When you think of landscaping, you might not think of gardening right away, but a great garden can be a great part of a great landscape! In this article, we’re focusing on fall gardening and working that into your landscape. These gardens not only provide food for your table through the winter, but also beauty and serenity.
What Are Vegetables Used In Fall Landscaping?
Fall vegetables are simply veggies that grow best during the cooler months of fall. Many of these plants could also do well in early spring for the same reason. Up north, many of the south’s cool weather vegetables can also be grown throughout the summer because it never gets terribly hot. These would include things like broccoli, cabbage or spinach. These plants do best in temperatures under 85 degrees, and can be a beautiful addition to your landscaping design.
It will be crucial to time things right with your planting schedule. Each vegetable plant will have a specific length of time before they reach maturity. This doesn’t matter as much with the leafy green vegetables because they can be harvested fairly early. When it comes to plants that flower, such as broccoli, you should aim to make sure they reach full maturity before the ground freezes. Here in the south, that doesn’t happen all that often, but it does happen and you don’t want to lose your entire crop because of poor planning.
How Do I Get My Garden Ready for Fall Planting?
Part of successful landscaping is good planning and prep work. This is also true of gardening, so the first task is to test your soil. You are looking for a pH of greater than 6.0. If it is not at the proper level, then you should add about a pound of lime for every 100 square feet per each .5 below the right number. If the lime is hydrated, it will work even faster to stabilize the pH for your fall vegetable garden.
Next, take up any dead plants that aren’t yielding fruit any longer. Save these for your compost pile, unless it had any disease. When it comes time to rototill the garden, carefully get any weeds up so they don’t get spread through the landscaping area, and add an inch or so of good compost. Cover any areas that won’t be planting until early spring with plastic or hay, or you can even plant ground cover like clover that will add good nitrogen to your garden once it’s turned under in the spring.
What Comes In, What Goes Out?
Some great fall veggies are:
- Any type of lettuce or greens
Cabbage can get really big and yet survive over into the spring. Most of these varieties will tolerate frost or freeze and even make it if it snows.
Fall Garden Conditioning
In order to landscape and garden successfully next season, you’ll want to do some good preparation in your garden during the fall. Doing so will mean far less chemical fertilizing and more natural organic materials that will create a healthy soil all winter. Here are some things you can add to your soil this fall to create a healthier, more nutrient rich soil for spring:
- Lots of dead leaves
- Hay (Just be careful of seeds that are in them)
- Grass Compost. Clippings from the garden or kitchen. Just remember to keep it 50% dried materials and no more than 50% green matter.
- Worms—they make rich dark soil
- Egg shells—the vegetables need the calcium found in crushed up egg shells.
- Pine Needles. Add lime if needed to keep the pH balanced.
- Manure—not more than an inch or so of cow, chicken, horse, or rabbit manure.
You will probably need to use lime in the spring to bring balance back to areas that got heavy rain. One of the best tips any veteran gardener or landscape specialist will tell you is to make sure you do not forget to cover your soil so weeds can’t take over.
Get ready for fall now and let your landscaping reflect your taste, both literally and creatively! For more help and tips, call us today at Local Hardscape Pros and let us do the hard work for you!
Local Hardscape Pros
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577