Fall and winter are seasons typically labeled as downtimes for the garden.
With the impending cold weather, it’s a tag that makes sense. However, fall is actually a great time for planting, especially if you live in a region of the country with mild winters.
Soil is still warm in the fall, giving plants a quick growing start. By the first frost, roots have been established and may even continue to grow. By the spring, these fall-planted plants grow at a rapid rate, unlike spring-planted plants whose roots are struggling to begin growth in cold ground. By summer, the plants you planted in the fall have fully developed root systems giving them a greater chance of survival and productivity.
Need more reasons to plant in the fall? Having motivation to get outside in the winter and tend to your garden is great for your body and health. Here are some plants that could be planted right now.
Lettuce grows best in cold weather, but can last through the summer. This makes it ideal for fall planting.
Seedlings should have been laid in September, but you can still plant transplants in your garden, now. Lettuce actually needs very little sunlight, in comparison to other plants, so you do not need to reserve a prime spot in your garden for it; just be sure it will receive at least 5 hours of winter sunlight.
As temperatures drop, they will need shelter from frost. Fall planting varieties are Romaine, Butterhead, and Looseleaf Lettuce.
Garlic requires fall planting and, with its excellent companion plant properties, it’s a great choice to plant in these months.
Before the first frost, plant individual cloves in an upright position. The key to fostering the garlic plants is good mulch. Three to four inches of mulch over freshly planted garlic allows the plant to tolerate freezing temperatures throughout winter.
During those cold months, side bulbs begin on the clove and develop into a garlic bulb in the spring.
Artichoke shoots are the best choice for new additions to gardens, as seeds are unreliable.
Choose a sunny spot in your garden, and plant in December. Artichokes need an easily draining spot, so that is another consideration for planting location. Cut shoots to ground level and cover with mulch for the winter.
Asparagus plants are known for being successful in areas where the soil freezes. In fact, this is almost a necessity.
If you’re utilizing asparagus as a fall or winter plant, you have to use seeds, rather than crowns. Seeds can take four years before you can harvest, but it is certainly worth it to have this expensive crop in your own backyard.
Soak the seeds for in water for at least three days before planting and plant in short neighboring rows.
Keep in mind that the plants will be very tall and will shade neighboring areas.
Terry Carter enjoys putting a bird feeder in her garden to attract birds in the winter when she’s putting down seeds.
- The Garden Winds Down (floramary.wordpress.com)
- Food Security: Planning Next Year’s Garden (claimingliberty.wordpress.com)
- Frost Tolerant Veggies…. (angelbabe432.wordpress.com)