Tips and a Guide to Fall Vegetable Gardening

Have you considered extending your summer vegetable garden into the fall season where many vegetables grow very well due to the cool temperatures? If your answer is yes—now is the time to begin planning and preparing your garden site for fall vegetable production.

Although the autumn equinox doesn’t officially begin until September 22nd, gardeners can now start planting vegetables either by direct seeding or by using transplants. Depending on your specific location, you may need to adjust the planting dates. Fall vegetable gardens can be planted in raised beds, in containers, and by using the traditional method of furrow rows.

As you begin the planning process for your fall garden, be mindful of the average killing frost date in the fall. In Mississippi, the first killing frost may not cause a problem for fall vegetable production due to the mild temperatures we have experienced in recent years. However, it is recommended for gardeners to determine the average killing frost date on the calendar. Then count backwards from the frost date, using the number of days to plant maturity to determine the best time to plant seeds in your region.

The success of your fall vegetable garden will depend on several key production practices, such as:

1). adequate soil moisture especially during the planting phase and after planting to ensure consistent germination of the seeds, 2). proper soil pH for fertility—many fall maturing vegetables benefit from side dressing with nitrogen just as spring maturing vegetables, and 3). insect and disease control which is vital for the garden. Strive to keep fall vegetables healthy and actively growing because healthy plants are less susceptible to insects and diseases.

For more information on fall vegetable production, contact Gerald Jones, director of County Operations, Claiborne County Extension Office, 601.437.5011 or gwjones@alcorn.edu.

Gardening is a fun activity that everyone can enjoy. To learn more about fall vegetable varieties, crop spacing, planting depth and days to maturity. To view the suggested fall vegetable planting guide, click on the link below.

Planting Guide