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Fall and Winter Gardening

fall gardeningThe days are a little shorter, Halloween candy is on the shelves at CVS, and some kids are already back in school.   Indeed, autumn is around the corner.

Autumn can be a wonderful time of year for a greenie.  Here in New England where I live, local apples are plentiful resulting in homemade cider, applesauce, pies, and apple butter.  The weather is cooler, meaning less need for air conditioning.  And while many people think that September signals the beginning of the end for gardening season in a lot of the country, it doesn't need to be the case.  In fact, fall gardening can be a great end to the year!

First, I recommend you get familiar with your USDA Hardiness Zone.  Knowing which zone you're in makes it easier to do Google searches on which things you can plant in the fall.

In most areas, broccoli, peas, cabbage, and kale will do very well in the fall and sometimes well into the winter.  Broccoli doesn't do well in warm weather, so fall is an excellent time to grow it!   Snap peas are great because not only are they tasty, but they're super easy to grow and FAST.  Peas sprout in just a few days, and you'll be harvesting in just a few weeks.

These crops thrive in temperatures between 30 and 60 degrees, so you can enjoy your harvests until the end of the year in colder areas, and for some warmer areas you might be able to grow these throughout the entire winter.

Ilona's Garden has other tips for fall gardening including planting bulbs, using fallen leaves to make compost, and preparing the ground for springtime.  

Gardening Supplies Guide also has some excellent tips, including making the best of green tomatoes, potatoes, and root veggies.  

Where do you live?  Do you garden in the fall and winter?

This was originally posted on 8/24/11.