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October 3, 2013

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Fall Vegetable Gardening Autumn's mild temperatures create perfect growing conditions for cool-season crops such as lettuce and spinach -- so enjoy late-season treats by planting a fall vegetable garden. Summer might be high season in the vegetable garden, but autumn also brings wonderful rewards. Fast-growing salad crops will revive the most bedraggled fall garden, and good care can keep sweet root crops and cabbage cousins growing for several weeks beyond the first frost. The tips below will help you extend your vegetable season long beyond the heat of summer. The secret to having a great fall vegetable garden is getting the timing right. And that means thinking a little differently because you have to plan backward. Start with your area's average first fall frost date. Then look at the number of days to harvest for each vegetable you wish to plant. You should be able to find that number on the seed packet, in the catalog description, or in our BHG.com Plant Encyclopedia. Use that number to count back from the first frost date. Then add two weeks; many plants grow more slowly as days shorten in fall. Want an example? If your first fall frost typically occurs around October 31 and you want to grow 'French Breakfast' radishes, which mature in about 25 days, you'd plant them around September 22. (taken from Better Homes & Gardens)
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