Hi I'm Tricia a california organic gardener. When the sun flowers are in full bloom I know it's time to start thinking about planting my fall garden.
So I've cleaned out part of this bed, today my plan is to direct seed some of the fall vegetables. Some of the vegetables that are great for the fall are things like kohlrabi, beets, carrots, endive, greens, lettuces, broccoli, spinach and today I'm going to start with carrots. Some cool season crops like spinach wont germinate if the soil is too warm in fact it needs to be below seventy five degrees.
I'm planting carrots which don't mind soil temperatures up to ninety five degrees but they will be happy when it gets a bit cooler. OK, just going to cover up those little seeds you dont have to plant them deep about a quarter of an inch deep or so and we can thin later. Now i'm just gonna add a little bit of water, we're good to go. I want to plant my spinach soon so Im going to put this shade fabric over the bed to cool the soil down to the right temperatures so that the spinach will germinate.
I have this great permanent framing structure which allows me to drape my shade fabric and any other kind of season extender over and just put it across and snap it in place. To further cool the soil I'm going to water the bed generously, this soil thermometer will help me know when the soil reaches the ideal temperature for germination. If you don't have a permanent structure you can make your own structure with these wire for hoops, all you do is insert it into the bad and you can put whatever kind of shade fabric or frost protection fabric. Later on in the season you don't have to build a permanent structure your fall garden will probably need some frost protection later in the season you can use this Agribond floating row cover it comes in various weights for different levels of frost protection this can really extend your season. These clips are a great way to attach the fabric to wire hoops you can attach the Agribon or the shade fabric. The fun part is deciding what fall crops to plant and when to plant them. The first step is to figure out your first frost date, contact your local master gardeners for the frost dates in your area and then work backwards take the first frost date and subtract the varieties date to maturity then subtract about two weeks because plants grow more slowly in short autumn days, then subtract the days to germination. For example my first frost date is around November first, i want to plant beets which will take about twelve weeks from seed to plate so i'll plant them around the second week of august if that sounds like a lot of math check out our organic garden resource center for a fall garden planting calculator. So don't wait too late cause your fall seeds have to germinate. So be cool in your fall garden and grow organic for life