Starting A Fall Garden

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Always Start A Fall Garden Early – As Strange As That May Sound

By the time many people start thinking about fall crops, it’s already too late. To ensure a successful fall and winter harvest, you need to start many of your late-season crops in the peak of summer. In most regions, this means planting in the heat of August to give your crops time to size up while growing conditions are still good. Some fast-growing fall crops like lettuce and radishes can be planted into late September, but many desirable fall crops like broccoli and carrots need several months of prime-growing conditions to mature before frost and low light levels set in. When in doubt, plant your fall crops a little early.

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The Common Fall Seeds

Pumpkins… How can anyone think of the Fall season and not think of pumpkins? The seeds in pumpkins can be used over and over to replant these magnificent vine vegetables.

  • Plant seeds in rows or “pumpkin hills,” which are the size of small pitcher mounds. With hills, the soil will warm more quickly and the seeds will germinate faster. This also helps with drainage and pest control.
  • Prepare the hills in advance with an abundance of old manure dug deep into the ground (12 to 15 inches). If you don’t have manure, loosen the soil and mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost
  • Plant the seeds 1 inch deep into the hills (4 to 5 seeds per hill). Space hills 4 to 8 feet apart. 
  • Your plants should germinate in less than a week with the right soil temperature (70 degrees F) and emerge in 5 to 10 days. 
  • When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones. 
  • In rows, sow seeds 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 6 to 10 feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant every 18 to 36 inches.

The Secret?

The secret to growing plentiful fall veggies is timing. That means thinking a little differently because you have to plan backward. Start with your area zone’s average frost time. Then look at the number of days to harvest for the fall vegetable you want to grow. You’ll find that number on the seed packet or in the catalog description. Use the days to harvest number to count back from the first frost date. Then add two weeks, because many fall vegetables grow more slowly as days shorten in fall.

Test Garden Tip: 

If you live in a hot-summer climate, you might need to start seeds of your favorite cool-season vegetables indoors; many do better in air-conditioning than they do in the heat. The basics of seed starting are the same in autumn as in spring: Use a high-quality seed-starting mix for best results. If you reuse the containers you used for your seeds in spring, be sure to wash them in a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water to kill any disease organisms that might be lurking about.

The fall garden is all about knowing when and knowing the area that you live in. Because sometimes summer decides to last a bit longer and that alone can damage crops. Also, knowing the circumference of one’s home is crucial, this allows a gardener to know when the sun settings. This means that if you house faces the west, the front of the house will receive evening sun (this tends to be the hottest time of day) and if your house faces east, then the front of the house will only receive morning sunlight.

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The Best Vegetables to Plant for the Fall Are:

  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli

For example when it comes to planting fall lettuce and other vegetables: (12 to 14 weeks before the first frost) –

Direct sow lettuce, radishes, and rutabagas.

Be sure to start seeds for cabbage, kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and other brassicas indoors.

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Wait! What About Watering a Fall Garden?

With cooler temperatures about to happen, watering that fall garden may be a bit different. There is no need to over water because of the summer heat. For seeds sown directly outside, be sure to keep the first inch of soil moist and remember that summer-sown vegetables may require watering twice a day. Always use a nozzle that can be adjusted via water pressure. As your plants continue to grow, keep an eye on late summer heat spells or rainstorms that may affect how much water they need day to day. Once the cooler temperatures of autumn arrive, transition to a less frequent watering schedule so the soil doesn’t become waterlogged.

The Best Time to Grow Broccoli

Since broccoli is a cool season vegetable, the fall garden is a perfect idea for this seedling. Grow broccoli so that it comes to harvest when temperatures average no more than 75°F (23°C) each day. For the best results with growing broccoli is the fall:

  • Start broccoli seed indoors 5 to 6 weeks before the last frost in spring for spring planting.
  • Start broccoli in the garden in mid to late summer to grow a late fall or early winter crop. In mild winter regions, plant in fall for winter harvest.
  • Transplant broccoli seedlings to the garden when they are 4 to 6 weeks old, as early as the last frost in spring, after hardening off the seedlings for 4 days.
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The Best Vegetable to Grow in the Fall/Winter Season?

Beets are the best veggie to grow in the fall garden. Not only will this be the easiest veggie to grow but since this is such a hardy root vegetable, even frost can not damage this beauty. Beets prefer to be grown in colder temperatures and gardeners will receive a better taste from these root vegetables if the temperature stays below 68 degrees.

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The fall garden comes down to the gardener and their research. The more an individual knows about the soil and the land they live on, the better outcome. Or try creating a mini greenhouse to monitor an exact temperature consistently for this vegetables.

Grapevines and Wine, Where Do Wine Enthusiasts Start?

Urban farming has become such a massive explosion that 1 in 3 people either know someone that’s farming from their small apartment balcony, or they themselves are an urban farmer. Nowadays on YouTube, urban farming has become the go-to step-by-step initiative to battle rising food costs. As luck would have it, vineyards are making a come back and not just as a tourist stop.

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Instead, families and groups of friends are finding ways to build their own vineyards! Wine is a huge seller right now and why wouldn’t people just jump right in, right? Suddenly in small rural areas, the winery is making a comeback and it could become a huge industry boom in 2023.

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Where does one start when it comes to opening and seeding a vineyard? First off, if you’ve come into some land or you’ve bought an acre or two, you’re in luck. Buying and owning land is the biggest step to take in this crafting wine journey. The next huge step is to think of a proper brand name to represent your vineyard along with an outlined and detailed business plan. This involves creating realistic and achievable goals that can show the progress your business ends up completing.

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The 3rd step is to know what zone you live in, that countries taxes, and even down to that state’s taxes. A business license will need to be issued before a person can sell any type of product and there are a few alcohol selling licenses that will be needed. Along with a permit. There are many protocols to go through depending on where you live when it comes to selling alcohol, distribution of alcohol, and the making of alcohol.

A word of advice before starting a vineyard, while this can be an incredibly beneficial investment, a winery takes a lot of time to mature and grow.

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Budgeting will be the gateway between saving for a null season or a mishap. If an owner is not great at sticking to a budget, they should hire an accountant that can help with this. When they say that budgeting is the be-all or nothing, this is absolutely true. Make sure this project can fit into your budget with a bit of saving leftover. Having a few hundred dollars left over is better than nothing, in case something breaks.

Hiring respected people to take care of the finical side of things is common, however, some prefer to do so on their own. It would be best to follow a general guideline from a successful winery so there are not too many bumps on your journey.

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If you do not have a budget, well that’s where funding comes in! Websites like KickStart are a great way to have a fundraiser reach the correct goal financially. Tell your family and friends to see if anyone would like to pitch in a certain amount, however, building a fanbase and spreading the word about a new winery would be a great way to go. Social media platforms look to advocate as an advertising spot, so why not advertise a new winery that needs to reach its financial goal.

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All of the above has to happen before grapevines are set into rows and fertilized. The work that goes into a winery is not an easy one by any means. Although, if it has been a lifelong passion to start a vineyard, have the determination and drive to take you to your end goal. Be there every step of the way to see that vineyard grow and become a success.

Which Plants Should You Have in Your Home

All of us have seen the collective images on Instagram or the full page layout in magazines showing people’s wondrous house plants that cover an entire room. However, what plants are beneficial and which ones should you avoid having in your house? What about the pollen count that can cause severe allergies? We will answer all of your questions in this article.

Since there are so many species and hybrid-species of plants, it’s hard to categorize all of them because some plants work well with people and others just have a bad reverse effect. We suggest having an allergy test from your doctor first and even ask them about a plant you want to buy or have already bought.

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First and foremost, pollinating plants that cause allergies will be the ones where normally everyone is allergic. However, this is a huge list of plants that can help anyone and anyone struggling with asthma.

Yet the plants that should not be in anyone’s home because they will cause extreme allergies are: Ryegrass, Paterson’s curse, Pellitory weed, Oak Trees, Elm Trees, and Birch Trees, African violets, and English Ivy.

Oleander

This beautiful flower is actually quite poisonous and is a massive pollinator that should be avoided from being in a closed living area.

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English Ivy

This plant that should stay outside instead of bringing it in can cause airborne skin irritations from the pollen it releases.

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Boston Fern

This is an in between plant because it can help some and others it can have the reverse effect.

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Indoor House Plants

Indoor house plants can add a lot of benefit for individuals depending on what they are allergic to, looking for more oxygen intake, or looking to find a positive attitude during a difficult time. For instance, an individual who may have asthma can benefit from these plants: Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Aloe Vera, Chrysanthemum, and Gerbera Daisy.

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Peace Lily

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Snake Plant

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Chrysanthemum

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The benefit that indoor house plants can have an anyone is astounding and interesting. Not only can someone’s health improve, but because of the extra oxygen in the room can allow someone to breathe better and fuller. Plants can also allow the mind to start concentrating better because of the plants that give off a calm sense. When you think about it, how to people react nowadays when they buy a new plant? They are excited yet calm, they have found a great way to prevent illness and difficult breathing episodes. More importantly, house plants can help reduce stress for individuals that either live a stressful work life, or a stressful private life.

Plant sales went up when remote working began and it makes sense why; while a home can provide circulated air… plants allow fresh air to ruminate around the house. The real reason to buy and populate your house with friendly plants is that they create a wholesome hobby where an individual who struggles with addiction or poor concentration can adapt a better mindset by caring for plants.

Another additive to think about while choosing a new house plant, check to see what species help with curing an illness quicker. Some species of plants help to reduce illness two times faster than the human body can be fighting the illness off.

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A big tip to control a pollinating plant if you already have one is to watch how much you water the plant. Over-watering can cause the plant to over pollinate and produce an irritating environment.

Typically, the plants we see growing as a vine and trees should never be placed inside a home. They are considered a bit invasive and will try to grow over everything. Like how Pumpkin vines take over a whole area and will stop other plants from growing.

We ask anyone that is new to plant owning or has already become a pro to check each species and read up on what they are capable of producing. Some plants will choose to only pollinate in a certain climate, environment, full sun or not just based on the specific temperature they grow in naturally. For instance, tropical flowers need humidity because dry heat they will cease to stop growing and shrivel.

Check what zone each plant is from also, this is a huge help in determining if a plant is suitable for in-home living. By checking this bit of information and having a start on what plants aid in better air quality versus which ones can cause horrific pollinating air pollution, each plant owner will be happier, healthy, and finding that their focus has gradually increased for the better.

Keeping Pests Away From Your Garden

Pests can be pesky little tomato worms or small animals, however, this is a beautifully humane way to allow every type of animal around your garden. Because ultimately any pollinators are welcomed and little animals should be too. The biggest warning is to never use pesticides… ever. Pesticides have been a leading cause in cancer in small children and adults that have been exposed to it. For example: RoundUp has been taken off the shelves in many stores because of the effect they have on humans who have developed cancer or disease from it. Just do not use pesticides around your home at all.

We will give you examples and ways to utilize nature’s ability to protect your vegetable garden or flowers from everyday pests.

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Here are a few organic/natural pesticides that you can use around your garden area:

Salt Spray

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By sprinkling some everyday salt into your watering can or a spray bottle, shake, and then begin spraying your mixture. That’s right! Salt spray is just salt and water mixed together; the barrier that forms allows plants to actually enhance their nutritional intake. Botanist found out that spraying salt water on plants allows the leafy greens to soak up magnesium more than just with regular water.

Eucalyptus Oil

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That’s right, eucalyptus can be used for pretty much everything. From medical, to tea, and now as an organic pesticide. But how does eucalyptus oil keep away bugs and larger pests? The strong smell actually pushes away an animal or insect from eating on the plant. You have to spray your plants very regularly to begin to see how pests do not touch the plant at all.

Garlic & Onion Spray

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The garlic and onion needs a bit of a recipe to create the perfect organic spray to keep any large or small animal away. Plus, garlic and onion are safe around your own pets and to help keep them away from messing up your garden. Now for the ingredients, take one small clove of garlic, a medium – normal size onion, peel both the garlic and the onion. Put them in a enclosed bowl or a bottle, let them soak with water for 24-48 hours. At the 12 hour mark add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mix and shake. Then you can add a small pinch of dish soap to the mix. Spray this mixture on your plants and you can ensure no plant will be a victim to any pests.

Check Your Plants Every Morning & Evening

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By checking your garden every morning and evening, this allows for the hard work of an organic pest cleaning to happen. For instance, green tomato worms love hot heat or early morning heat. Go out with garden gloves and a small spade to pull the worms off of the tomato plants and place them on your garden spade. Then move them from away from your garden. This is considered the “old school” way of organic cleaning your plants.

The Biggest Pet Peeve Is Having Plants That Attract Even More Pests

Sometimes extra plants can be the culprit for bringing in more pests. This is a list of plants that you may want to avoid planting around or in your garden: Catnip, Goldenrod, Dill, Dahlia, Oregano, Cilantro, Fennel, and Roses. However, the good pollinators love Dill, Oregano, Cilantro, and Fennel. Roses tend to attract Japanese Beetles (these beetles have a green shine to their skeletal body and they will look as if 50 are on one plant). Sadly, while rose bushes are gorgeous they attract many many pests that are the “bad pollinators,” such as ticks, flies, and pretty much every beetle that will infiltrate your garden. If you want a rose bush its best to plant these away from your home and further away from your garden area.

The Difference Between Over Watering and Not Watering Your Garden Enough

The biggest way to mess up a garden is by either over watering or not watering enough, the biggest obstacle is finding that in-between satisfaction place for your plant. It’s this simple process of going out every morning to water your flowers or vegetable plants that things can become tricky. What do you do after it’s rained for 3 days, how long do you wait to water your plants again?

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Now as a first-time gardener, watering your plants will be a wait-and-see game. There is no need to panic, all you have to do is keep an eye out for the topsoil, does it seem overly dried and cracked? Or is it muddy and mushy to the touch? This physical altercation can tell you everything about when to water and when to wait another day. Because what happens to your plants if you over water? The leaves will start to have a yellowish tint and become lifeless causing the leaf to actually look sick-looking.

For an overly dry plant, this means the root system is receiving no water and causes the plant to shrivel and dry out like below:

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Typically the only reason your plants should be crunchy dry is to utilize as herbs or as decor. But also under watering can cause this crazy drying effect. Now over watering, the leaves will always wilt. This wilting stage can be reversed but only it you leave the plant to dry completely. If not, then the plant can not be saved. This also refers to if you live in a flood zone or a heavy rain area, always check the plant species to see if they can handle that quantity or water.

The plants that do the best with flood zones and standing water are: Water hyssop, Pickerelweed, Cattail, Iris, Canna, Elephant’s ear, Swamp sunflower, and Scarlet swamp hibiscus.

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But what plants can take the heat and less water? That’s an excellent question, there are is a great selection of flowers that need very little water. This collection of flowers love low water areas and dry heat: Mexican feather grass, Cape blanco, Angelina, Lavendula multifada, Sempervivum, Rock rose, Agastache rugosa, New Zealand iris, Verbena, and Penstemon.

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If you’ve noticed the richer the colors the more likely they can take a lot of heat and less watering. The lighter tones involved with plants that require heavy watering shows this clear distinction between flower species. Always check the species of your plant and do a little research before planting, always check your zone climate. Because if you plant a hot heat plant in a cool climate, it will not fair well at all and will die off quickly.

A great way to search for exotic plant species is by determining which ones can handle tropical heat or tropical rain, this is so you can plant a tropical plant in your garden that can survive in your planting zone. Oddly, enough, most tropical plants fair very well in the Midwest of the United States. This is because of the heat and humidity presented in the heartland of America.

But a caution warning, do not plant an invasive plant species that will kill off your garden. This is not only bad for your garden but with pollen being carried from insects to different areas around your living territory, that invasion species can become uncontrollable.

So what are the 3 rules to watering?

Check the top soil to see if it’s cracked or soft

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Check the leaves to see if they have wilted or have become crunchy – they should not be either option

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Do not plant an invasive species

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Be sure to read all of the instructions given on the plant tab when you’ve bought the item and check your garden every morning for pests and soil cracking.