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Why You Should Start Planning Your Fall Garden Now

The weather may just be getting warm in some parts of the United States, but for the serious gardener, the fall garden planning work is just beginning.

Not only does their spring and summer garden require tending, but right now is the perfect time to plan a fall garden.

Fall Garden - Wheat in field

You may ask why you might want to start planning now, let’s take a look at some of the reasons. 

Time to Start Your Gardening Research
  • Plants that are sown in the fall months are far different from those that are grown during the spring and summer months. Taking the time to do the proper research on which plants you may want to grow and their needs is paramount to having a successful garden.
  • Be sure to research not only the type of plants but also their soil needs, watering needs, and the amount of sunlight they will need.
  • It is also helpful to double-check that you are in the correct USDA Plant Hardiness Zone for that particular plant during the cooler months. If you are unfamiliar with the hardiness zones, they are guides developed by the USDA to help you know what plants grow best in your area and which ones will not grow.
Now’s the Time to Buy Seeds
  • When you plant your garden seeds, you are most likely using non-GMO, heirloom seeds as often as possible. Most home gardeners who grow food do so.
  • These types of seeds can be harder to find, however, in that you may find a reliable source only to discover that they are suddenly no longer a viable option. This can happen for a lot of reasons, but when it does, it can leave you scrambling for a seed provider.
  • Planning your fall garden early gives you time to find your seeds should you suddenly discover a need to hunt for them.
It’s Time to Plan Your Layout
  • There is nothing that will harm your fall garden more than a rushed layout. Because companion planting can be so important to the success of your garden, having a well-thought-out garden plan is incredibly important. Even if you are not intending to do companion planting, you will need to know where each plant is going to ensure you have enough room for it to fully grow.
  • Planning your fall garden during the spring and summer months will give you the time you need to properly assess the size you need and to ensure everything goes smoothly placement-wise. 
Gather Your Supplies
  • If you have already planted a spring or summer garden, you most likely already have many of the garden tools you may need, however, your fall garden will require some supplies of its own supplies.
  • Now’s the time to replenish your potting soil if you have a container garden.
  • You might also need to buy new seed starting supplies.
  • Also, you may need more fertilizer plus a way to protect your plants from temperatures if they dip too quickly. 

By planning your fall garden now, you give yourself plenty of time to buy these supplies. If you wait too long, you may find that you can not get the supplies you need or that you might have to pay a higher price to get them. If you are keeping a garden to save money, paying a higher price for your supplies defeats the purpose. 

Don’t Forget to Compost
  • Your compost pile will take time to break down into usable soil and if you use most or all of it during the spring and summer growing season, you will need to either make more or buy more. Making it yourself takes months for the organic material to fully break itself down into usable soil. 
  • If you do not have a full plan for your fall garden, you won’t have any idea of how much compost you will need. This could lead to not having enough.
  • Instead, know what you’re planting in the fall and what your planting dates are so you can ensure that your compost pile will be ready. 
It’s Time to Start Seeds
  • Having your fall garden planned well ahead of time will ensure that you get your seeds started on time.
  • Depending on your area, fall garden seeds could be started indoors as early as July. If you miss this window of planning and are ready to go, your garden will not be able to catch up.
  • With a fall garden, this could lead to your plants not being ready for harvest by the time the first frost rolls around. Sadly, this would end in dead plants and lost crops. 

Check out this article from Garden Design for more great ideas, tips, and even some garden chores.

Having a fall vegetable garden is a great way to ensure that your family always has fresh, healthy vegetables on the table.

Because these plants grow during the cooler months of the growing season does not mean that you should wait until those months to plan.

Instead, take the time to start planning your fall garden now. Not only will you be delighted with your hard work, but your fall garden will be a bountiful benefit to you and your family!

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