In Louisiana, we have plenty of great fall gardening opportunities that you can take advantage of to put fresh vegetables on your table.
But, there are some things you need to know before you start planting your garden. In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to plant a prosperous fall vegetable garden.
Let’s dig right in (see what we did there?):
Choose the Right Crops to Ensure Maximum Production
Timing is key when choosing fall crops.
Being that we’re in September, the best crops to plant are root crops such as:
- Brussel sprouts
As October approaches, you can begin to seed late root crops such as:
- Loose-head lettuce
- Chinese Cabbage
Soon, we’ll begin to see the breaking point in the fall season. Northern fronts will cause previously warm summer and fall nights to cool down. The time to plant is now—or very soon. Not doing so could mean minimal to no crop production.
It’s currently a great time to plant lettuce—the early fall months are far too hot to produce. The best approach you can take to grow lettuce is to find warm soil and plant seeds in rows. Also, you must make sure to put out a special effort in regards to irrigation—lettuce seeds are very delicate. Make note that night watering might be necessary. This brings us to our next topic: fall soil moisture.
Pay Attention to Soil Moisture so You’re Not Limited by Hot and Dry Conditions
It’s no secret that Louisiana summers linger on well into the fall months. As a vegetable gardener, it’s important that you take note of extended hot and dry weather spells and make sure they don’t limit you. Pay close attention to soil moisture levels. It’s always a great idea to plant seeds a little deeper than usual. In addition, an organic mulch can be used to conserve moisture and shade the soil.
Rotate Your Crops to Increase Soil Fertility and Crop Yield
Soil fertility is one of the most important factors in yielding any type of crop. The best way to make sure your soil is as fertile as possible is by using excellent crop rotation—throughout the year. Soil pests can cause nightmares in regards to soil fertility. Ensure they don’t do this by always rotating heavy feeders with light feeders (and vice versa). In addition, fertilizer can always be used for maximum results.
Use Three Natural Methods to Control Pesky Insects
Insects love the fall. By the time you plant your crops, several generations will be born—which leads to tremendous insect pressure. This can be a challenge, but you need not worry. By using three natural methods, you can control pesky insects that can cause potential harm to your garden. The methods are:
- Handpicking insects *especially caterpillars
- Removing insect infested plants, and pest refuges such as dead fruit and fallen leaves
- Use non-toxic sprays or traps created specifically and only for insects
These methods take a little extra work, but they’re effective. Not doing them could lead to problems for your garden.
A fall vegetable garden is a great way to put fresh food on the table. Planting and maintaining your garden can be a lot of fun—especially when it’s done correctly. By choosing the right crops, paying attention to soil moisture, increasing soil fertility, and controlling insects, you’ll have tremendous results that you can be proud of.
If you have any questions or would like any help implementing your fall garden, please contact us today!
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