Fall Gardening

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fall-gardeningBy Kara Holland

It’s New Year’s Eve and you find yourself in the grocery store trying to find everything for that traditional southern New Year’s Eve meal. As you look around you notice that they are sold out of the black-eyed peas and collard greens, two staple dinner items! Once again, you are reminded that luck and wealth will not be occupying your household this year and continue looking for that precious cornbread mix – maybe all of that gold will appear sometime! If you have ever been in this situation, you know the feeling, but hopefully this little reminder will have you well prepared to ring in the New Year!

If you are new to the south, a southern fall garden can extend the summer growing season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce. With mild winters and long lasting summers, North Carolina provides the opportunity for three growing seasons! Fall is the opportunity to continue showcasing your talent or can be a redeeming second chance.

With summer winding down to cooler days and shorter nights, it’s an ideal time to start thinking about what vegetables your family would like to harvest this fall (and for New Year’s Eve!). Vegetables that have 60-80 days to maturity should be planted around August 1, while leafy greens and other quickly maturing vegetables can be delayed until September. Whether you are new to gardening or a top master gardener, it’s important to make sure you know what works in our area and when it can be harvested. Some vegetables can even thrive past an early frost if they are covered and cared for properly.

Gardening can be overwhelming, but the harvest is so fulfilling in the cold winter months when fresh veggies can bring you wealth and luck! Don’t know where to start? Try planting some old favorites like broccoli, lettuce, and collard greens or go out on a limb and try some rutabagas. If you are still wondering what to plant, just stop at a local feed store and they will be more than happy to assist you in planning your fall garden!

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Chatham Magazine is a bi-monthly publication that strives to capture the beauty, charm, and unique character that is Chatham County. 

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