In order to ensure your fall garden matures before the first frost, get it started in mid-summer (typically late July to early August, depending on your hardiness zone).
In most cases, seeds that are sown in autumn will sprout up earlier than spring planted ones, giving your garden a head start. And for those seeds that require cold stratification, this will happen naturally, removing the need to place seeds in the freezer or refrigerator.
When it's October, people often wonder if it is too late to plant new seed. The good news is if you hurry, seed can still be planted in October with the hope that it will survive the upcoming winter. Although September is the best time, often we can still plant grass seed up to October 15 with good results.
While you can plant a late planting to the first frost date, it's always best to allow as much growing time as possible. If you missed the spring planting, then calculate which vegetables you can grow now and still have a harvest before the first frost.
Sunflowers are generally planted in spring or early summer for late summer and fall blooming. However, if you live in a warmer climate, you can get a second planting in for mid and late fall flowers. Late season sunflowers may grow a little shorter or produce fewer flowers because there will be fewer daylight hours.
Fall is a perfect time to sow wildflower seeds. This timing follows the same approach as Mother Nature: wildflowers naturally drop their seeds in fall to take advantage of the freezing, thawing, and/or extra moisture that winter delivers. This weather helps to crack open their hard, outer seed cases.
Watering Thoroughly, but Not Too Much
Once the seeds have been properly sown and lightly incorporated into the existing soil, water the area thoroughly and leave until next spring. By this time of year, our cool to cold temperatures and short days will help keep the areas moist far longer than in summer.
Fall is the best time. The autumn season comes with a mix of warm soil and cool air, perfect for planting grass seed and allowing time for new grass roots to develop before winter sets in. It is also a good time to fertilize to build stronger, deeper roots for winter, resulting in a thicker, greener lawn next spring.
Plant your fall vegetables so that the crops you choose have time to reach maturity before the first frost in your area. Find your first frost date, then count backward based on days to maturity for each type of veggie you want to grow. That's your ideal planting date.
Most Valuable Fall Crop: Sweet Gem Berry
The sweet gem berry grows during fall and is technically the most profitable crop in Stardew Valley. It grows from rare seeds purchased from the Traveling Cart, usually costing between 600-1,000g.
You can sow seeds for winter vegetable crops, like salad greens, radishes, carrots, onions, Swiss chard, English peas and kale. Look for transplants of other cool-season vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Herb transplants also appear in garden centers during winter.
The allelopathic characteristics of sunflowers are toxic to some plants, potatoes being one of them. This process inhibits germination and can stunt the growth of potatoes. They also compete for nutrients in the soil. Potatoes should be planted well away from sunflowers to avoid them affecting one another.
Many flowers carry the name “sunflower” that are, in fact, completely different species of plants. Some sunflowers are annual and survive only one season, and others are perennials that will return every year. All perennial and annual sunflowers produce brilliant flowers that are a highlight of any late-summer garden.
So how late can you plant sunflower seeds? With varieties that only require a 50-60 day growing season, you should be able to plant sunflowers as late as July for fall flowers. If you live in a warm climate where the first frost comes well into late fall, you can plant sunflowers even later in the season.
Planting too deep (or not deep enough).
Small seeds such as basil, onions, and carrots should only be covered very lightly with soil or vermiculite. That's because these little specks of seeds don't have the energy within them to push through a lot of soil when they germinate.
Spread the seeds on newspapers, in a cardboard box, or in an old telephone directory, and allow them to dry between one and three weeks. Often seeds need to be separated from the chaff (the seed casings and debris).
Yes! Even seeds that are thousands of years old can germinate. But proper pre-treatment is essential, and the older the seed, the less energy it has left in storage.
While planting grass seed in November is too late to make the fall growing season, there is a method called dormant seeding. Through dormant seeding, grass seed can be planted in November when the weather is cold enough to keep it dormant until the weather warms up in the spring.
If the daytime temperature is below 60°F then soil temperature is below 50°F, making it too cold; if there is frost or still a danger of frost, then it's too cold. If it's too cold, the grass seeds will likely rot.
Reinvigorate Your Lawn
By spreading grass seed over your existing lawn, you can thicken up the thin areas, and your lawn will start to look terrific again.