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Fall Vegetable Gardening

By: Rachel Elmakiss

It’s September and fall is right around the corner! Cooler weather, gorgeous fall colors, and of course, tasty fall veggies. It’s time to start planning out your fall vegetable garden! We’ve gathered some useful tips that can help you get started with what to plant and when, but sources such as the Farmer’s Almanac and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Extension Service are also helpful sources to keep in mind.

First of all – What can you plant in the Fall? – Cool Weather Crops:

• Root Vegetables – Beets, Carrots, Kohlrabi, and Turnips
• Leafy Greens – Spinach, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Bok Choy, and Mustard
• Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Kale
• Peas (Directly sow seeds into the ground; most peas don’t transplant well)

Starting Fall veggies from seed in the ground:

• Check Planting Calendars for Arkansas Frost Dates (the dates below are recommended by the Farmer’s Almanac for Little Rock)
• Start Peas by September 3rd
• Start Carrots and Kohlrabi by the 18th
• Start Beets by the 23rd
• Start Lettuce, Swiss Chard, and Turnips by the 28th
• Start Arugula, Radishes, and Spinach before October

For Fall Seedlings or Starter Plants:

• Plant 6-8 weeks before the first frost (for Little Rock, this is usually around the first week of November)
• Mid-September, when temperatures start to drop, is usually a good time to start planting your fall veggies

Complementary Plants:

• Marigolds also make great companion plants for fall veggies. These beautiful flowers will not only add a splash of fall color to your garden but will also protect your crop! They help to deter aphids, cabbage maggots, nematodes, and certain types of beetles, and may even keep away pesky rabbits. Remember to place your marigolds with enough space for your vegetables so that your garden doesn’t get overcrowded (at least 10 inches apart).

Gardening Tip Reminder:

• Don’t forget to keep your veggies well watered (mulching your garden will help with this), and to fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once every 3-4 weeks.

Hopefully, this helps kick-start your fall garden. We can’t wait to hear how they turn out! Don’t forget to revisit our April blog as well for more general tips on starting a vegetable garden. We are always happy to help at Cantrell Gardens. For more tips, call us today or stop by in person! Happy Planting!!

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