There are many reasons why people live in retirement communities. One reason is that it gives you a perfect opportunity to try new things. Growing a fall garden could be one of those new things. Many 55 Plus Communities offer community gardens and give you the chance to meet like-minded people who together are interested in growing herbs and vegetables.

Why is growing a fall garden a good thing?

Growing a fall garden in a 55 Plus community means you will spend time outdoors with people who enjoy planting and nurturing plants. If that’s not enough, you’ll also benefit by harvesting fresh herbs and vegetables to consume. A fall garden extends the gardening season. Many vegetables grow better in colder temperatures. Produce like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and carrots are best grown during the cold season.

How to prepare the site

The garden needs some preparation before planting. If there was a summer garden, decide what to do with the summer garden remains. Remove the crop residue and weeds before preparing the soil by spading or tilling to a depth of 6 or 8 inches. Break up the soil so there are no large clumps of dirt.

Plant the garden

Direct seed sowing is preferred than transplanting of plants like cabbage, collards, and broccoli. However, success depends on adequate moisture to keep the seedlings growing after germination. During the fall the moisture level is lower, and the temperature is still warm, which means plants should be planted deeper.

Fertilizer and watering

Young and germinating plants need frequent and light watering. However, when they germinate single watering with water penetrating deep is better than shallow and more frequent watering.

Diseases/insects and frost protection

Insects and diseases are less abundant in the fall than during the summer growing season. However, most problems are a result of a buildup in population during summer and spring. Growing plants that are not susceptible to diseases and insects can do the trick. For frost, cover the growing beds and rows using a weather cover cloth or burlap. For individual plants, you can use paper caps or milk jugs.

A 55 Plus Community offers the retired a perfect place where they can engage in planting activities.

Check out the community garden at The Tapestry in Garner, NC. Call 919-772-4663.