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Fall gardening tips for beginners

August 24, 2012

It may seem a bit early to talk about planning and planting for fall, but you actually need to start sooner than you would think!

As summer draws to a close, gardens everywhere can morph into a tapestry of delicious greens (tender lettuce to frost-proof spinach) with a sprinkling of red mustard for added spice.

In the south, as long as seed germinate in late July or early August, fall gardens can grow the best cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower you've ever tasted! And don't forget about getting starting for next year's perennials!

If your new to gardening, these easy fall gardening tips will have you making the most of your valuable time and gardening space.

Fall is the ideal time to plant bulbs. It's very quick and easy with a high success rate for beginners. Why? Because the food for the plant is stored in the bulb itself. Simply follow the planting instructions on the packet and wait for spring!

Take risks and plant any remaining seeds you have! Most seeds will not last from season to season so why not take a chance and see what happens? This works best with hardy perennials but don't be surprised if they refuse to flower in the winter. If they survive the cold they will flower in the spring as normal.

Plant fall crops. Some fall crops are especially suited for beginners. These will work in a climate with cooling fall weather with a winter with occasional to no snow. All of these plants will need a certain level of warmth to germinate however, so sow seeds when temps are still fairly warm - well before the first frost.

Some crops that are perfect for fall are: Lettuce - is a cool weather plant but will not survive the frost so plant early.

Snap peas and snow peas - some are frost-tolerant but they still need to be planted while temps are warm.

Carrots - these babies will survive cold frosty conditions so plant in the fall for a December harvest!

Parsnips - they are slow to germinate but may harvest as far ahead as late winter or early spring.

“Time is of the essence” is the motto for anyone gardening in the fall. With temperatures dropping rapidly, less and less will grow in your garden unless it is already an established plant. Concern yourself more with getting the job done and less with getting it done perfectly that will come in time.

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