Fall is lurking around the corner.
It's time to start fussing over your Halloween costume! Wrong. It's time to start considering what fall crops you should plant.
And to be blatantly honest, I guess it's also time to order that Halloween costume before prices skyrocket. But I digress.
You are gonna love planting in this lovely composite "Frame It All" Raised Garden Bed! This lovely tiered and elevated garden bed is the place to plant those fall crops.
Here's what you should plant for succession planting before the snow flies...
The Base for a Lovely Tiered & Elevated Garden
Why is succession planting vital?
Either we have more crop than we know what to do with (zucchini baseball bats anyone?) or we have zilch. It's all or nothing. But if we staggered our crops better, we'd space out what we have so there is just enough to use and share.
Succession planting is the wave of the future.
You must stagger your crops to ensure that you'll have what you need as the season unfolds. So when one crop starts to fade, it's time to add another row close by. Midsummer is prime time for gardeners like myself in zones 4 to 6 to begin the second planting season.
When succession planting is done right at about 2-4 weeks, you'll never run out of fresh produce from June to November. Now that's how we save some serious cash, folks!
Late summer to August is prime time for gardeners like myself in zones 4 to 6 to begin the second planting season. Don't you find as summer wanes...you actually miss getting your fingers dirty planting seeds?
Before we focus on fall crops...why you want to win this awesome Raised Garden Bed from "Frame It All"
- Low maintenance gardening - timbers will not rot, warp, splinter or fade.
- Wonderful large size ~ 4' by 4' by 11" gives you 16 square feet of available planting area! Stupendous!
- No toxic chemicals. Timbers are made from recycled plastic and natural fibers.
- Have bad soil? Clay soil? Nothing grows in it. In your new "Frame It All" raised bed, you put in quality soil so your plants can finally flourish!
- Composite boards are made from 38% post-consumer recycled plastic and 62% sustainable hardwood fibers.
- Extra deep means you can plant even root vegetables.
- Plastic makes perfect. Vinyl is extremely durable making it a fantastic material for a raised bed.
- Patented anchor joint allows for installation on hard surfaces like rooftops, patios or decks.
- Endless design possibilities. You can add on or revamp your raised garden bed any time using existing or additional Two Inch Series "Frame It All" components and accessories.
3 fall crops you don't want to miss out on...
Me neither. Garlic adds scrumptious flavor to food minus the calories.
And garlic is the poster child fall crop. The one you gotta have come fall. While it's still pretty cheap to buy at the grocery store, those cloves are tiny and take forever and a year to chop up.
Is that really a good use of your time?
Besides, grocery store garlic is heavily sprayed and I prefer to eat the organic garlic that I've grown. I want to know where my food comes from. Do you agree?
When you grow garlic yourself, it's also possible to manipulate it to grow bigger cloves making it easier to chop up come harvest time.
Kind of like investing, you work hard now, but reap tremendous benefits mid-summer when you start flavoring your food with fresh and organic garlic. Bruschetta with canned garlic? I don't think so.
And before I forget, another huge benefit of planting in the "Frame It All" Raised Garden Bed is that you choose the location and the soil.
For garlic, that means planting in full-sun at least 12 inches apart. Up to 18 inches if you have the room. Failure to do so will result in much smaller garlic cloves! Plant by Halloween for best results!
Lettuce, kale, arugula & spinach
Mind-boggling. For our family, it's one or two bags daily. So about $4 or a little more each day. Eeek. That adds up to roughly $30 a week. And that's just on the lettuce. No cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots or peppers included!
So saving that $30 a week from July to late September makes me a happy gardener. It's so easy, too! Lettuce is one of the best crops to grow from seeds. Truly, fail proof. You can't go wrong.
It never ceases to amaze me either how quickly we are able to eat it from the time I put those seeds in the ground till harvest. Time flies!
Lettuce gets planted every 2 weeks. Then I harvest, put the roots out of the old lettuce and plant another row close by. Always choose disease-resistant varieties that mature quickly.
I plant my lettuce under some of my zucchini plants and those big leaves shade my lettuce, especially in the hottest months of July and August. Works like a charm. Lettuce is a cool season crop and appreciates that shade!
When planting in the heat of summer, it's vital to keep the soil surface consistently moist. If it dries out, your newly sprouted seeds may die. Do over! Seeds planted outdoors in late summer should be sown twice as deep then the spring plantings.
Another huge advantage of any raised bed is that they allow for better germination rates. The height of the raised bed keeps the soil warmer.
And peas are spot-on for a raised garden bed making them a great fall crop. They don't require much space, have a shorter growing season and prefer cooler temperatures.
I plant my first crop in early spring and sow another crop mid-season. Then in August/early September I throw in a few more seeds in the ground. I always go with bush peas rather than traditional climbers for my late-season pea crop as they mature more quickly.
Be sure if you plant from seeds that you have read the "days to maturity" written on the seed packet. You want to make sure you'll be able to harvest before the frost kills your plants.
I did this with my broccoli this year and have zero regrets. Now I can put in a fresh crop of peas! Use every square foot, especially where that cilantro went to seed and put those plants in the compost pile.
Use plants and harvest crops while in their prime and then use the space for something else.
Planting in the same soil over and over again does deplete the soil of nutrients; it's vital to keep adding leaf mold and compost as a restorative. So as you aerate the soil you'll want to replenish those nutrients with your compost and granular organic fertilizer.
Also consider various types of manure including horse, chicken, rabbit, and cow depending on what you are growing. We also add compost tea and worms to keep things thriving! Yes, we bought worms online and their little worm castings are gold in our garden.
One Frame It Now Raised Garden Bed ($150 value) from our friends over at the Organic Daily Post! Contest ends August 21st!
Winner is Jane Lau.