This is my first year ever planning a fall garden. Being that I am a relatively new gardener, I am still in the learning and experimenting phase of my journey to self-sufficiency. Each year I try something new while refining what I have learned from my previous "experiments."
For instance, this was the first year I successfully grew peas! I have been trying for years and years and I finally figured out that I had been planting them too late in year. This is why they kept wilting under our summer sun. And even though I managed a successful crop this year, I still learned that I have more to learn about growing peas.It's such a fun process, knowing that I will never stop learning and growing and refining my gardening practices!
This year, I plan to try my hand at gardening in the fall. I currently live in Georgia, which is in the Southeast of the United States. We have a long hot, humid summer and relatively short bursts of spring and fall with a mild winter most years. I am in zone 8a which gives me loads of options for things to grow throughout the year!
As I was researching what I could plant for my zone for the fall season, I kept coming across more and more articles stating that many of the spring time veggies I love actually tend to do better when grown in the fall in the South. This was such exciting news as I felt that in the Spring, I was rushing against the clock at both ends: The super cold weeks leading up to spring where none of my seeds wanted to germinate followed by the hot summer days encroaching just around the bend. Learning that I may be able to grow more of my favorite varieties without so much pressure in the fall got me super excited to get started!
Because we are also getting married at our home this fall, it seemed the perfect time to try some of these plants out, if only to fill in our newly renovated front yard garden! There is simply so much space for me to try lots and lots of things, it felt almost overwhelming when I sat down to map it all out.
But map it out I did. Would you like to see my plans?
The back garden was the easiest to plan out since everything is in a grid. I tried to take into account things I had grown in the beds prior (so as to adhere to crop rotation which helps discourage pests and diseases), where the sun would be shining most throughout the day, and what plants play nicely with others. I had three or four pages going all at once while I tried planning this out.
It did take me quite a few days to think through where everything would go as well as how much of each plant I should attempt to grow based on what Arlen and I tend to eat on the daily. I also tried to take into account what all I hoped to store by freezing, canning, or preserving in some other way. It was enough to make my head spin for sure!
However, I got it all mapped out in my Get to Work Book (this is not an affiliate link) on one of the gridded project pages (Love these!) and took as many notes as I could in my favorite mini notebook.
Since then, I have been slowly planting seeds as I can and as suggested by the research I conducted for my growing zone. So far I have planted:
- Bok Choy
- Butterhead Lettuce
- Merlot Lettuce
- Onions (White creole + Purple + Bunching)
I know that seems like a lot! Probably because... it totally is! I am definitely one of those gardeners who kind of throws as much as I can against the wall to see what sticks. Last year, that meant literally throwing a bunch of seeds all over the garden and seeing what grew. A lot didn't come to fruition, but then again, a lot grew beautifully! It's all a game of numbers at this point, but I am slowly finding my way and whittling down to what works for my garden.
Now I just need to turn my attention to the front garden plans. Those are a bit haphazard as we have a lot more random flowers and a battle with the old grass that I just seem to keep losing. I have a rough idea of how I *hope* to lay out the front yard, but we will see!
Who else is trying a fall garden this year? What sorts of things are you most excited about growing? I'd love to hear all of your plans!