Planning & Planting the Autumn Garden

veggie garden

I’ll let you in on a little gardener’s secret: late summer through early autumn is the perfect time for many kinds of garden projects, including incorporating edibles into the landscape. We are so lucky in the Pacific Northwest to be able to grow veggies nearly year-round. There are a wide variety of cool-season veggies for autumn and early spring harvest and now is the best time to plant perennial edibles like berries as well.

Planting starts (baby plants) will allow you to harvest earlier in many cases. For many of the edibles mentioned below, starts are actually preferable. The exceptions are baby carrots, lettuce, parsley, peas, radishes and spinach, which can easily be grown from seed or starts. If sowings fail to germinate in late July or early August because of heat and inconsistent water, try again in late August and September; they may germinate more easily. 

Veggies will need regular watering now and by early fall the mix of warmer soil, mild temperatures and rain create the perfect conditions to help your young plants thrive and become well established before winter arrives. I know, I know… It’s too early to be talking about winter, but it isn’t too early to begin planning and planting your autumn veggie garden.

Let’s get started.

What are cool-season vegetables?

Vegetables are often separated into two groups: cool-season and warm-season. The warm-season veggies are at their peak at the height of summer: think tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers. Cool-season veggies prefer milder weather and can generally be planted in spring and again in late summer/early autumn.

Some cool-season veggies grow fairly quickly and, if you plant them now, you will be able to harvest this year. Lettuce, most greens, radishes and peas should be harvested before the first frost or covered for protection (see row covers and cloches, below) while root vegetables like parsnips and beets as well as kale and spinach can survive a frost and even become sweeter for it.

Here are a few to plant now and harvest this year (be sure to read seed packets for specific variety info):

  • Asian Greens

  • Beets

  • Bitter Greens (Arugula, Endive, Radicchio, Mustard)

  • Baby Carrots

  • Collard Greens

  • Endive

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Peas (look for dwarf & enation-resistant varieties)

  • Radishes

  • Spinach

  • Swiss Chard

There are also several herbs that will continue to grow throughout fall (and some even into winter), as well:

  • Oregano

  • Parsley

  • Rosemary

  • Sage

  • Thyme

Other cool-season edibles overwinter, meaning they stay mostly dormant until early spring. They need to be planted now in order to grow the strong roots that help them survive winter so they can produce in spring.

Here are some edibles to plant now for harvesting next spring and summer:

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Garlic (September-October)

  • Onions

  • Shallots (September-October)

  • Berries, especially blueberries

Soil considerations

Don’t forget to amend your soil with a high-quality compost, such as E.B. Stone Planting Compost or Gardner & Bloome Harvest Supreme. Now is the time to mulch your soil with several inches of compost (Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Conditioner is great as mulch) to keep summer’s heat in the soil.

When planting for autumn, it’s a good idea to practice crop rotation. Plant something different than what you had in the spot for spring and summer. Your summer vegetables have most likely used up essential nutrients in the soil, so adding a natural vegetable fertilizer (try Dr. Earth or Espoma brand) will give your new plants a much-needed boost. For containers, always use potting soil (again, E.B. Stone and Gardner & Bloome offer excellent options) mixed with fertilizer, added according to package directions.

If you decide not to plant your entire space, consider sowing a cover crop such as crimson clover, vetch, winter peas or favas in the early fall. These legumes are nitrogen fixers and will improve your soil. Sow, let them grow through the winter, then till them into the soil in early (can’t emphasize that enough) spring and voilà – improved soil!

Row covers and cloches

One way of extending the growing season (this also works for early-spring planting) is to use a row cover or cloche to protect your veggies and keep them warm. Row covers are lightweight fabrics that allow air, sun, and water to penetrate, but raise soil temperatures by approximately 5 degrees. They can be loosely laid over starts or newly-sown seeds, the edges secured with u-stakes, rocks or boards. Be sure to allow room for plants to push the fabric up as they grow. Another option is to cover your individual plants or whole garden bed with a cloche. They come in many forms: glass domes, plastic sheeting laid over PVC tubes and secured, or even DIY liter soda bottles. Google ‘DIY cloches’ and get lost in the myriad results. If you do use a hoop cloche with plastic sheeting, vent the sides during the day to allow for air flow.

Ready to start planning and planting? We want to help make your garden project a success, so we encourage you to take advantage of the many ways we can help: ask our experts in person and on social media with #heyswansons. You can also find helpful information on our NW Gardening Tips page.

Remember to comment with questions or to tell us what you’ll be growing for autumn!

 

A few more resources for the NW edible gardener

  • Seattle Tilth’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide

  • Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades by Steve Solomon

  • Territorial Seed Company Catalog (the best 75¢ you will ever spend)

  • Seattle Urban Farm Company’s website and podcast

  • Amy Pennington’s Blog

  • Sunset Magazine’s website

 

Original source: https://www.swansonsnursery.com/blog/fall-veggie-gardening

August

Did I spend weeks designing and specifying plant material for the shop garden this past February? No, absolutely not. I rarely think about the shop plantings until our work for clients is coming to a close. That means that I scout what seasonal plant material is still available in late June or early July. I […]

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5 Reasons To Opt For Outsourced Grounds Maintenance

Whether you are a business owner, or run a small sheltered housing association, it’s crucial to ensure your grounds are well-kept. Green areas around where we live or work make a huge difference to the quality of life. Trees look beautiful and provide a natural way to improve air quality, whilst plants added for decoration can be helpful for local wildlife.

While you might be a little hesitant to spend money outsourcing ground maintenance service, you’ll reap both financial and reputation benefits by doing so. These services will reduce unwanted yard waste, landscape debris, and litter while preserving the property and increasing the curb appeal for clients, employees, and/or residents.

Here’s why you should opt for Outsourced Industrial Grounds Maintenance in Sheffield.

It Is Way Cheaper

You already know how arduous it is to maintain a large lawn on commercial property. Think about it as a task – you will have to employ several people plus an experienced manager to see the job through. And that doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the best possible results.

Not only that!

You will also have to factor the fuel and maintenance costs for the equipment, which might not seem much at first, but they definitely add up. That is why the best option is outsourcing; this way you wouldn’t have to stress about hiring employees for this task or dealing with equipment maintenance.

Reduces Overall Energy Costs

Businesses, whether startups or large corporations, all over the world, are losing money on unnecessary energy costs. The fault is in the company culture.

The good news is that even small changes, like planting deciduous trees, can have a positive impact. Planting oak and maple trees can ensure that more heat from the sun passes into your office during the colder months, reducing the dependence on artificial heating solutions.

Adopting energy-efficient solutions will not only reduce the cost of operations, but it can also attract clients. And outsourcing to a decent company means you can have a strong environmental reputation, and also get time for important tasks at hand.

Improves Work Productivity

Outsourcing and paying attention to grounds maintenance in Mansfield can also have a tangible effect on the lives of your employees. Various studies have revealed the positive impact physical environment has on our wellbeing and emotions, with everything from the lighting to the kind of music, play their own parts.

Similarly, there are studies that link an employee’s happiness with their subsequent performance levels. If you wish to retain your employees, while also collaborating with big clients, creating an attractive and well-structured environment at work might turn out to be very beneficial.

Adds Value To Your Business

Admit it or not, looks are important, especially in the commercial world. If you have your clients and potential new business partners regularly visiting your office space, the first thing they will notice is the outside area.

Incorporating modern landscaping techniques by hiring the best grounds maintenance division can help create a positive, long-lasting impression, and ultimately add value to your business. By asking them to repair existing features, update the signage that’s visible on the premises, you can showcase your brand in a better light, and make your building more attractive.

Gives Peace Of Mind

Nothing feels more comforting and satisfying than knowing you are getting a good deal. Outsourcing grounds maintenance comes with a lot of benefits; the best part being, it works well for both you and your employees. You will never have to deal with frustrated employees and better still if you run a housing association, you will have fewer complaints from the tenants. So, besides being cheaper, outsourcing will also reduce the workload on your end.

Grounds maintenance services are very important for commercial businesses. Ensuring that your ground looks as stunning as your services, will boost your employees’ morale, business, and overall satisfaction.

The post 5 Reasons To Opt For Outsourced Grounds Maintenance appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

Original source: https://sumogardener.com/5-reasons-to-opt-for-outsourced-grounds-maintenance/

The Landscape Finish

I have written a number of posts about this very special project that has taken better than a year to complete. I have saved the landscape finish for last, as that part had to wait for the walls, terraces, stairs, driveway and pergolas to at least be underway before we could begin. A close friend […]

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How To Freeze Herbs From The Garden

Freezing herbs is a great way to save your harvest all year long. In this post, I’m going to talk about what herbs can be frozen, and then I’ll show you exactly how to freeze fresh herbs step-by-step. Herbs are easy to grow, and many times you can be overwhelmed trying to figure out whatContinue Reading

The post How To Freeze Herbs From The Garden appeared first on Get Busy Gardening.

Original source: https://getbusygardening.com/freezing-herbs/

How To Plant Garlic In Your Garden

Planting garlic is easy, but you have to make sure to get the timing right. If you plant it too late, then it won’t have time to form large, mature bulbs. So, in this post I will show you exactly when and how to plant garlic. If you want to learn how to grow garlicContinue Reading

The post How To Plant Garlic In Your Garden appeared first on Get Busy Gardening.

Original source: https://getbusygardening.com/how-to-plant-garlic/

12 more gardening YouTubers

Are you always on the lookout for inspiring and informative gardening YouTube channels? Last time we featured some of the best gardeners of the vlogosphere, we were overwhelmed by your response. Here then, is a selection of vloggers we missed first time round – 12 more gardening YouTubers who know their onions – and a […]

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Original source: https://blog.thompson-morgan.com/12-more-gardening-youtubers/

10 bloggers who review gorgeous gardens to visit

Did you know that the gardens at Chatsworth are being transformed? Have you always wanted to immerse yourself in the jungle at The Lost Gardens of Heligan? Visiting gardens is something of a national occupation for us Brits. And with good reason, because here in the UK we have some of the most beautiful stately […]

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Original source: https://blog.thompson-morgan.com/10-bloggers-who-review-gorgeous-gardens-to-visit/

Drought-proofing my garden

The recent dry spell has really made me think about the plants I am growing. The drought has taken its toll on a favourite tree in my garden.  In truth, it has been many years since it performed at its best.  This year, I’ll be lucky if there are any leaves left come autumn! I’m […]

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Original source: https://blog.thompson-morgan.com/drought-proofing-my-garden/

Gardening without plastic

We’re flooding the planet with plastic, and there’s currently a huge focus on how much ends up in our oceans. But as gardeners, what can we do about it? Traditionally, plant care and propagation have always relied heavily on plastic – it’s cheap, durable and easy to use. However, the lack of recycling options often […]

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Original source: https://blog.thompson-morgan.com/gardening-without-plastic/