weeks to increase your harvest time. Time to maturity is about 4 weeks.

So, for example, if I want to plant peas in my area and I know my first fall frost could be around October 27th, I can back out 10 weeks and know that I need to have seeds in the ground by August 25th. I'm really too late for broccoli and cabbage, but I'm going to plant it anyway in an area that I can cover to keep warm for a couple of extra weeks if I need to.

I'll post pictures next week as we spend time clearing out some of our summer veggies that are finished producing and start planting our fall seeds. Also, I'll give you an update on the progress our little hog-a-tiller has made clearing two new gardening beds for us!

1 comment:

wvsanta said...

Great information...I was late with everything this year but will do better next year...Thanks for the info.
Santa
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