Thứ Ba, 12 tháng 9, 2023

10 Crops To Plant NOW for Fall!

Planting a fall vegetable garden is an excellent idea to extend your harvest and enjoy fresh produce even as the weather cools down. Here are ten crops that you can plant now for a successful fall garden:

1. Basil: Basil can be grown year-round indoors or in frost-free climates. However, it requires daytime temperatures over 70°F and nighttime temperatures over 50°F. If you have suitable conditions, you can enjoy fresh basil throughout the fall.

2. Beets: Beets are hardy and can be sown as soon as the ground can be worked. They germinate in cool soil but sprout best when soil temperatures are above 50°F. Plant them directly in the garden one month before your last spring frost, and for a continuous harvest, make plantings every two weeks until mid-summer. Adequate water supply is crucial for succulent roots.

3. Bush Beans: Plant bush beans after the soil has warmed sufficiently, typically in late summer or early fall when temperatures are still above 75°F. Bush beans grow quickly, and by starting them now, you can harvest them before the first frost arrives.

4. Broccoli: Start a crop of broccoli seedlings in midsummer for an August/September planting and a late fall harvest. Broccoli is hardier than cauliflower and can withstand several frosts while continuing to produce.

5. Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts are an annual cool-season crop that is hardy to frosts and light freezes. They thrive in cooler conditions and are ideal for a fall garden.

6. Cabbage: Cabbage is an annual cool-season crop, resistant to frost and light freezes. Smaller cabbage heads generally have better flavor and can stay in the field longer without splitting.

7. Cauliflower: Cauliflower is sensitive to frost and should not be transplanted outdoors until all danger of frost has passed. Protect it from cold temperatures if necessary.

8. Cilantro: Cilantro can be grown in a frost-free period and is suitable for regions without extreme summer heat. In mild climates, grow cilantro during the summer, while in tropical climates, it's best to cultivate it during the dry and cooler season.

9. Green Onions: Onions are a cool-season crop, resilient to frost and light freezes. They grow well in various climates and prefer a cool-season start. Onions require consistently moist soil and even growing conditions to mature properly.

10. Kale: Kale is versatile and can be planted in many regions in the United States with a cool fall growing season. It's a cool-season crop, tolerant of frosts and light freezes, and its flavor can improve with frost.

By planting these crops now, you can enjoy a bountiful fall harvest and make the most of your garden's productivity as the weather cools down.

Why Won't My Root Veggies Grow?

Growing healthy root vegetables can be a rewarding experience, but there are several common issues that can affect their growth. Here are some important factors to consider when trying to grow root vegetables successfully:

1. Soil pH: Root vegetables have specific pH requirements. Most root crops, except for beets and parsnips, thrive in soils with a pH of 6.2–6.8. Beets and parsnips prefer slightly more alkaline soil, with a pH of 6.6–7.2. Testing your soil's pH and adjusting it to the appropriate range can significantly improve root crop growth.

2. Soil Texture: Soil that is too compacted or overly sandy can lead to problems. Compacted soil can cause rot and misshapen roots, while sandy soil requires more frequent watering. Loosening the soil and adding organic matter like aged manure or compost can help create better conditions for root crops.

3. Nutrient Balance: Root vegetables require specific nutrients for optimal growth. They typically need about 1⁄3 pound of actual nitrogen, 1⁄4 pound of phosphorus, and 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 pound of potash per 100 square feet. Planting root vegetables in the same area as leafy vegetables, which have similar nutrient requirements, can make it easier to provide the necessary fertilizers and soil amendments.

4. Sunlight: Root vegetables, including carrots, radishes, beets, and parsnips, require at least half a day of sunlight to grow well. Ensure that your garden bed receives adequate sunlight to support healthy root development.

5. Watering: Proper watering is essential for root vegetables. They typically need at least 1 inch of water from rainfall or manual watering each week during the growing season. If your soil is sandy and drains quickly, you may need to increase watering frequency to prevent dry conditions.

6. Thinning: Overcrowded plants can result in small, misshapen roots. Thin your seedlings to the recommended spacing to ensure that each plant has enough room to develop properly.

7. Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for common pests and diseases that can affect root crops, such as carrot rust fly, wireworms, and fungal infections. Implement pest control measures as needed.

8. Timing: Plant root vegetables at the appropriate times for your region and climate. Some root crops, like carrots and radishes, can be grown in multiple seasons, so choose planting dates that align with their growing requirements.

By addressing these factors and providing the right conditions, you can increase your chances of growing healthy and robust root vegetables in your garden.

Thứ Bảy, 9 tháng 9, 2023

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed Step-by-Step

Creating a raised garden bed is a great way to improve your gardening experience and increase the yield of your plants. Here's a step-by-step guide to building a simple raised garden bed:

Materials You'll Need:

  • Pressure-treated lumber: You can use pressure-treated lumber for this project, which is considered safe for use in garden beds. You'll need four 8-foot planks for the sides of the bed.
  • Screws: You'll need screws to attach the planks together. Make sure they are rust-resistant.
  • Circular saw or hand saw: This is for cutting the lumber to size.
  • Drill with a Phillips head bit: You'll use this to drive in the screws.
  • Carpenter's square: This tool will help you ensure that your corners are square.
  • Cardboard, newspaper, or old carpeting: This will be used to line the bottom of the bed to prevent weeds from growing up into it.
  • Soil and compost: You'll need a good mix of soil and compost to fill the raised bed.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Measure, Mark & Cut:

    • Find the center point on one of the 8-foot planks and mark it with a straight line.
    • Use a circular or hand saw to cut along the measured line, creating two 4-foot planks.
  2. Set Screws:

    • Measure 3/4 inches in from each end of a 4-foot plank.
    • Use a drill with a Phillips head bit to partially sink three screws into the broad side of each end of the plank, spaced evenly from the long edges (at approximately 3, 6, and 9 inches).
    • Repeat the process with the other 4-foot plank. If using dry wood, you may need to drill pilot holes to prevent splitting.
  3. Attach Side:

    • With a helper, hold an 8-foot plank on its side.
    • Line up the end of a 4-foot plank at a 90-degree angle with the screws facing the end of the long plank.
    • Use the drill with a Phillips head bit to secure the two planks together.
  4. Square Corners & Complete Bed:

    • Position the other 8-foot plank perpendicular to the attached 4-foot plank at the free end.
    • Use a carpenter's square to ensure a 90-degree angle and sink screws to attach.
    • Repeat this assembly process at the other end, checking for squareness.
  5. Position Bed and Add Cardboard:

    • Find a flat location with good drainage and plenty of sun exposure for your raised bed.
    • Remove any rocks, sticks, or debris from the area and place the bed.
    • Press on the sides to ensure the bed rests evenly on the ground.
    • To prevent weed growth, place a layer of cardboard, newspaper, or old carpeting to cover the ground inside the bed.
  6. Fill Raised Bed:

    • Use shovels or a wheelbarrow to fill the raised bed with a mixture of soil, compost, and organic amendments. You can purchase this mix from a landscaping wholesaler.
    • Level the surface of the soil about 1/2 inch from the top.
  7. Add Plants:

    • Now your raised garden bed is ready for planting. You can add your chosen plants or seeds according to your gardening plans.

By following these steps, you'll have a functional and cost-effective raised garden bed that can enhance your gardening experience and improve plant growth.

10 Crops To Plant NOW for Fall!

Planting a fall vegetable garden is an excellent idea to extend your harvest and enjoy fresh produce even as the weather cools down. Here ar...