September 26, 2012
Many gardeners leave seed sowing to the spring and late summer. However, fall is a prime time for planting your spring garden and should not be overlooked. If you plan on planting your fall leafy greens (such as spinach and kale) consider also planting your spring garden and your lawn at this time as well.
There are a number of advantages to planting your spring garden in the fall as opposed to the spring. Here are a few reasons you may want to consider making fall your prime planting time.
It’s the Way Nature Does It
When left alone, nature does its spring garden planting in the fall. Wildflowers will bloom in the spring and ripen all the way through summer and into early fall. At this point the seeds fall to the ground and plant themselves, and are sown during the cooler season. Why not do it as nature does?
Spring gardens planted in the fall have less weeds. Weeds are starting to die off in the fall, whereas in the spring they begin thriving. This means that when you sow the soil in the fall, you’re tilling up all the remaining weed seeds. Since the weeds have already bloomed out, there will be no seeds remaining to get dropped by wildlife into your new garden area. Now, when springtime comes – your weed control will be much easier.
The most obvious advantage to planting in the fall is earlier blooming. In fact, seeds planted in the fall can bloom up to 2 weeks earlier than their spring planted counterparts.
Will My Seeds Die?
No your seeds will not die in the winter. The seeds settle into the ground and stay protected during the harsh winter months. In fact, this settling period is what helps prepare the seeds for earlier blooming once spring arrives.
If you are ready to give fall planting a shot it is really very simple. The weather will be nice outside (nicer than late summer planting) and provide a great environment to let the kids get involved. Just follow these steps:
- Clear the area of any existing growth. You can remove old growth by turning a shovel or using a till. Be sure not to till too deeply though. This can just bring up unwanted plant and weed seeds. Instead, just till the top surface enough to remove unwanted weeds, plants, and growth.
- Throw your seeds on the ground and compress them lightly. DO NOT BURY THE SEEDS. Simply mix the seeds you wish to plant in a bucket and evenly spread them on the ground. Then you can walk over the seeds with your feet and compress them into the soil. That is all you need to do. The seeds will then take care of themselves.
- Dropping the seeds on the soil and allowing them to settle naturally is the way nature does it. It makes the planting experience very easy, and you’ll have a beautiful garden come spring.
Do you plant your spring garden in the fall?