Fall Veggie Prep

These are the tools I used to get my vegetable garden ready for fall planting.

These are the tools I use to get my vegetable garden ready for fall planting.

Morning temperature are cooling, and that means it’s time to get the fall vegetable garden ready to plant. First and foremost remove all the dead plants, leaves, and other organic debris from the space you are going to prepare. I don’t even move this material to my compost bin, but rather discard it or place it in an out of the way place to decompose. Once that is done, it is time to prepare the soil. I have a “wimpy” tiller that does just fine for me. After tilling the space several times, I layout the planting space. This year I am doing rows, so I rake the space level, then use my turning fork to loosen the soil in the space where I am putting the row. Once this is done, I till it again. Now it is time to form the rows, which I do with a rake by pulling the soil to the center of the tilled space. Once the soil is mounded and the row is formed, I like to level it off with the back of the rake, and that becomes the seeding space or the planting space for transplants. I think it is fine to sow seeds now if you can water them, but I am going to wait a bit in putting out any transplants, until we get a good soaking rain. I generally seed kale, turnips, mustard, lettuce, radishes, and spinach. I use transplants to grow collards, broccoli, and cabbage.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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