Fall is my favorite time of year. While we may not enjoy the beautiful displays of entire forests of leaves changing color, it is nice to finally ditch sundresses and sandals for cozy sweaters and boots. It is also nice to be able to spend time working in the garden now that the temperature has dropped enough to actually enjoy outdoor activities. Here is some fall garden inspiration to help you get as excited as I am about getting back out in the garden.
Plant an herb garden.
Fall is a great time to plant an herb garden for you and your family to enjoy. Since our climate allows for year-round growing, you can plant just about any herb you would like, but you will have the best luck starting herbs that prefer cooler weather, such as mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, parsley, or thyme. Any of these can be used both as culinary herbs and as ornamental plants, so consider planting an edible border or incorporating culinary herbs into your flowerbeds. Remember that mint is a thug, so it is best to manage its growth by planting it in a container.
Plant leafy greens.
Sweater weather is on its way, which means it is time to start planting our leafy greens. Varieties of kale, lettuce, and spinach do well throughout fall and winter, so these are good choices for your fall garden. To extend your harvest period, practice succession planting by sowing seeds every two weeks. This will allow you to enjoy fresh greens from your garden well into late spring. If you have limited space, skip the lettuces, and opt for kale or spinach, which offer greater nutritional value and more versatility in the kitchen.
Plant fall vegetables.
While it is generally best to start your fall garden a bit earlier in the year, there is still time to plant cool season vegetables, like beets, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, peas, carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic, and celery. Like with your leafy greens, you can extend the harvest period by practicing succession planting. With foods like radishes or beets, determining how many you and your family will eat each week will help you decide how many seeds to sow for each round of succession planting.
Consider container gardening.
If you have limited space for gardening or want to expand your garden beyond your raised beds, there are many food plants that grow well in containers. I like using fabric containers to expand my garden area so that I can fold them up and store them when not in use. I particularly like tall, fabric containers for growing potatoes and sweet potatoes, since this makes them easier to move around and easier to dump out at harvest time.
Home maintenance tip: It is time to start using our heaters, which means it is time to change our HVAC filters. The coming months will also likely bring some rain, as well as the Santa Ana winds, so it is a good time to clean your gutters to reduce the risk of water damage or gutter debris catching fire. If you need a professional to perform these tasks, remember to support our local economy by hiring local contractors.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is a member of The Davis Group and a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing. She is also the owner of Mind Your Manors, which provides second home management services.
The Davis Group
Welcome to our
Ojai living and
Ojai real estate blog.
Subscribe by email...