Fall Vegetables Are Easy

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A fall vegetable crop is like the icing on top of the cake. The cake is good by itself but the icing makes it sooo much better! After the heat of summer with all of the weeds, insects and water issues, a fall garden is definitely low maintenance.

The trick to a fall garden is getting the crops harvested before a killing frost. Most fall crops can take some mild frost but around the first of November when we get our first freeze most crops need to be done. There are exceptions such as leafy green crops like turnips, mustard and kale that can take lower temperatures. When you’re looking at seeds or transplants, be sure and read the tag that gives you the days until harvest. Count back from November 1 and plant within the period of time that would give the plant a chance to come to maturity. For example, a cabbage that took 53 days could be planted later than a cabbage that required 65 days. Also, consider using transplants rather than seeds. Many fall transplants are available. Quick crops such as yellow squash and cucumbers can be great fall crops also but need to be in the ground around the first of August.

Insects can be an issue in the beginning but with the cooling of the weather they quickly fall by the wayside. Fertilizer is important to the fall garden because the plants need to grow quickly. Although the garden will need sufficient water, which hasn’t been a problem so far this season, lower temperatures make the need for supplemental water less of an issue.

If you would like a list of vegetables suited for fall planting, call the Extension office at 439-4460 and we can get one mailed out. But, for the most part think leafy greens and cold crops such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Add in some winter protection such as clear plastic thrown over plastic hoops and you can have fresh vegetables far longer than you ever thought possible.