Fall gardening
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Fall gardening



I shared this presentation with the Macomb Community Gardeners on 7/31/2011

I shared this presentation with the Macomb Community Gardeners on 7/31/2011



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  • Germination and days to maturity – based on seed packet. First frost date based on chart you will receive – at 67% for dates for U. Marlboro and LaPlata.

Fall gardening Fall gardening Presentation Transcript

  • What is Fall Gardening?
    • Sucessional plantings of warm season crops for harvesting up to frost
    • Late summer plantings of cool season crops that can tolerate a frost
    • Fall plantings of very hardy crops for spring harvesting
    • Protection of crops for extended harvest
  • Why plant in the fall?
    • Fewer harmful insects
    • Fewer weeds
    • Extended use of garden space
    • Fresh crops for a longer time
  • Cool season crops
    Cole crops: broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts
    Greens: leaf/head lettuce, spinach, chard, arugula, Asian greens, mustard, cilantro
    Root crops: rutabagas, beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes
  • Overwintering Crops
    • Chicories
    • Garlic
    • Kale
    • Leeks
    • Multiplier Onions
    • Spinach
    • Leeks
  • Fall conditions
    • Cooler days and nights
    • Shorter days
    • Slower rate of crop maturation
    • Some crops become sweeter
    • Lettuce and spinach will not bolt
  • Transplants
    Transplants are commonly used for:
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Cauliflower
    • Collards
  • Setting out transplants
    • Seedlings need gradual exposure to direct sunlight
    • Will benefit from light shading for the first few days
    • Keep them moist!!
  • Direct seeding
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Chinese cabbage
    • Cilantro
    • Collards
    • Endive
    • Kale
    • Kohlrabi
    • Lettuce
    • Mustard greens
    • Spinach
    • Turnips
  • Timing of seeding for Fall Crops
    • Identify average first frost date
    • Identify days to maturity from seed/transplant
    • Add 14 days for Short Day Factor
    Days to plant before frost date =
    days to germinate/days to transplant +
    days to maturity + SDF
  • Sample Calculation For Sowing Spinach Seeds
    Days to germination: 5-7
    Days to maturity: 35
    Short Day Factor (SDF): 14
    54-56 days
    Sow seeds about 8 weeks before the first frost (~Oct. 15)
    Mid August
  • Row Cover Protection
    • Throw a bed sheet over row cover for a few days to provide shade.
    • Row covers deter insects and larger critters.
    • Row covers can extend season.
  • Organic mulches can provide shade and reduce evaporation
    ~ 1 month later
  • Getting seeds to germinate in the late summer
    • Soil is often hot and dry in the late summer.
    • Daily watering is often necessary to establish fall crops.
    • Carrot seedlings will perish if soil is not kept moist.
  • Some seeds will not germinate at high temperatures.
    • The maximum soil temperature for germinating lettuce and spinach is 70-75 degrees F.
    • For most vegetables, the optimum temperature for germination is 80 -90 degrees F.
  • Pre-germinating seeds
    • Soak seeds overnight in a moistened paper towel enclosed in a plastic bag.
    • Do not soak longer than a day or 2 or delicate seedling parts will be damaged in planting.
  • Direct seeding in the fall
    • Plant seeds slightly deeper. Depth may be 1 ½ to 2 times deeper than spring.
    • Can cover seeds in furrow with potting soil or vermiculite.
    • Keep soil cool and moist. Cover seeded area with burlap, newspapers, or boards.
  • Water soil before sowing and after.
  • Interplanting
    • Use shade from existing plants
    • Sow lettuce, carrots, arugula, beets, collards
  • Mustard greens on north side of tomatoes
  • What to do right now
    • Last plantings of fast growing warm season vegetables-snap beans, cukes, summer squash
    • Start cabbage family seedlings indoors
    • Direct seed carrots, beets, chard, kale, collards…
    • Soak or pre-germinate lettuce or spinach seeds for direct seeding
  • Fall Planting Schedule
    10-12 weeks before frost:
    • Direct seed beets, carrots, collards lettuce, radishes…
  • Planting Schedule
    8 to 10 weeks before frost:
    • Direct seed Asian greens, arugula, turnips, spinach, mustard…
    • Direct seed second planting of lettuce, radishes, beets…
    • Set transplants for cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower…
  • Planting schedule
    6 to 8 weeks before frost:
    • Direct seed spinach, lettuce, arugula, radishes...
    • Sow vegetables under protective cover.
  • Season extension
    Floating Row Cover
    Provides 4-10 degrees of protection
    Cold Frame
    Hoop House
  • What should you do??
  • You can pick them off by hand