Aug 062012
Starting The Fall Garden From Seed

It’s time to start thinking fall garden if you haven’t already!  It may seem too hot, too dry or too much like August where you are but over the next few weeks we need to get our seeds started and growing.

When to Start Seeds for a Fall Vegetable Garden?

The tricky thinking about starting a vegetable garden in the fall is getting the plants started from seed.  Anyone can buy transplants and get them growing at the right time but it takes a little extra effort to get them started from seed.  That being said I believe that this is something anyone can do too!  You need to know two dates:  your first frost date and the time to maturity.  When you get your seed packet look up the time to maturity or time to harvest on the packet.  Then add a few weeks to the time to allow yourself some harvest time.  Subtract the time from the first frost date and you will come up with the date you need to start your seeds.  If you’re off by a week or two don’t worry about it.  Usually the first frost doesn’t slow down fall plants like spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, bak choi, and many others very much.  These vegetables tend to be fairly frost tolerant and will continue growing through several frosts.  Once your vegetables go dormant they can make it through our mild winters easily then begin actively growing again in the spring!

How to Start Seeds for a Fall Vegetable Garden

One challenge to starting fall vegetables is to simply getting the seeds started.  Most fall vegetables enjoy temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s for ideal germination which is very tricky if you live in Tennessee during August! You have a couple options though to get your seeds going.  First consider starting them indoors then hardening them off as they grow their first sets of true leaves.  A second method is to shade the seeds on a covered porch or outdoors with some shade cloth.  The important thing is to keep the soil cool and moist.  If you can keep the soil cool and moist then you should have no problem growing your fall vegetables from seed!

A Seed Starting Tip:
Sow your seeds appropriately!  Very small seeds need light to germinate so do not cover them with soil.  Just sprinkle them over the soil surface and keep the soil moist.  If you follow the directions on the package you should be just fine! Follow this link if you would like to take a peek at a simple layout for a fall vegetable garden.

Dave

Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.


Reader Comments

  1. Thanks, Dave. I got my seeds out, put all the info into an excel spreadsheet and will start planting some of the seeds indoors tonight. Got to dust off the grow light! Helen

  2. I am afraid to start anything with the weather we have been experiencing. I just received a seed starting sheet from Renees and I am barely keeping what I have alive.

    Eileen

  3. I grew some golden chard this year, which is looking great, and is the one thing to have evaded the marauding armies of slugs…but I picked some for the first time a couple of days ago and it tasted VERY bitter – even with copious amounts of olive oil, butter and salt it had an unpleasant tang. I've had chard plenty of times before and not had this problem – could the bitterness have been made worse by the weather conditions this year Delhi Flowers

  4. I love that Flowers has integrated our natural world into our technological world. In my own opinion, it is this kind of imagination and creativity that will help create an environment that embraces both elements to build a more harmonious world.Bhubaneswar Flowers

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