Schlafly Gardenworks Gardener, Ally shared her favorite fall crops and tips for planting before the weather gets too cold.
1. Fall is a great time to get your beds amended and shaped up for next year’s growing season. Add a generous layer of compost to the top of your garden beds and gently work into soil. Reshape the bed and don’t forget to lay mulch down. This will keep the soil moist and aid in the soil’s microorganism health.
2. If you want your hearty fall greens to grow past first frost there is a way to extend the season. Using row cover fabric is my favorite method because it allows rain to get in and the plants to breath while maintaining a light greenhouse effect. Secure a metal or plastic hoop width wise across the bed and repeat every 3 to 4 feet for the length of the bed. Stretch row cover fabric down the bed lengthwise and secure with heavy bricks. This should extend the season for several more weeks.
3. Cover cropping is a great way to add nutrients to the soil while improving soil composition and preventing erosion. A few great choices for cover crops are oats, annual rye, and field peas. They will dye off in the winter and you get all the benefits from cover cropping without having the cover crop regrow in spring. Plant in late summer to early fall.