Planting a vegetable garden depends on your local climate and last frost date; seed packets usually provide instructions. Additionally, crop rotation should be utilized each year for best results.
Make sure your vegetable garden gets ample sunshine, has nutrient-rich soil that drains well, and that weeds don’t take over with regular garden maintenance and mulching.
Welcomed after an exhausting winter is the return of life in your garden in spring. While some vegetables may still require hardier conditions for growth, others can go straight into the soil once temperatures warm and thaw out. Now is an excellent time to plant perennial vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes and horseradish as bare root perennials as well as sowing seeds of cool season vegetables such as broccoli cabbage kale peas lettuce while beginning seedlings that will eventually bloom into summer and fall harvest vegetables.
Prior to planting, ensure the site is ready by amending the soil with Oakdell Organic Compost or similar organic matter to make accessing nutrients easier for roots. Also ensure it drains well as water that pools will cause plants to rot if left to pool for too long in planting beds. Finally, locate your vegetable garden away from trees and shrubs that could compete for water, sun and nutrients with growing vegetables.
No matter how you plan to plant your vegetable garden, drawing a plan before beginning is always recommended as this can save both time and help ensure seeds or seedlings are planted accurately. Furthermore, keeping track of when certain items were planted helps remember what happened when seasons change!
Timing when planting your vegetable garden can be tricky, so using a gardening calendar will give you an approximate idea of when is best. Your location and climate can also play a role, as will an estimated last frost date in your region. To be on the safe side, cover cold-sensitive plants with frost blankets when night temperatures dip, while monitoring soil temps for consistently warmer readings to know when it is safe to plant heat-loving crops outside.
Time to plan the replant of your vegetable garden for summertime! Depending on your climate, spring-planted veggies may have been harvested or gaps created by weather or weeds may need filling in – making replants now essential to ensure delicious fresh produce into fall and even wintertime!
Once your spring-planted radishes and peas begin to fade, sow fast-growing greens like kale, lettuce, or spinach. They’ll provide an autumn crop before the first frost arrives – giving you another harvest before winter arrives!
July is also an excellent month to plant tomatoes, peppers and eggplants from seed. When using plastic mulch to warm the soil and hasten germination, use a cloche or plastic cloche as well to ensure regular watering to prevent plants becoming drought stressed.
Your last frost date should serve as a guideline when planting cold-season vegetables like broccoli, carrots, kohlrabi, turnips and kale indoors two to four weeks prior to their anticipated last frost date. A soil thermometer may be useful in extremely cold environments to ensure seeds germinate at the correct temperatures.
Before sowing outdoor seeds, wait until the ground temperature reaches at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius). Warm-season crops like beans and squash require warmer soil in order to germinate successfully.
If you want to grow cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or Chinese cabbage it is wise to start them in seedling trays as these crops can take five or six weeks from starting their development in a seedling tray to transplanting in your garden.
Watering summer replants daily is key for successful harvests in late July and early August, especially leafy vegetables like kale and spinach that require cool and moist soil conditions. Aim for about one inch per week when watering these types of crops; keep in mind different vegetables may need different times of the day for watering needs.
As summer gardens come to a close and days shorten, now is an opportune time to consider expanding your harvest into autumn. Many cool-climate vegetables thrive when planted during fall plantings in Alabama gardens that offer frost protection – providing fresh produce even after tomatoes, peppers and squash have exhausted their supply for this season. By including fall plantings in your vegetable garden you’ll never run out of fresh veggies come wintertime!
Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach thrive in cooler temperatures, as do fast-growing crops like Swiss chard, kale, collards, mustard greens and turnips. You can sow these crops throughout fall to have an endless supply of salad greens for salads and cooking purposes.
Many speedy vegetables take only 8 weeks to harvest, meaning you can plant through August and still harvest your crop before frost sets in. If you want an extended harvest into winter months, try planting cold-hardy crops like kohlrabi which is related to cabbage and broccoli; quickly establishes itself, survives light frost conditions and provides great harvest opportunities in both Summer and Winter!
Planting carrots and beets as part of your edible fall garden extension could also prove helpful, as both seeds take their time germinating before producing rapid maturity once planted in late summer. Furthermore, their long storage life makes them great additions to any fall vegetable patch.
When adding fall vegetables to your edible garden, ensure the seed packet or starter plant tag contains information regarding “days to maturity.” This estimate tells you when it’s best to plant. Use it to plan when to plant each crop based on when its first frost date occurs in your area and count backwards from there until harvest time arrives. To calculate perfect planting dates quickly and easily: look up first frost dates then count backwards from that number.
Winter gardeners may have more limited gardening options compared to spring and summer gardeners, but that doesn’t have to mean leaving their plot empty when winter sets in. By planning ahead and harvesting healthy veggies with forethought, your family meals can still benefit from being more colorful and flavorful!
Your winter vegetable garden must be started early so the plants have plenty of time to mature before temperatures drop significantly. Seedlings planted by late summer should be ready for transplanting by Labor Day; direct-seeded crops can even be seeded as early as August! If starting seeds yourself, be sure to do it early so they have ample time to develop before being transplanted in fall.
Your winter garden requires less water when days are shorter and soil temperatures drop, yet still requires consistent moisture delivery to your plantings. A soaker hose provides optimal results as it delivers water directly to the roots while minimising evaporation for improved soil health and reduced evaporation rates.
Frost damage to winter vegetables is dangerous, so additional protection should always be considered. A layer of mulch (grass cuttings, wood chips or straw) layered over your winter crop beds will provide insulation and warmth; you could also cover them with a polytunnel until harvest time arrives.
Many cool-season vegetables thrive during the winter when given adequate warmth and sunlight, such as kale, chard, collards, Swiss chard, lettuce and turnips. Seed chard in midsummer for harvest throughout winter; sow carrots 12 weeks prior to first frost; and seed turnips early autumn.
Other winter crops that do well include rhubarb, rutabaga and New Zealand yams. Winter radishes and spinach sprouts make great additions to winter meals if they have time to mature before becoming edible.