Food Agriculture & Nutrition Network of Solano County
Written by Shannon Sweeney, Solano County Calfresh Healthy Living Intern
Were you late to planting your garden this year? Or do not know where to start? There are plenty of option to plant at the end of summer or start of fall, no matter the space you have. In Solano County we are blessed to be in hardiness Zone 9, with one of the longest growing ranges in the United States, from the end of February to December. Hardiness zones are determined by the last frost of spring and the first frost of winter. Even if you do not have a lot of space there is plenty of options of what to grow for an end of summer or fall harvest.
Even if you do not have a place to garden outside, there are many options for Indoor gardening this fall. The methods and media for indoor gardening vary from the outdoor gardening. Often the best option indoors is to grow plants without soil relying on water and nutrients. This is because soil is heavy, messy, and can attract pests. The nutrients or fertilizers needed can be found at hydroponics stores. When gardening indoors ensure that your plants still have a drainage system. One of the best year-round options for indoor gardening is growing herbs. Herbs grow well indoors because they have a high crop value, will often only need water and are small plants. Rosemary, Basil, Mint, Dill, and parsley are great herbs to grow in the fall. Another option for indoor or apartment gardening is salad greens. Salad Greens are less sensitive than other plants to temperature and sunlight.
Try this Basil Zucchini Soup Recipe!
Balcony or Small Yard
If you do have a small outdoor space with some sunlight this fall there are plenty of option of what to grow. Hanging planters and window boxes are useful to expand your gardening space. When planting on a balcony you must be considerate of wing conditions and access to sunlight. Depending on your space, wind tolerant plants, like rosemary, might be necessary. If your space lacks sunlight, leafy greens are a great option as well. Root vegetables are a great option for the fall growing season. They like lots of sunlight and cooler temperatures. Although they require depth, they are flexible and mature quickly. Carrots require at least 6 inches of depth and can easily be planted in a deep pot or planter.
Try this Glazed Carrots Recipe!
Backyard or Garden Plot
If you have access to a larger outdoor space for gardening some of the best options include winter root vegetables, leafy greens and vegetables from the brassica family. Both Cabbage and Cauliflower belong to the Brassica family. Cauliflower can handle a mild frost and tends to grow better in the fall than in the spring. Cabbage can take three to four months to mature and can handle a lost frost as well. Both prefer full sun. Beets thrive in cooler temperatures and take 55 to 70 days to mature. Collards greens although they are called greens, they are a part of the brassica family. Collards grow best in the late summer to early fall. Mustard Greens grow best in the fall and spring. They require 2 inches of water per week and should be harvested when they are still young and tender.
Try this Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower) Recipe!