Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reviving Your Garden for Fall

I don't know which I enjoy more, cooking or gardening.  I think the most inspired is when the two can be creatively intertwined.  That is why I strive to maintain a semblance of gardening all year round.  Spring gardening, Fall gardening and of course Container gardening. So here we are.  The heat of summer has gotten to your garden.  No matter how hard you tried to save what you could the heats probably going to win.

Now is the opportunity to plan ahead for a fall planting.  Once you have had an opportunity to determine which plants can survive the fall climate of your region it's time to revive your garden.  Begin by determining what is currently planted in your garden that does not need to be destroyed.  For example, do you have a tomato plant that is no longer producing?  it's beginning to look like a desert tumbleweed ready to take off?  Tomato plants will survive the fall temperatures in most regions very well.  So you don't want to destroy that plant when you can possibly give it new life.  Did you know that a tomato plant can be pruned in the same manner as a rose bush?  Cut back the dead branches all the way to the trunk with clean and sterile pruning shears. While the climates begin to reach a more desirable growing temperature your tomato will begin to bloom once again.

Other vegetation can be well revived also.  Green beans, when kept healthy and clean of dead debris will also continue to blossom and produce.  Peppers, and okra are ready to take another turn at producing too. Simple observation will make it possible to determine what you can hold onto.  If your plants look beyond help they probably are.  Remove them completely from the garden so you can start fresh.  If you  follow necessary routine maintenance than weeds and insects won't be a bother.  You should be ready to prepare the soil for new crops.

If you haven't already done so it's a good idea to irrigate you soil.  Break it up by using a hoe or rake and add compost to feed the soil.  Compost is a process that is a good habit to maintain.  It is also as beneficial to the environment as it is to your garden.  See my blog The Benefits of Compost for more information.  You'll also want to top the soil with all of those fall leaves you held on to for mulch.  Saving grass clippings and raked leases make a very suitable mulch that will help hold moisture into the soil.  This process is also as good for the environment as it is for the soil.  Both are quite beneficial to the pocketbook as well.

Keep an eye on your regions long term weather forecast.  Once the weather has stabilized enough to allow for planting your ready to get seedlings in the ground.  Weather you start from seed of use young plants you started indoors you will want to make sure that the possibility of sweltering hot days has passed.  You'll also want to determine when your regions first frost is expected.  Plan ahead to make sure your vegetation will mature long before the cold snap hits.

Keeping the benefits and fulfillment of gardening going year round is an easy task, but one you must be dedicated to.  The four most important things to remember are 1) don't forget the maintenance 2) don't give your garden too much of a good thing like water 3) react fast if your garden is in distress and 4) listen to your garden and be aware.

Here's to a successful garden!


  1. Have you ever cloned any of your plants to extend your season?

  2. Yes I have. Take a look at "How my husband saved my container peppers". In various stages over the last three years and they are still producing Peppers.