So Fall is falling, and much of your garden is either dead, bolted or in weeds. It is September and your thoughts turn to hunting or downhill skiing. If it is your first garden and you are tired, wash, sharpen and stow your tools. Store your seeds in a dark dry place and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
•Clean and lightly oil your shovels and spades to prevent rust.
•Sharpen your hoes, pruning equipment and saws.
•Drain your watering equipment.
•Clean and service your lawn mower and tiller.
How to Clean and
Store Gardening Tools for the Winter
By eHow Home & Garden Editor
Putting garden tools away properly for the winter can add years to the life of your equipment. Your tools will be protected from rust and wear, and better yet, they’ll be ready to go the moment spring fever hits on that first balmy day next year.
But if you ARE a vegitarian:
OR you really got into the gardening experience:
Then it is time for fall or late season Gardening. Almost everything that you planted in the Spring you can plant in the fall:
Erv Evans, Extension Horticultural Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
Department of Horticultural Science
Many vegetables are well adapted to planting in the summer for fall harvest. Planting a fall garden will extend the gardening season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce after earlier crops have finished. The fall harvest can be extended even further by providing protection from early frosts or by planting in cold frames or hotbeds.
Many cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor and quality when they mature during cool weather. In North Carolina, the spring temperatures often heat up quickly. Vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, tend to bolt or develop bitter flavor when they mature during hot summer weather.
Growing a productive fall vegetable garden requires thoughtful planning and good cultural practices. July and August are the main planting times for the fall garden. Table 1 provides recommended planting dates. Vegetables that have a 60 to 80 day maturity cycle should be planted around August 1 in the piedmont. Planting of quick maturing vegetables, such as turnips and leafy greens, can be delayed until September. Keep in mind that the planting dates can be as much as 7 to 10 days earlier in western North Carolina and 7 to 10 days later in the eastern North Carolina. Be sure to adjust the planting dates for your specific location. For a more accurate planting schedule, consult Figure 1 to determine the average date of the first killing frost in the fall. Count backwards from the frost date, using the number of days to maturity to determine the best time to plant in your area.
Know Your Season
Vegetable plants can be classified as either cool- or warm-season crops, named for whether they prefer cool or warm weather. Examples of cool-season crops are lettuce, greens, peas, onions, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, and potatoes. Most cool-season vegetables can withstand a light frost, and some, such as collards and kale, can tolerate 20° Fahrenheit temperatures. Types of warm-season crops include beans, melons, peppers, tomatoes, okra, eggplants, squash, and corn. These are very sensitive to cold and must be planted in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Their harvest will come to an end with the first frost of fall.
Depending on where you live and the length of your growing season, you will either have lots of warm-season vegetables or lots of cool-season vegetables, but either way, you’ll have lots of veggies. Your local Lowe’s Garden Center will sell plants at the appropriate planting time. Warm-season veggies are available in spring, cool-season veggies generally in early spring. In southernmost areas where winters are mild enough to allow a cool-season garden in the fall, cool-season veggies are available in late summer and fall.
Sketch a Plan
When designing your garden this fall, map out the location of cool-season crops first because you will be starting with these. Consider where your spring crops will grow as well. Place the tallest plants on the northern side of your vegetable garden so that they don’t shadow other plants. Practice succession planting: As a cool-season crop finishes, pull it, and plant a warm-season crop in its place. Or surround one crop with another that you’ll harvest first, as long as their growth habits don’t choke each other out. For example, plant bush beans in a 3-foot-diameter circle around tomato plants. You’ll harvest the beans as the taller tomato vines fill out. You also can practice succession planting with any crop that has a limited harvest season. For instance, plant bush beans, radishes, beets, corn, or carrots every two weeks during the appropriate growing season.
Vegetables are about 90 percent water, so it’s vital to water crops. An overhead sprinkler does an effective job, as long as you water very early in the morning. This will allow leaves to dry early, in the same way that dew dries. Keeping leaves dry overnight will help prevent diseases.
Soaker hoses and drip irrigation efficiently deliver water directly to soil and plant roots. In municipalities with watering restrictions, opt for soaker hoses or drip-irrigation methods, which are regulated differently from overhead watering.
In very warm zones, such as Florida and California, irrigation is the secret to wonderful fall harvests. In all zones, mulch crops to conserve soil moisture. Use straw or pine straw, and it will add organic matter as it breaks down.
Finally when it gets too cold, Dig up what you got and Bring it inside. I believe that tomatoes cooked in a big pot, and placed in a freezer will last all winter. I intend to find out later this year:
Container Gardens as a place to Meditate
Benefits of Gardening in Containers: Do you live in an apartment complex where digging up a little sod is out of the question? Or, maybe you just don’t have the physical ability to tend a large garden, but still want the benefits and rewards of having one. like having a spiritual retreat for meditation? Techniques for meditating vary, but there is no better place to meditate than your own garden. Have you considered container gardening?
Container gardening is simply growing your garden in – you guessed it – containers! It was born of a strong desire, and in some cases a need, to produce herbs, vegetables, and flowers within a limited amount of space and/or poor soil conditions, all which can be controlled by gardening in containers.
Container gardening can be beneficial for many individuals and situations:
• The disabled and the elderly – container gardening offers easy access.
• Problem soil – containers allow you to control your own high-quality soil.
• Space – Container Gardens utilize minimal space.
• Apartments/Condos – addresses limited access to garden plots.
• Gourmet cooking – easily grow fresh herbs and vegetables for cooking.
• Plant enthusiasts – for those who just can’t get enough gardening!
• Mobility – container gardens are easy to move around as needed.
• Convenience. Keeps your flowers, vegetables, or herbs close at hand.