Plan Your Fall Garden Now
Prepare now to grow food this fall and into the winter.
Did you grow a garden this summer? I recently heard about one reader who started over 1,000 plants thanks to our seed-starting guide, which blows my mind. If you grew a garden based on our advice, I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email or get in touch on our Discord server. I’m also on Twitter @jcenters.
If you have a garden, it may still be producing, and you may be absolutely tired of it by now, but if you have the time and inclination, you can squeeze in a fall crop as well.
For those of us in hot southern states, the fall is a great time to produce cold-tolerant crops that wither in the summer heat. In fact, you may get even more production in the fall if you had an especially hot and dry summer.
Fall gardening is trickier than spring gardening because you have to get the timing just right. Start it too soon and your heat-hating seedings burn up, go to seed early, or get devoured by all the diseases and insects that multiplied over the warm months. Start it too late and your plants freeze and die before they’re ready to harvest.
I can’t tell you the exact timing for your area. You’ll have to experiment. Generally, you should have started seedlings for colder areas in July, while right about now is right for warmer areas. However, we’ll discuss some tricks for extending your season.
Another challenge is that stores are clearing out their gardening sections, so things like seed-starting mix can be hard to find. Amazon to the rescue! But other things are nearly impossible to find. For instance, fall is a great time to grow potatoes, but good luck sourcing seed potatoes right now. Here’s a trick: buy a bag from the grocery store and leave them in a sunny window to encourage eye growth.