Fall Vegetable Garden
In the piedmont and coastal plain, garlic, spinach and onions can be planted now, although harvest won’t be till next spring. The rest of the mountains and much of the piedmont are likely to have a frost by the end of the month. Sometimes, protecting tender vegetables will you an extra week or two of harvest. Full size tomatoes can be picked up and ripened inside even if green when picked.
Be prepared to use season extenders on your garden by the end of the month. A few hours of frost protection can sometimes extend the growing season for 2 to 3 more weeks.
In the vegetable garden, insect control can be a challenge on fall-grown cabbage family crops. Fortunately, the best controls are organic! For aphids, use insecticidal soap. Don’t miss the lower leaf surfaces. For cabbage worms and other caterpillars use weekly applications of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).
Plant a cover crop in your vegetable garden. Legumes, such as clover and alfalfa will enrich the soil by nitrogen fixation. Cover crops also prevent erosion and can be turned over into the soil to provide needed organic matter.
Fall Pumpkins! Have you been pumpkin shopping yet? Find a nice one, bring it home and dip it in 10% bleach and water solution to kill the bacteria that encourages it to rot. Then, sit it where it will not touch the ground or concrete. A piece of cardboard can help. This should help keep your pumpkin looking good for 2 to 3 months.