Pretty soon, summer will end and yield to the colder temperatures of fall, and for many this signals the end of gardening season. Most home gardeners only practice during warm weather months, which is a shame given the plethora of excellent crops that can be raised during other times of the year, including kale, garlic, broccoli and beans. There's no reason why you can't continue enjoying organic, sustainable fruits and vegetables year round from your backyard, as long as you know when to plant the right seeds and how to adjust your watering and harvesting methods.
TreeHugger, an environmental news site, has a few great tips for what to do with your garden as we approach the fall and winter months:
- Begin planting fall vegetables. They tend to be a lot less labor intensive because temperatures are milder, while rain water provides an excellent and frequent source of hydration.
- Cover your flower beds in mulch. Whether you plan to keep going through winter, a good layer of mulch and compost can replenish nutrients in the soil and keep weeds down.
- Plant perennials. Because there are several months of cool weather before the hotter months return, perennials like fruit trees have a chance to put down roots and strengthen in time for July and August, making it much more likely that they'll survive and begin delivering delicious berries, citrus fruits or whatever you decide to plant.
By trying out some new techniques and expanding your gardening skills repertoire, you can turn your backyard into a veritable year-round, organic vegetable factory, helping the environment as well as the health of you and your family!