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).
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.
In heavy winter areas, that means from late September or October up until the ground freezes. (If you don't have much frost in your area, you should plant just before your rainiest season begins.
Starting vegetable seeds indoors or in covered containers outdoors in the shade is the best way to get new plants to germinate in the dry, hot weather. Once they have established a healthy root system and two to three sets of leaves, they can be moved outdoors.
It can take from two to four weeks for grasses to grow in October, especially if it is a warm-season grass. Cool-season grasses can still germinate and take root in the cooler temperatures of late fall, though you might not see their full potential until spring.
For many garden plants in fact, a soil temperature below 50°F can be a problem. With temperatures in the 40s, seeds will readily absorb water, but not start to grow.
Most seeds need to take up water to germinate; this is known as imbibition GLOSSARY imbibitionthe taking up of liquid, causing swelling. . Water: hydrates enzymes in the seed, activating them. As a result the seed begins to release energy from its food store for growth.
Very little soil is actually needed to cover the seeds, typically about ¼- inch, so simple raking will do the trick. If the seeds are not properly protected by existing grass or a thin layer of topsoil, they may dry before germination or be washed away by rain.
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.
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.
Rare Seeds can also be obtained by using the Seed Maker. Despite the description stating that this seed "takes all season to grow", it takes only 24 days. If using Speed-Gro or Deluxe Speed-Gro, the player has up to Day 7 of Fall to plant this seed, and it will be harvestable before Winter.
Planting in September
Plant now beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fava beans, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, both head and leaf lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips.
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 you start seeds too early, your plants can become large and overgrown well before it's time to transplant outdoors. And if you start your seeds too late? Unfortunately, they may not get large enough to transplant outdoors when the time comes.
For seeds to germinate, you need to keep the growing soil damp but not too wet. Learning how to water seedlings is pivotal for success. Many seed starters cover the container to keep soil moist until seeds germinate. Once seeds sprout, do not miss a watering.
Almost all seeds can be pre-soaked, but it is large seeds, seeds with thick coats and wrinkled seeds that will benefit most. Small seeds benefit less and are difficult to handle when wet. Examples of seeds that benefit from soaking include peas, beets, cucumber, corn, squash, pumpkin and beans.
Apply starter fertilizer only once you've lightly raked your soil and before you sow your grass seed. Once your grass has seeded, the next round should be a regular fertilizer application – this round should only occur four to eight weeks after the first, starter application.
Whether you're new to gardening, or a seasoned pro, building better soil is the single most important thing you can do to improve your gardening success. And fall is the best time to do it! To learn more, read Building Healthy Soil.
Fall is a good time for developing tomatoes because the cooler temperatures allow for better fruit set and insect problems diminish. Mid-July to the end of August is the ideal time to plant. When choosing your fall tomatoes, make sure you know if you're selecting a Determinate or Indeterminate type.
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.