Is It Worth Growing A Fall Season Garden?

If you're in California, simply put, YES! 

The fall and winter seasons offer some of my favorite seasonal vegetables, greens, and herbs.  We're talking Broccolini, Napa Cabbage, Spinach, multi-colored chard, and so many more! Luckily, here in California, we are granted ideal growing conditions year-round.  The trick to a successful garden is seasonality. Yes, Tomatoes can grow if planted in the fall and Italian Basil can grow as well.  Tomatoes will grow slowly, and the basil may produce brittle leaves with the cooler nights. Will it grow? Yes. Should you grow it? I would not. For me, I would prefer to hold off until next year and grow only the vegetables that will thrive and exude garden-fresh flavor. The real trick to a bountiful garden with high-quality growth is seasonality

But I can find all types of vegetables at the grocery store?  

While you can get all sorts of vegetables at the grocery store, the ones that are in season will not only taste the best but will also be the most nutritious. Often, out of season vegetables are grown and shipped far from where you are purchasing your produce.  As soon as a vegetable is picked, it begins to degrade and loose the amazing flavors that home gardeners know well. As the vegetable begins to degrade, the nutrient contents will reduce as well. 

Is growing food at home different in the fall?

Growing cooler season crops have more similarities than differences compared to growing your warm season crops.  Proper sun exposure, regular watering, and healthy soil is important all year round. But, there are also some unique differences.  Cooler days and wetter nights provide growing conditions that require less irrigation.  Typically, we suggest reducing your irrigation timer or watering sessions by about 25-30% compared to the warmer months. Also, as you are growing more leafy and tender greens, pests such as snails and caterpillars may become more prevalent.  Luckily, these are very easy to manage by either removing by hand or applying organic deterrents.  

So, should I plant a fall garden? 

Planting and growing a seasonal garden is the easiest step you can take to grow the best quality produce. While it can be borderline emotional to remove your summer season crops, preparing your garden for the fall means you're one step closer to delicious fall vegetables and greens. Clear your garden, turn/aerate your soil, add some organic compost, and plant some seasonal vegetables. Some of my fall favorites include Broccolini, Kale, Napa Cabbage, Chard, Celery, Spinach and Arugula.  Don't forget about the herbs too - Thyme, Sage, Chives, Rosemary, and Parsley will all flourish in the cooler weather and shorter days. Also, I love to add a pop of color in the garden with Calendula edible flowers!

Home gardening is all about experimentation, adjusting your methods, and repeating what works best. Every garden is different, whether it's the micro-climate, soil type, or sun exposure. The best advice I can give is to just plant your garden and look at what your plants are telling you.  Looks dry - add water, leaves getting burnt - grow a taller plant in front to shade the leaves, leaves are getting pale - add organic compost, etc. Experimentation and making adjustments in real time is key to every successful garden. 

Whether you are a novice home gardener or an all out farmer, we are here to help guide you through the growing process. You can always send us an email here or use our live chat found on any page on our site. Our garden specialists are standing by ready to help you from planning your fall garden to questions about caring for your seasonal vegetables.
Here at Revival Roots Nursery, we pride ourselves on only offering seasonal vegetables and herbs.  That way, you can trust that planting our seedlings will lead to a productive and delicious harvest!