Y’all, I can’t believe that summer is almost coming to an end! Technically we still have another month. However, the PSL comes out tomorrow – so I’m calling August 27th the official first day of Fall. But really, where has the summer gone? Our raised garden beds sure were a huge highlight of my summer, and they proved to be so therapeutic as we headed into the season without baby Layne. I was a little nervous at first being a lady who could kill a succulent. However, I’m so proud of the plant lady I’ve grown into during this season of my life. Meanwhile, little did I know though that y’all would be just as invested in our garden as I was!
Towards the end of July, I started getting questions on whether I planned to do a Fall garden. I honestly had no idea fall gardens were a thing. (I’m telling you, I am completely winging this plant lady thing!) Considering how well our summer garden went, I decided to wing it again by cleaning out the raised garden beds, saying some prayers, and sowing some more seeds.
READ ALSO: DIY Raised Garden Beds
READ ALSO: Our Beginner Gardening Tips / Raised Garden Bed Tips
Planning Our Fall Garden
If you didn’t already know, I’m a huge planner. Considering some of the things I wish I would have done differently with our Summer garden, I decided to do some more research and planning for our Fall garden. For our summer garden, I got seedlings from our friend’s greenhouse at their farm. She told me about how to plant them, so I’d like to give her credit for doing about 50% of the work for me. However, this time around I was going to start from seeds. The only problem is I hadn’t planted a garden from seeds since I was a little girl living in Iowa gardening with my Great Uncle. I should have taken notes or paid more attention, but I was definitely in it for the candy bars back then.
What We’re Planting
For the Fall, we decided to plant things that we would eat a lot of – or in the case of pumpkins, decorate a lot with too! In one raised bed we are planting carrots, kale, lettuce, peas, green beans, and soy beans. Another raised bed will have pumpkins, gourds, and butternut squash. The third raised bed will have pumpkins, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash.
Some of the things I learned during my research included timing and spacing. Regarding timing, I referred to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to figure out what zone I am located in. From there, I was able to do some further research and find out when I should plant my fall garden so plants would flourish and I’d be able to harvest before the first cold snap. Based on my zone, I knew I should plant my garden around the beginning to middle of August. If you’re not so much of a planner, I also noticed that there was a map as well as a timing window on the back of the seed packets I bought at Home Depot.
When it comes to spacing our your plants in your garden, you want to make sure you give all of your plants the room they need to grow and flourish. Again, I’m a huge planner. I wanted to make sure that I had enough room for all the things I wanted to grow this year, so I ended up drawing it out on paper and planning it ahead of time before I sowed seeds.
Here is a look at my raised garden bed plans for Fall. Each raised garden bed is 3 ft wide and 6 ft long, so each square on the diagram below represents 1 square foot of the garden. I think some of these are still a little closer together than recommended, but I also planned this in mind that not every seed I planted would be a good seed and grow. As things come in and start growing, I may move some of the pumpkins and larger squash farther apart so they have room to run more.
Here is a handy chart that you can reference for spacing your garden from A Burst of Beautiful. I used it to reference when planning out my garden for this Fall.
Planting Our Fall Garden
I can’t begin to explain how refreshing it was to clean out all of the spring / summer plants, refresh the soil, and get it ready for the fall seeds. It was almost cleansing to the soul as I prepared for my next steps and a new season.
Refreshing the Soil
To prep for the new seeds, I took out all of what was left of the spring / summer plants. Then, I raked through the soil to clean out all of the dead leaves and roots that were left behind. When that was done, I added one bag of raised garden bed soil and one bag of compost to each bed. Lastly, I mixed and turned the soil to incorporate the new in with the old. It was so much cheaper to do the garden this time around since we already had the raised beds built. I think we were able to do it all for under $50.
Plans to Planting
To keep with my spacing plans, I taped twine on the raised beds as a guide for when I started planting. However, as things start to come in, I may plan to take it down. I really only did it as a guide to keep with my plans.
When it came to actually planting our Fall garden, I tried to take my plans, the research I did, as well as what each seed packet said into consideration. Because I was nervous about whether anything would grow, I sowed extra seeds than I originally planned in case any of the seeds were bad and didn’t grow. Apparently I didn’t have anything to worry about with my pumpkins and larger squash – because they are already sprouting like crazy! As things come in and start growing, I may move some of the pumpkins and larger squash farther apart so they have room to run more.
DIY Garden Labels
I also learned my lesson from last time and labeled everything this time around so I knew exactly what everything was before it started producing. (AND so I can make note of what is doing well and what may not be from the start!) I made DIY garden labels out of old wine corks (from my college days) that I had in a vase on top of the cabinets in my kitchen. I wrote on them with sharpie, stuck a wooden kabob stick through them, and BAM! Super easy garden label! I knew I’d finally decide what to do with those wine corks eventually.
Well there you have it, friends! There is a little inside look at our Fall garden for this year. I must say, I’m SO excited. It is already sprouting like crazy, and I can’t wait to see what we can grow this season. Are you planting a Fall garden this year? What are you excited to grow? Do you have any Fall garden tips I should know? Tell us in a comment below!
This is great! I am a beginner, can you tell me about how big a family this would feed. I do not plan to put much up but i would like enough to share with the community.