A delicious fresh spinach salad blends beautifully with a hearty squash or pumpkin soup after a cool fall day spent raking leaves or hiking through the woods. Plant crops to use in creative recipes and feed your family from the garden all autumn long.
- Plants with shorter and cooler growing seasons thrive in the fall months. Consider setting aside a weekend for the entire family to get outside and plant some beans, peas and salad greens such as lettuce, kale and spinach. Check out the region’s average date for a hard frost and calculate back the weeks needed to successfully grow a full late-season crop.
- Rotate plant location. For example, if peas were planted in the spring in one section of the garden, don’t plant them in the same location for the fall growing season. Use instead that area of the garden for spinach this time around. Rotating crops helps the garden’s soil to replace and retain valuable nutrients naturally.
- The garden needs food to thrive. Feed edibles, whether in an in-ground garden or in container pots, with Miracle-Gro Shake ’n Feed Tomato, Fruits & Vegetables Plant Food Plus Calcium. One application feeds plants for up to three months – plenty of time for the fall garden to produce a harvest of delicious vegetables – and contains calcium to help plants grow better quality, longer-lasting fruits and vegetables.
- Keep an eye on plants as they grow, and water daily and protect from the dangers of a hard frost. Monitor weather reports. If a hard frost is predicted earlier than expected, cover the crops with blankets or plastic for the night, and uncover in the morning, once the threat of freezing has passed.
- Harvest plants as they reach maturity. Sometimes a chilly night with a slight frost can enhance the flavor if vegetables are picked during or immediately after the temperature drops.
- Get a family member to record the entire growing season through the winter frost, keeping track of what was planted, the date it was planted, the flavor of the vegetables harvested and even which recipes the family made and enjoyed with the produce. Use this information next year to better plan the fall garden and increase the amount of produce harvested.