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The abundance of a summer vegetable garden can turn to chaos in the fall. Cucumbers that didn’t get picked, lettuce that bolted, fallen tomatoes – all of these things can make it hard to find a spot to plant something new for the fall. Even if you’ve stayed on top of things, your soil has probably taken a beating and fall is a great time to add in some compost. If you’re thinking of planting a fall vegetable garden, it only takes a little time and effort to get your garden in shape to start over. You’ll have to do it eventually, you might as well derive some benefit from the effort.
Extending your gardening season with a second harvest can dramatically increase your yield—and allow you to enjoy fresh vegetables into fall and winter. In addition, fall gardening is often easier since there are fewer pests and problems in cooler weather. Finally, a fall “cover” crop can organically protect and build your soil.
Not all vegetables like the crisp chill of fall. Tomatoes and peppers are just about done for the season, but there are plenty of other choices; vegetables that have their flavor enhanced by cool temperatures. Some, like the cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale…), grow best in cool weather, but they need to be started earlier and transplanted into the fall. There are also several vegetables you can direct sow into a fall garden, like broccoli raab, chard, lettuce, peas and spinach.
Since there are so many to chose from, today we’ll talk a bit about lettuce.
Top four reasons to plant lettuce now:
- Easy to grow
- Good for you
- More nutritious than store bought
- Variety and flavor
If you enjoy a salad, there’s nothing like growing your own lettuce. It’s easy to grow and perfectly happy in a medium-sized pot or sunny garden bed.
Buy small nursery plants at the garden store. It’s way too late to grow lettuce from seed. Six little plants will give you several weeks of fresh lettuce for the table.
Lettuce likes rich soil, plenty of sun and moist roots. If you plant in the garden bed, enrich the soil with fertilizer, mushroom compost or Black Cow. If you plant in a pot, put in a load of fresh potting soil.
So, hope you enjoyed. Stay tooned for some more tips about Fall gardening and produce!