13. November 2018

Growing vegetables in fall

Don't waste any time! Growing vegetables in fall is actually possible, so why not get started right away? This is my three step guide on how it's done.

This is my overwintered lettuce Cegolaine in my polytunnel.

 

This post is for all of you who have been admiring your neighbor's or friend's ability to seemingly conjure up delicious homegrown vegetables from thin air. Maybe you decided that you wanted to become a skilled gardener and turn your lawn, community garden or porch into your own vegetable factory too? Starting next year, of course.

Stop right there!

Next year might be a great time to do it. But if you get going now, you might be able to get a good head start. Start growing vegetables in fall instead, you won't regret it!

The picture above was taken in March last year. This is my overwintered lettuce Cegolaine in my polytunnel. Almost all of the spots in my garden that I can start harvest early were prepared already in fall.

 

Why start growing vegetables in fall?

If you want to grow vegetables, you will of course need a spot to start on. In raised beds, in a vegetable patch or somewhere else. You simply need space. When you feel that longing for fresh homegrown vegetables in winter, the ground is frozen. And you don't want to get started creating your beds in spring when all you really want is to start growing.

Fall is actually the ideal time to build new growing spaces. It's hopefully not too cold outside and you get a good overview of the garden when all the plants have withered. It's easy to dig in the moist soil and there's plenty of old plant material around that you can start using right away. So why wait?

 

Getting started

Getting started is really not that hard. You just need to put your mind to it and get going. I think that we all procrastinate a bit in the beginning, because we feel like we need to have a fully developed plan from the get-go. But you really don't! The most important thing is not having a plan, it's getting started. The plan you have now will probably change more than once anyway so you might as well just start creating new spaces now.

How to get started then? Why not follow my three part guide for anyone who wants to start growing vegetables at home! Feel free to share it with friends who have been talking about starting their own vegetable patch. There's no time like now!

 

STEP 1

Draw up an area, for example 3 x 10 ft (around 1 x 3 meters) large.
Dig a ditch around the spot.
Cover the area and the ditch in newspapers (with non-toxic ink.)
Add plenty of organic mulch. Use larger plant parts first and add smaller pieces last.
Add a mesh wire panel or a tarp on top of the pile (which should be around 8 inches to 1 ft 7, or 20-50 centimeters high.)

 

STEP 2

Find a pallet collar (read more about what a pallet collar is here) and put it in your chosen spot.
Put newspapers in the bottom, cover the ground outside the edges too.
Add two bags of well fertilized soil and even it out.
Cover the pallet collar bed with a plastic sheet (read more about how to make an insulated cold frame lid here).

 

STEP 3

Make a list of all your favorite vegetables.
Pick ten of these vegetables.
Find an online garden shop and buy three varieties of these vegetables.
Find more information about how to grow these vegetables.

 

That's really all you need to do in order to start growing vegetables in fall! I don't know which seeds you will choose, but I'm sure that at least three of the varieties can be sown in the middle of winter. The wintersowings are done in December-January, which means that you can start sowing in about a month or so. It's amazing, isn't it! The three steps above will help you get started on growing vegetables in fall, several months before you are "supposed" to. Try it!

I'm going to create a few beds in my garden this fall. I will write more about them here and show them off on my Youtube channel too in a few weeks.

 

If you want to read and see more from my garden, check out Sara's Kitchen Garden here:

Sara's Kitchen Garden at Facebook
Facebook group: The Kitchen Garden - Worldwide
Letter from the garden - newsletter from Sara's Kitchen Garden

 

Don't forget to take pictures of your own progress, it's so fun to see how far you have come!
/Sara Bäckmo

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *