Autumn: care and harvest season in the vegetable garden

Less soaked soils and brighter days favour the cultivation of delicate leaves such as lettuce, arugula, parsley, chard and cabbages. Pumpkins ready to harvest have accumulated the summer heat inside. There is plenty of corn and vegetables. The autumn loads the summer sun’s heat into the cool earth. The shimmering, all-illuminating light favours renewed life on the ground with warmer temperatures.

New flowers bloom in the garden: mustards, gingers, daisies, carnations, geraniums, tagetes, dahlias and zinnias. Good time also to divide the summer flower beds, such as lilies, irises, capuchins and daisies.

And for those who have sown chives, it is time to transplant and redistribute the seedlings to other beds. When transplanting them, be sure to clean up excess roots and leaves, which should be cut by half their height. This will help stimulate growth and develop new bulbs.

The onions, the garlic and spring onions belong to the group of plants called monocots. Its seeds are not bipartite, like dicotyledonous, double-sided seeds that produce two leaflets (beans, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, arugula, pumpkin). In practice, this means that its leaves grow together ( like a straw) – one leaf grows inside the other, like leeks and onions. The root called rhizome is where they accumulate nutrients to flower and generate new seeds or new rhizomes, so growing them prematurely cut their flowers will cause new rhizomes to grow, thus increasing the size of nutrients accumulated in the bulb.

With cooler weather and less scorching sun, the earth breathes freshness in the morning. Plants such as celery, spinach, mustard, endive, chicory, garlic, kale, sweet potato, yam, carrot, peas, okra and corn bring plenty of leaves and colours in the garden.

Time to compost with bone meal and compost the empty beds, add ashes to the cauliflower, arugula, broccoli and cauliflower to prevent pests and reintegrate minerals.

Summer-grown

Parsley and coriander should already be giving flowers or seeds. My recommendation is to harvest them to germinate and use the rest of the plants as mulch. Fertilize the soil so that new crops find renewed nutrients and make sure to alternate arugula, lettuce, beans, peas, pumpkins and tomatoes, leaving space between them for spring sowing.

If your garden is in the second or third growing season (one and a half years), it may be a good time to rest the soil and leave the land covered. This also works as an off-season or winter-free season, preventing pests from settling between crops and decreasing the chances of reinfestation next season.

And the last important tip

Don’t forget to update your crop record and plan the beds for next year. Try to alternate the use of flowerbeds in the following sequence: first leaf or stem.

Second cycle, flower, third cycle fruit planting and fourth crop, root planting. Thus your land will have been cultivated alternately, giving space and time for each to exert its influence on the soil. This sequence goes from simple to complex and also according to the natural evolution of plants.

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