It’s almost fall! Which means it’s time to get outside and… garden?
YES!! Now is the perfect time to pick the remaining goodies off your plants, do a little pruning, and plant some perennials! If you read my recent post on 8 things to do outside this fall, then maybe you’re wondering what to plant at this time of year.
Depending upon the climate of your area, you may want to get out there pretty soon to dig some holes for the plants, before the dirt gets too hard and cold. We’ve still got a little time here (on the Front Range) with a few more weeks of warmer end of summer weather ahead. Try the online Almanac to find your average first frost date, and the USDA has a “hardiness” zone map to help figure out what plants will grow well in your area.
Overall, I would recommend the plants that are (somewhat) cold-intolerant like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, carrots, cabbage, parsnips and turnips. Another idea is to plant seeds that are quick to mature, so that you can get more crops in before it really gets cold and snowy around January. Check the packaging for the best information!
For now, we’re planning ahead with what we might want to add to our growing (pun intended, hehe) collection. Gather your supplies!
- Watering can + H20
Now let’s get planting!
Here’s a few tips for easy gardening:
Dig a hole slightly larger than your plant roots.
If you’re buying your plants out of the standard black plastic containers, make sure to break up the roots as the dirt is generally packed in tight.
Use soil that is fortified with nutrients. Just like us, plants need the nutrients. They absorb all the good stuff from the soil around them in order to survive and thrive. Your standard backyard dirt probably doesn’t have what your plants need to really flourish.
Water daily. Seems like a given but it doesn’t always happen! Make it a habit to spend a few minutes using a watering can or spray nozzle on your hose. Try not to pour water out of an open hose as you could damage the plants. (Do you like gulping water once a day or sipping throughout the day?)
Days of rain and snow are your days off!
Clip your veggies, herbs, and flowers close to the main branch, but leave about 1” from the bottom if clipping off the main stem. This allows the plant to easily grow back, prevents tearing at the stem, and gives your bounty just a little more time to ripen, if need be.
Get your children involved!
It is beneficial for kids (including babies and toddlers) to get down & dirty and help you in the yard, read more in the link above. I recommend giving them their own tools. They will inevitably want to help (that’s great!) but from your standpoint, it may be more “getting in the way”. Letting them have a go at their own pile of dirt, with their own kid-sized tools is a great way for them to practice their independence without tearing apart your new and beautiful flowers. If they’re old enough, try having them work with you to dig a hole, place the plant in the ground, and water afterwards.
We have a separate planter filled with dirt, rocks, a shovel, a spade, a rake, and gloves and a watering can for our girls. We also spray our plants throughout the day, so we have a small spray bottle for them as well. I will periodically place leaves or old flowers in their planter to dig around with.
You can also make your backyard a year-round garden by creating a greenhouse, either by building around the plants that you already have, or by creating one from scratch! Completely up to you, based on what you already have growing in the yard. Or, try keeping some herbs indoors away from the dogs (or toddlers) in the house. We have a TON of different sized planters, that we can keep outside on the sunny winter days, and bring them back inside at night or when it gets too cold.
You can also cover the plants as they grow, on the super cold days this coming winter. Try garden fabric to really keep them warm and snuggly.
Do you have plans to garden this fall? Let me know in the comments below what you’re thinking of planting!