Fall Gardening Secrets

*By Cindy Dixon

Fall gardening is fun!! The cooler temperatures make for pleasant times in the garden and sweeter tasting crops. More than likely, you’ll see fewer pests out in your garden, as well.

As you prepare for your fall garden, there are some items to consider before you begin.

Soil is ALWAYS vital to a successful garden at any time of year! Your soil needs to be deep (ideally 12-18”), well-draining, hold moisture like a sponge, high in organic matter, and crumbles easily to ensure the growth of healthy food. After the long, hot days of summer, your soil will need to be revitalized and nourished. This can be accomplished by adding organic matter/aged manure. The addition of gypsum helps with heavy soils by improving drainage, texture, and enhances the soil’s acceptance of air and nutrients. Adding organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, compost tea, or organic fertilizers will add the needed nutrients that were depleted during the summer months. Now, your garden will be ready to plant those lovely cool-season plants.

Now, let’s look at your plants and placement in your garden. Agriscaping’s micro-climate mapping helps increase your growing capacity many times over with their A – F micro-climates zones including specific plants for each zone. However, the sun’s lower position in the sky during the winter months means shorter days and longer shadows. The microclimates will need to be modified to adjust to these seasonal growing conditions. Fear not! You’ll still be able to have a variety of luscious crops to harvest in the cooler months. Some crops that you’ll enjoy during this season include: artichoke, arugula, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collards, kale, leeks, onions, turnips, and a wide assortment of greens, to name a few.

When planting your fall crops, be sure to rotate your crops from the previous season. A simple way to remember the rotation sequence is Agriscaping’s rotation cycle: ROOT – FRUIT – BEAN – GREEN. Agriscaping has planting/rotation charts available for Agriscaping members.

So…Fall for Gardening and Let’s Get Growing!

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* Cindy is an Agriscaping Certified Educator (ACE) in Las Vegas, NV. Find her here.