It’s official! It’s fall, and today feels like it here in Georgia. The temperature is 66 degrees and I am loving it. We had such a hot, humid summer, I thought I wouldn’t be ready to even say the word garden until next spring. But…here I am writing about how to plan a fall garden. We built new raised beds this spring, and I recently cleaned them out and renewed them with additional topsoil, sand, and compost. The perfect soil for a raised bed is 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 coarse builders sand, and 1/3 compost or composted manure. So I just added extra in to fill up the bed and mixed it all in. These were the beds this spring when we were just starting to plant.
I have a confession. In all my 30+ years of gardening, I have never planted a fall garden. I always thought spring and summer were the gardening seasons, but this year I have decided to plan a fall garden. It’s actually the perfect time with cooler less humid weather.
First things first. I can’t tell you what and when to plant. I don’t know where you live! But there is an easy way to determine this. Traditionally, we have been told to find out what garden zone we live in. But we aren’t going to do that. Garden zones encompass large areas that may not fit exactly where we live.
Steps to Plan Your Fall Garden
- Google “Average monthly temperatures in (insert your city) Look at the months of September, October, November, December. Write those down.
This is what I found when I looked at Chickamauga, Georgia where I live.
September High 85 Low 59
October High 75 Low 47
November High 64 Low 36
December High 54 Low 31
- Determine what season I am in with these temperatures.
Warm Average High Temp between 65 and 85 degrees with no chance of frost
Hot Average High Temp above 85 degrees and no chance of frost
Cool Average High Temp between 35 degrees and 65 degrees and possbile chance of frost
Cold Average Temp below freezing and guaranteed chance of frost or snow
As you can see I am in the cool season.
- What can I plant in the cool season?
Garlic, onions, chives
Beets, Swiss Chard, Spinach
Lettuces such as romaine buttercrunch
Carrots, dill, cilantro, parsley and fennel
Arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi
Sugar snap peas, sweet peas, fava beans
Herbs such as oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
If you are still in the warm season, consider the above vegetables, but add cucumbers, squash, zucchini, bush and pole beans, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Herbs to consider include basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme.
For those in areas such as southern Florida, and are experiencing the hot season, sweet potatoes, crowder peas, corn, okra, tomatillos, peppers, and eggplants are ready to be planted.
Whatever season you are in this fall, it’s a good time to plant a fall garden.