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Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, and it’s starting to feel like we’re a far cry from summer. However, if gardening has been a perk of the warmer season for you, we’ve got good news, as there’s plenty to do in your outdoor garden in the month of September. At this point in the season, most regions of the U.S. still have a few more weeks until the first frost, and we’re sharing our go-to guide for how to make the most of the time we have left.
Before you begin planting, you’ll want to determine when the average first frost is in your region. A frost can damage plants, so it’s best to begin planting at least a few weeks before this date, depending on how long each item you’re planting needs to grow. There are a few great resources out there, including this USDA Hardiness Zone Map. You may also use the Farmer’s Almanac to enter your zip code for a more accurate, local read. Or, if you know of a trusted local gardening outlet, heading there to talk to a knowledgeable associate may be your best bet.
Once you’ve determined how much time you have, choose your patio plants accordingly. If you live in the northern regions of the country, there are plenty of quick-grow options that are both seasonal and delicious. Lettuce is fairly versatile, and can be planted at different points throughout the growing season. Generally, lettuce takes just under 50 days to mature, and though it may grow a bit slower in the fall than the spring, the taste is often sweeter and crisper because of this. You may also want to plant your lettuce in pots, so you can bring it in overnight if you’re expecting to be hit with an early frost. Another great option is kale, which is hearty and able to handle and even thrive through a light frost. Beets, bok choy, and cabbage are other hearty veggies that thrive in cooler months, plus taste great when incorporated in a fall meal plan.
While it is certainly possible for your patio garden to thrive through the fall months, you may need to tweak your techniques slightly to ensure plant health and vitality. For starters, you’ll want to plant seeds deeper into the soil than you would in the spring, as the ground tends to be warmer in fall, and your seeds need cool, moist earth in order to grow properly. If you’re serious about your gardening game, you may consider getting pelletized seeds, which are coated in clay and therefore retain water more efficiently. These tend to be a bit more pricey and harder to find, but they may be worth a try if you have less time to dedicate to garden tending.
For more home and garden tips, or to learn more about an Olympus property near you, contact us today.