The days are getting shorter and cooler, but that doesn’t mean the growing season has to end. Here’s how to extend the growing season into fall.
By Shelley Wigglesworth
Aug 15 2016
How to Extend the Growing Season into FallPhoto Credit : Pixabay
Yes, the days are getting shorter and cooler, but that doesn’t mean the growing season and the joy that accompanies it has to end. Gardening can indeed be extended well into autumn with very little extra effort. Read on to learn how you can prolong the growing season and savor the fruits (and vegetables and flowers) of your labor well into October—it’ll not only save money and provide nourishment for your body, but do a little good for your soul as well.
Don’t Stop Growing
Some veggies, such as lettuces and greens, grow quite fast. These plants can sprout in a matter of weeks, regardless of the limited sunshine during the day. You can harvest at least two more green or micro green crops outside before the hard frost sets in, or you can start growing micro greens inside to enjoy freshly harvested veggies throughout the winter.
Some Vegetables Grow Best in the Fall
Broccoli and edible kale grow well in the fall, and if you didn’t plant these in your garden from seed ahead of time, many nurseries can provide you with some starter plants to give fall growing a shot. When purchasing from a greenhouse, be sure to purchase edible kale and not ornamental kale.
Cover Plants the Evening Before Forecasted Frost
If you have small raised beds or large outdoor planters with geraniums or mums, cover them when frost is expected. A piece of fabric large enough to cover the entire box or container should protect your plants from early frost, therefore extending the gardening season. Old sheets and towels work well. Simply remove the cloth when the temperature rises in the morning.
Bring Smaller Potted Plants Inside
Both hanging plants and small planters can be brought into basement, barns, sheds or garages when frost is expected and then returned outside when it warms up the next day. This can be repeated as long as the daytime temperatures remain at 50 degrees or higher. Don’t forget that some summer plants, such as geraniums, can winter over in a bright sunny spot indoors and be moved back outside next spring.
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.