Those of us who live in the warmer regions of our country have the advantage of creating fall vegetable gardens and that would include turnips, spinach, Chinese cabbage, chard, rutabagas, cauliflower, radishes, carrots, onions, cabbage, mustard, broccoli, lettuce, beets, kohlrabi, bush beans and snap beans.

That’s quite a variety of good food to be putting on your table during the winter and one of the secrets to planting a fall garden is to plan it in the spring when you are buying the seeds for your spring and summer plantings because you will indeed need the seeds and many times it is almost impossible to pick up seeds at your local garden supply store in the fall.

Chinese cabbage is very sensitive to heat and does better in the fall and another fall cool weather vegetable that does well because it requires a long period of cool weather is the rutabaga.

Because we rarely can acquire plant seedlings in the fall it is important to have the seeds on hand and here are a few tricks to fall planting since July, August and September gives us dry, hot weather we need to insure germination and seed survival and one way is watering your ground at least one or two days before you plant your fall seeds. This gives the seeds a better chance to germinate as opposed to watering them after you plant them which may cause the soil to crust and pack down.

Make sure you cover your seeds with some moist materials that will not crust such as a mixture of vermiculite and peat moss or perhaps a compost of sand and sawdust and remember to keep the surface moist with a gentle watering until your seeds have germinated and you see your seedling.

Plants like cabbage and broccoli are small seeded vegetables and one should always plant three to five seeds together and then thin out the seedlings once they are established.

Should you have a greenhouse or an area to be able to start your fall vegetable plants in peat pots or peat pellets then you are ahead of the game and can eventually set out your plants without disturbing their root systems and reduce transplant shock. Make sure you protect your young plants even from the fall sun for a few days and provide hardening by giving them water and shade until they become established.

Author Bio Box: Arlene Wright Correll

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To see Arlene’s Gardens and to read her gardening diaries and to take a walk through her pictorial garden or click on Arlene’s Books where you can download or buy her gardening & cook books, including her new book, “The ABC’s of Wine and Beer Making”. Many of her articles written for Greenthumbarticles have paintings she has created of the subject and they can be seen at her “How to Do It” site. Remember to check out her artwork, especially of her fruits and vegetables. Many of her paintings are sold internationally and many of her works of art have been reproduced on note cards, post cards and other functional items and you can get Giclee prints of her artwork starting as low as $11.89 Arlene says, “All my royalties from the sale of my books, art, etc. go to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and I thank you for visiting my sites.”

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