Fall Vegetable Garden in Alabama: What, When, and How

If you’re like me, you enjoy spending time in your garden all year long. Although the weather is turning cooler, it’s not too late to plant a fall vegetable garden in Alabama. In this blog post, I’ll share some tips on how to get started. So if you’re looking for something to keep you busy in the coming weeks, planting a fall garden is a great option!

What to Plant in Your Fall Garden

Some of the best fall vegetable garden crops include leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach and kale are fast-growing and can be harvested just a few weeks after planting. Cruciferous vegetables like collards, cabbage and broccoli are also great for fall gardens. They take a little longer to mature than leafy greens but are packed with nutrients.

fall vegetable garden
fall vegetable garden
  • Broccolli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onion
  • Pac Choi
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard

When to Plant Your Fall Garden Crops

The best time to plant your fall garden crops in Alabama depends on the type of crop you’re planting and the soil temperature. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables all have different planting and harvest times. For leafy greens, the best time to plant is September, October and November. For cruciferous vegetables, the best time to plant is September and October. Frost can slow maturity or damage some crops. Frost can also significantly increase the intensity and flavor of many fall vegetable crops.

How to Plant Your Fall Garden Crops

Planting your fall garden crops is easy! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Prepare your garden bed by tilling the soil and removing any weeds or rocks.
  2. Sow your seeds or transplants in furrows or rows at the recommended spacing for each crop.
  3. Mulch around your plants to help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.
  4. Water regularly and fertilize as needed.

That’s it! Just sit back and watch your garden grow!

Harvesting Fall Vegetable Crops

  • Broccolli – Most varieties mature in 60-80 days, but a few can take up to 100. Cut the center head out before the flowers begin to open. The side shoots will be harvest-able a few weeks later. Frost can damage the heads.
  • Cabbage – Varieties mature in 50-80 days with some taking up to 120 days. Each plant is only a single harvest by cutting the head out. Hard freeze frost can cause plants to begin to rot from the inside.
  • Collards and Kale – Can be harvested at any time. For a long and sustainable harvest, only remove the outer most leaves and the center will continue to grow new leaves. Cutting the center stem will terminate the growth of new leaves. The flavor intensifies with frost and plants can survive hard frost.

Autumn Farmhouse Design: How to Incorporate Rustic Decor into Your Home

The leaves are changing color and the days are getting shorter. That can only mean one thing: autumn is here! This time of year is perfect for cozy, rustic decor. If you’re looking to add a touch of farmhouse charm to your home, read on for some tips. We’ll show you how to incorporate natural materials like wood and stone into your design, and give you some ideas for adding warm colors and textures. Let’s get started!

One of the best things about autumn farmhouse design is that it’s all about cozy, comfortable living. This time of year is perfect for snuggling up by the fire with a good book or spending time outdoors in the crisp air. To get started incorporating this style into your home, start with natural materials like wood and stone. Exposed beams, hardwood floors, and stone fireplaces are all great ways to add rustic charm. Then, add in some warm colors and textures to really make your space feel cozy. Rich earth tones like deep reds and oranges are perfect for fall, and adding a few throws or pillows in these colors can really transform a room. Finally, don’t forget the finishing touches. Pumpkins, hay bales, and corn stalks are all great ways to add a touch of seasonal flair to your home.

Using Garden Mums in Fall Decor

Mums are a great way to add color and texture to your home this fall, and there are many different ways to use them. We’ll show you how to incorporate mums into your decor in both traditional and nontraditional ways, and give you some ideas for using them in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Let’s get started!

One of the best things about garden mums is that they come in so many different colors. This makes them perfect for adding color and interest to your fall decor. You can use them in arrangements indoors or out, and there are many different ways to do it. For a classic look, try grouping mums in baskets or pots on your porch or patio. You can also use them to create colorful floral arrangements for your Thanksgiving table. If you’re looking for a more unconventional approach, try using mums in place of leaves on a wreath or garland. You can also make a mum centerpiece for your dining table or coffee table. No matter how you choose to use them, mums are a great way to add some autumn flair to your home.

Check Your Hay Bales for Critters

Seasonal fall holiday decorating. Front door autumn decor.
Seasonal fall holiday decorating. Front door autumn decor.

Ants can be a nuisance, and you don’t want them invading your home just because you’re trying to add a little bit of autumn charm. So before you go out and buy any hay bales, take a few minutes to inspect them for ants. You can do this by looking for ant trails or by shaking the bale and seeing if any ants fall out. If you find any ants, try to find a different source for your hay bales, or take steps to get rid of the ants before using them.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your autumn farmhouse design today! With these tips, you’ll have your home looking cozy and stylish in no time. Happy decorating!

The Truth About Fertilizer: Debunking the Myths

The Truth About Fertilizer: Debunking the Myths

There are a lot of myths created by marketing companies about fertilizer. Marketing has convinced people that it is some kind of magical substance that will make their plants grow big and strong overnight. The truth is, however, that fertilizer is just like any other tool- it can be used effectively or it can be misused. In this blog post, we will debunk the marketing myths about fertilizer and discuss how you can use it to improve your garden!

What do the fertilizer numbers really mean?

All growing plants need essential elements to grow to their full genetic potential. The NPK, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, makes up the primary nutrients plants need. The other elements needed by plants are called minor elements, micronutrients or secondary nutrients. These include: sulfur, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum and chlorine.

Fertilizer comes in different NPK ratios. The number on the bag or bottle is the percentage of how much of each kind of nutrient is in it. For example, 10-10-10 has 10% of Nitrogen, 10% of Phosphorus, and 10% of Potassium.

  • Nitrogen is the most important nutrient and helps with leaf growth.
  • Phosphorus helps plants to use and store energy.
  • Potassium helps with overall plant health and plants’ abilities to resist disease.

Nitrogen comes in many forms, but can only be used by plants in ammonium or nitrate form. Urea, the cheapest form, must first be broken down to ammonium before plants can utilize it. Ammonium is fast-acting and can burn plants if not used correctly. Nitrate is the safest and most effective form of nitrogen for plants. Excessive amounts of urea can build up over colder months and burn plants once the weather warms up due to increased break down to ammonium form.

Phosphorus is essential for plant growth and is found in every cell of a plant. Marketing Myth: High levels of phosphorus make plants bloom more aka bloom booster. Fact: Phosphorus helps plants to use and store energy, but too much phosphorus can make plants weak and unhealthy. Excess phosphorus easily combines with minor elements and prevents their uptake by plants, leading to minor element deficiencies.

Potassium is found in all plant tissues and is important for overall plant health and the plant’s ability to resist disease. It is associated with the movement of water, nutrients and carbohydrates in plant tissue.

When to apply fertilizer?

plant nutrition deficiency

The best time to apply fertilizer is when plants are actively growing. This is typically in the spring and summer, but can also be in the fall for certain plants. Applying fertilizer to late in the growing cycle can make plants more susceptible to cold damage and disease. Fertilizer applied to dormant plants can actually do more harm than good because the plant cannot utilize the nutrients and the excess nutrients build up in the soil. The excess nutrients can also leach through the soil and contaminate groundwater.

Plants can tell you when and what type of fertilizer to use. The location of yellowing leaves can indicate a lack of several types of nutrients, iron deficiency will show in newer leaves while nitrogen and magnesium deficiency will show in older leaves first. Older leaves turning purple can be a sign of low phosphorus.

Other factors that affect fertilizer

Soil pH plays a big part in the availability of nutrient up take by plants. Most nutrients are available to plants with a soil pH range of 5.6-6.2. Some plants grow better in the lower range and other prefer the higher range. Petunia and calibrachoa are two types of annuals that prefer the lower range and will quickly show iron deficiency above 5.8 pH. Geraniums and marigolds prefer the higher range and show iron toxicity below 5.8 pH.

Kale: The Perfect Vegetable to Grow in Your Garden

Kale: The Perfect Vegetable to Grow in Your Garden

Need a easy to grow leafy green to add to your garden, kale is a great choice. Kale is hardy and can withstand cold weather, so it’s a good option for gardeners in colder climates. Kale also grows well in containers, so it’s a good choice for urban gardeners or those with limited space.

Kale comes in several varieties, so be sure to choose the variety that best suits your needs. Some varieties are more heat tolerant than others, so if you live in a warm climate, be sure to choose a heat-tolerant variety.

Kale is relatively easy vegetable to grow and doesn’t require a lot of care. Just be sure to water it regularly and fertilize it every few weeks. You can also mulch around the plants to help keep the soil moist.

If you’re looking for a nutritious leafy green to add to your garden, kale is a great choice. Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it’s a good source of fiber. Kale is also low in calories, so it’s a great choice for those watching their weight.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start growing some kale! Your garden will thank you for it.

When to Plant Kale in Alabama

Kale is considered a cool season vegetable for Alabama, but can be planted at any time. But the best time to plant kale is in the fall, around September or October. Kale can also be planted in the spring, around March or April. It can tolerate frost and temperatures well below freezing.

For season long harvest, take only the oldest lower leaves and new leaves will grow from the top-center growth point. Cutting the top off will stop new growth and end harvesting. Once the plants bolt (flower) then the leaves become bitter.

Hardy Hibiscus: How to Grow and Care for These Magnificent Flowers

Hardy Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Swamp Mallow, Hibiscus moscheutos

If you’re looking for a beautiful, long-blooming flower to add to your garden, look no further than the hardy hibiscus! These magnificent blooms come in a variety of colors, and can be grown in almost any climate. In this blog post, we will discuss how to grow and care for these flowers. We’ll also provide tips on choosing the right variety for your needs. So read on to learn more about these amazing plants!

What are Hardy Hibiscus?

Hardy hibiscus are a type of flowering plant that is native to tropical and subtropical regions. They are known for their large, showy flowers, which can be up to 12 inches in diameter! Hardy hibiscus come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, red, and purple. These flowers typically bloom from late summer to early fall, and their blooms can last for up to two weeks.

Where to Plant Hardy Hibiscus?

Hardy hibiscus can be grown in almost any climate, Zone 5-9, as long as they are planted in an area that receives full sun. They prefer well-drained soil, and will need to be watered regularly during the growing season. When choosing a location to plant your hardy hibiscus, make sure to select an area that is large enough to accommodate the plant’s mature size. These plants can grow to be up to six feet tall and four feet wide, so they will need plenty of space to thrive!

How to Care for Hardy Hibiscus?

Hardy hibiscus are relatively low-maintenance plants, but there are a few things you can do to ensure that they thrive. First, make sure to deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage new blooms. Secondly, fertilize your plants once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Lastly, cut the plants back to about two feet in height in late fall to encourage new growth in the spring.

What do you do with hardy hibiscus in the winter?

North Alabama, you may need to provide additional protection, such as wrapping the plant in burlap or placing it in a protected area. Central and South Alabama should need no protection.

With a little care, hardy hibiscus can provide you with beautiful blooms for many years to come! So don’t hesitate to add these plants to your garden today.

Peach Trees in Alabama

When to Plant Peach Trees in Alabama

When selecting a peach tree to grow in your garden, it is important to choose the variety that is best suited for your area and purpose. Peach trees are originally from China and can be temperamental with their blossoms. Some peach trees are more suitable for fresh eating, while others are better for canning and making preserves. There are hundreds of peach varieties, each one adapted to a particular region or purpose. Peach trees are best planted November until March in Alabama.

Choosing the Right Peach Tree

Don’t bother with a tree that does not grow well in our Alabama climate. If possible, buy peach trees that were grown locally instead of mail-ordering peach trees for your garden. If you purchase peach tress through the mail, they are likely to have trouble adjusting to the climate changes upon arrival. They may also not do well in our hot or humid climate.

You’ll want a peach tree that produces flavorful fruit with a pleasing texture and color. You will also need fruits large enough to be worth picking and processing. Peaches should not fall from the tree before you have a chance to pick them either. Sugar content will vary between peach varieties as well as harvesting time.

Select peach trees that have low susceptibility for peach leaf curl. The peach leaf curl pathogen will damage peach leaves and stunt peach tree growth. Peach leaf curl is a disease that is very common in most peach-producing regions of the world . It’s caused by a fungus. Some peach varieties are resistant or less susceptible for peach leaf curl, but all peach trees can become infected eventually if conditions are right.

Avoid peach trees that are susceptible to peach tree borer. The peach tree borer is an insect pest of peach trees that can kill the peach tree if left untreated.

Growing a Peach Tree

Plant peach trees in full sun for maximum peach tree growth. Peach trees require well-draining soil that is neither too acidic or alkaline, but they also do great in any type of soil as long as it drains well. Add decomposed organic peach tree mulch around peach tree roots to maintain moisture levels during dry seasons and to help your peach tree survive the summer heat. Look for water-stressed peach trees by observing drooping leaves or wilting branches.

Pruning peach trees correctly is important in order to get the best harvest from your tree. Pruning also helps maintain the shape of the tree and keeps it healthy. In general, prune peach trees in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Remove any dead or damaged branches and thin out the tree to allow light and air to circulate. Cut back inward-growing branches and remove any suckers (branches that grow from the rootstock). If your peach tree is not producing fruit, you may need to do more drastic pruning, including removing the entire top of the tree.

When planting a peach tree, be sure to use a high-quality, balanced fertilizer. A 10-10-10 fertilizer is a good option and should be applied at planting and then again every six weeks. In addition, you can also apply a layer of compost around the base of the tree each year. This will help to keep the soil healthy and promote strong growth.

When to Plant Peach Trees in Alabama

When to Plant Okra in Alabama

When to Plant Okra in Alabama

Okra or Lady’s finger is a popular vegetable that is widely grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions across the world. It has been a staple food for many people in African, Asian and Indian communities for centuries. With regular care and right growing conditions, okra plants can be productive throughout the Alabama growing season, even during summer months.

The key to growing okra successfully in your garden is selecting the right variety that suits the climatic conditions of your area. We’ve selected Clemson Spineless & Okinawa Pink for Alabama. The plant thrives in warm and moist weather and does not tolerate frost. Unlike many other vegetables, it does not need well-drained soil and grows well in heavy clay or sandy soils. However, you should make sure that the soil is not water-logged as this can lead to root rot.

Okra seeds can be direct sown in the garden or started indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep in moist, well-drained soil and keep them warm (70-80 degrees F). Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to 12-18 inches apart. Alabama garden centers can have seeds and plants available from Alabama Grown.

The plants will start bearing flowers and fruits 60-90 days after planting. The fruits are best harvested when they are 3-4 inches long and still tender. You can pick them every 2-3 days to encourage more fruiting.

What are the Crystals on Okra Plants?

While okra are self-pollinating with both male and female parts on the same flower. The plant secrets sugary sap that forms crystals to draw ants for pollination.

Why are Ants on Okra Plants?

The ants are there to help pollinate the flowers. The plants secret a sugary sap to draw the ants to the plants.

When to Plant Strawberries in Alabama

When to Plant Strawberries in Alabama

Before you start planting strawberry plants, it’s important to check their hardiness zone. Strawberries are a perennial plant that can be grown year round in zones 5-9. For zones 4 & 10, strawberries are considered an annual plant which means they must be replanted each year. Check out this list of states with their corresponding strawberry hardiness zone! Alabama is Zone 7.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the strawberry planting zone and how to successfully plant strawberries. We will also discuss what causes frost and why it is important to protect your plants from frost.

What type of soil should I use when planting my berries?

Strawberries grow best in deep, well-drained soil with lots of extra organic matter mixed in. When planting them, stagger the plants so there is equal ground between plants for better air circulation around the berries themselves. They also work well with trellising for increased sunlight and ventilation. If you need to keep them inside over the winter months, choose pots with at least 10 inches of depth (with plenty of drainage holes) and fill them about two thirds full; then stop watering when it gets cold outside around October or November.

How to Plant Strawberry Plants?

Depending on the variety, strawberries need to be planted 6-12 inches apart; however, they should still be pruned back when they get too leggy. Cut them back by 30% of their overall size for best results. The runners (branch that grow outwards) can also be trimmed at this time.

When and how should I water my strawberries?

Water strawberries regularly, especially if they’re planted in spring or summer. During periods of heavy rain, you may need to stop watering every day, but after a few weeks it should be back to normal. Too much water can lessen the berry flavor and cause the berries to burst.

The most obvious way to protect strawberry plants from frost is to choose varieties that are able to withstand these frosty conditions. Some exceptions include “Chandler” (zone 5-9), “Midnight” (zone 4-7) and “Arctic Choice” (5). Planting strawberries in raised beds or containers helps with aeration of roots which aids their systems, like circulation, that work together with colder weather protection. Growing strawberries in organic mulch also helps with this because it protects the soil from temperatures that are too low, thus creating a warmer microclimate for the roots. This is especially helpful during winter or hard freezes when temperatures can drop quickly.

Best Flowers to Plant in Alabama for Spring

Best Flowers to Plant in Alabama for Spring

Here’s our choices of the best flowering plants to grow in Alabama for Spring…

Calibrachoa

calibrachoa

Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa parviflora) is a trailing petunia that is also known as Million Bells and Seaside Petunia. It’s a happy little plant that blooms prolifically all summer and performs its best under the summer sun. Calibrachoa won’t wilt in the heat like many other varieties of petunias, making it a great choice for a sunny, organic garden.


Sunpatien

Garden success has never been simpler with easy-to-plant, easy-to-grow SunPatiens. The thicker petals and tough foliage are less prone to disease, and their strong sturdy stems tolerate high heat and humidity, rain and adverse weather conditions.


Growing Calibrachoa Organically

Growing Calibrachoa Organically

Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa parviflora) is a trailing petunia that is also known as Million Bells and Seaside Petunia. It’s a happy little plant that blooms prolifically all summer and performs its best under the summer sun. Calibrachoa won’t wilt in the heat like many other varieties of petunias, making it a great choice for a sunny, organic garden.

Planting Location

The more sun calibrachoa receivies, the more blooms they will produce. Select a location that is in full sun.

Plants grow equally well when planted in-ground or in containers, but will produce runners that need space to trail downwards or spread out laterally.

Soil Preparation

Since calibrachoa is a heavy blooming plant, it is also a heavy feeder. Create a fertile growing medium by mixing a good quality potting soil mix and compost at a 50/50 ratio. Potting soil should contain perlite and peat to help keep plants fed and hydrated.

Planting

Calibrachoa plants produce very few seeds, so they are typically purchased as plants.

When planting in-ground, dig a eight inch by six inch hole (save removed soil to use elsewhere) and place two-three inches of prepared soil in bottom of hole. Remove calibrachoa plant from container and place in center of prepared hole. Fill in planting hole with more potting soil mix. Firm soil gently around roots and water well.

For container planting, select a container that is 8-10 inches deep and equally as wide. Add two-three inches of prepared soil in container bottom, place plant in the center and finish filling in with soil. Water well.

Add a thin layer of organic mulch on top of soil to help retain moisture.

After Care

Remove spent blooms as needed to keep plant looking nice.

Water plant early in the day and provide plenty of sunshine to keep the thick foliage and the flowers dry to prevent rot root.

This heavy-feeding plant needs a steady supply of food, so keep it well fed with compost tea. Mix a garden trowel of compost (or manure) in a five gallon bucket of rain water and place in a sunny location. Allow ‘tea’ to steep for a couple of days, then use once a week to water calibrachoa.

A side dressing of compost can be added in mid-summer to kept soil fertile and plants growing strong.

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