Sure the months are still warm, even hot in many areas of the world, but that is no reason to not start thinking about what you will be planting in the cooler autumn months in your home vegetable garden. That time of the year, when the leaves change to vibrant colors and the kids head back to school, will be here before you know it.
My discovery of fall and winter garden (on a larger scale anyway) is still fairly new to me. I did not expand my garden during this period of the year until about 10 years ago, maybe 15 but that is probably pushing it. What I found were some favorites that I like to grow. Favorites because for starters my family eats them, second, they are easy to grow, and third they love cooler temperatures.
Which one? Doesn’t matter, pick! I love them all, although I have to admit a crispy romaine variety is my favorite. Lettuce does great in the cooler temperatures and I have read in various USDA reports that many varieties of lettuce will enhance with flavor as temperatures begin to drop. Right about now to the next week or so is when I begin my seeds indoors. It is a bit cooler inside which makes for a perfect environment for the seeds to germinate. I will move my seedlings outdoors around the end of August, beginning of September.
It’s not just for fictional cartoon characters anymore. Spinach has been shown to be loaded with so many vitamins and nutrients that it has not only become a mainstay in my personal diet, but also in my home vegetable garden. With my new vacuum sealer I know I will be storing plenty of these great greens all year long. You can start spinach indoors and move it to the outdoors just as you would lettuce.
What finishes off a salad like a good radish. Champions are my favorite as they are not too spicy but still add plenty of kick to a nice bowl of fresh mixed lettuce and spinach (see the theme occurring here?). Radish grows rather quickly and there is no need to start them indoors, or at least not here in NJ. I wait until the first or second week of September then use one of my four foot by four foot raised bed for nothing but radish. Needless to say in 35 to 45 days I have all the radish I will need until spring rolls around. If I get lucky and time it just right, I may be able to get a few harvests.
If you are in an area of the country like me that experiences various temperature changes, and you may not have thought about gardening in the autumn months, start with these three and you won’t be disappointed. If maybe these are not your ideal options then you can always look towards broccoli, carrots and kale to name three more. If you are thinking about broccoli though, you better get started, they take awhile to grow.
About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC, the exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club, which has appeared on NBC, ABC and MSN Money as a great way for consumers to save money.
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