Many, maybe most, people think of spring as the time to plant a vegetable garden. It makes sense on the surface. After the end of a long, cold winter, we want to get outside and play in the dirt. Certainly, spring and summer gardens are great, especially for fruiting plants like tomatoes and peppers. But in my opinion, fall may be the best season to learn to garden. Here’s why I think so.
- Many of the fall/winter vegetables are less maintenance than their summer cousins. Kale, collards, and green onions are great examples of perfect beginner options. Apart from a little bit of thinning after they sprout, they almost look after themselves.
- Fall root vegetables like turnips and beets have a long shelf life compared to most summer vegetables.
- Weeds tend to be less of a problem because they are beginning to die off.
- Less water is required because the weather is not so oppressively hot drying out the soil and the plants, and because most fall crops don’t produce huge fruit that drink up the water.
- After the first frost, insects are less of a problem than in a summer garden. Sure there are still a few around, but they are easier to deal with. A few sprays of some soapy water will usually do the trick.
- You won’t sweat nearly as much because of the cooler days. That alone is worth a great deal. Can I get an ‘Amen’?
So if you’ve been thinking about taking the gardening plunge, there’s no better time than the present. Go ahead, get a little dirt under your fingernails. It’s good for you.
What’s your favorite fall vegetable? I can’t wait to hear. I’ll tell you mine next time.
As a way of saying thanks to our readers, everyone who signs up for updates or subscribes during the month of September will receive my list of the top 10 fall vegetables for beginning (and experienced) gardeners. Also, feel free to send in your fall gardening questions and photos of your fall garden.