Selected Fall Gardening Tips from Derek Fell

Derek Fell shares his fall gardening tips with readers, includes advice on growing winter squash and lettuces in cold weather and storing onions and root vegetables.

| September/October 1977

Derek Fell shares fall gardening tips including varieties of squash for the winter months and storing onions and root vegetables.

Fall Gardening Tips

There's certainly no shortage of things to do in the garden throughout the spring and summer months . . . as you well know, if you tended a vegetable patch this year. By the time fall rolls around, however, most of your spring and summer crops have borne fruit . . . you've already made plantings of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnips, and other cold-weather fare . . . and — in general — you've done just about everything you're going to do before the first killing frost hits. The question is, what do you do now?

Actually, there are many things you can do from September to November to ensure a well-stocked pantry in the cold months ahead. For example:

Now is a good time to mulch your parsley. Pile shredded leaves against the rows and in the coming weeks — even when there's snow on the ground — you'll find more than enough ready to harvest greenery in your garden to flavor omelettes, soups, fish dishes, and salads.

Growing Root Vegetables and Lettuce

Spinach and loose-leaf lettuce are also surprisingly hardy. Make sowings of these vegetables by September land heap leaves against the rows for frost protection-and you're likely to have good-sized plants that'll survive well into the winter. (Your spinach may even stay green all winter, if conditions in your area are mild enough.)

Many root vegetables will keep in the ground over winter . . . the problem is, it's impossible to get at the buried vegetables after the ground freezes. You can keep the soil open longer, however — and harvest carrots, parsnips, turnips, salsify, etc., right up until Christmas — simply by placing bales of hay over the rows. (When you want to harvest a few roots, just pull back one of the bales and dig in.)

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