Photo credit: sheknows.com
As the late summer temps start to taper off, mid September is the perfect time to transition your garden and prep it for a late autumn harvest. Planting early enough in the season gives plants the time they need to mature before the killing frost arrives.
First things first: transition the soil
Give the soil a break by planting an occasional cover crop, says Garrett. “Red Clover is a great cover crop- it protects soil from erosion, reduces weeds, and it’s a great nitrogen source for the soil to prep it for planting.” Clover can be tilled into the soil before fall planting or even planted right alongside growing vegetables.
For a plentiful late autumn harvest, Garrett recommends planting these 5 greens and root vegetables:
Packed with essential nutrients, carrots are one of the most popular vegetables for fall planting. Once harvested, carrots can be stored fresh in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks or placed in a well-sealed bag in the freezer for up to 9 months.
The combination of cooler temps and rich well drained soil will produce what many call the perfect tasting turnip. Both the root and leaves of turnips can be picked and eaten, however, the leaves tend to be the most flavorful, and are best harvested with small and young.
Collards are a Southern favorite, and when harvested during the cooler temps of late fall, they’re often a bit sweeter and more flavorful. Leaves should be cut off the bottom of the plant first and are usually ready to be picked 4-6 weeks after planting. Collards are high in fiber and loaded with all kinds of other nutrients such as vitamins C, A and K.
Kale is another favorite among fall vegetables. In the garden, kale prefers lots of sunshine and moist soil, which helps produce sweeter crisper leaves. Begin cutting leaves off the plant when it’s grown to approximately 8-10 inches in height. Check out these great recipes for a variety of ways to enjoy kale.
The cooler weather of autumn offers ideal growing conditions for producing tender, juicy spinach. A powerhouse of iron and vitamins A and C, spinach is one of the most versatile vegetables. Toss it in a salad, saute it with a bit of garlic and a squeeze of lemon, or load it up with other fresh veggies between layers of vegetable lasagna.
Have a Gardening Question?
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