'Vegetables in the Wintertime'
If you live in a southern state, you know the intense heat of the summer months can overwhelm some types of vegetables. You notice that your lima beans, eggplant and hot peppers are flourishing in your summer garden, while your spinach and lettuce are withering away under the sun.
Good news! The warm fall and winter temperatures in the south make it easy to create a flourishing vegetable garden late into the year. This week, I have some helpful tips for creating a fall and winter vegetable garden if you reside in a southern state.
What to Plant in the Fall and Winter
In your fall/winter vegetable garden be sure to reserve space for carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, English peas, radishes, beets, and spinach. These are all cool season vegetables containing vitamins A and C along with lots of other nutrients.
When to Plant
When you plant your vegetables depends upon the first frost date in your area. As an example, if you live in Decatur, Georgia you can plant your beans, carrots, Brussels sprouts and broccoli in late August. You can begin to harvest them in October. Just imagine yourself harvesting carrots from your Georgia garden in December! Or, if you live in Florida, there many types of vegetables to plant in October that you can enjoy in the wintertime. Planting at the right time in your southern state can help you make a success of your fall/winter garden.
Tips for Maintaining a Fall/Winter Garden in the South
Though the weather is cooler in the fall and winter, your garden still needs water. If you don't get two or three inches of rain in a week, be sure to water your garden to keep it in good health. Remember, it's best to water your garden in the morning so the water can soak into the roots of your vegetables.
Choose an Area with Lots of Sunlight
Be sure to put your garden in an area of your yard that receives the most sunlight during the day. You want to give all of your vegetables at least six hours of full sunlight so they can start to develop strong roots before the first frost arrives.
Organize Your Garden with Labels
Maybe you have a collection of labels for your spring garden. Perhaps you have colorful signs for your tomatoes, eggplants, hot peppers and more. Why not make some special labels for your fall/winter garden? I suggest getting your kids or grandkids in on the project by asking them to color your labels and attach each one to a small post, so you can stick them in your garden soil.
Check Your Soil
Set up your fall/winter garden for success by testing the soil before planting. You can get a testing kit at your local home and garden store. You may find that you need to mix some mulch or fertilizer into the soil so it's in tip-top shape for your veggies.
The Benefits of Creating a Fall/Winter Garden
- Fewer insects will invade your garden during this non-traditional gardening time.
- Enjoy reduced weed growth in your garden.
- You get the chance to eat delicious, homegrown vegetables during the cooler months of the year.
When it comes to growing vegetables in the fall and winter, living in a southern state has its advantages. So, give it a try and thanks for reading. - Alan