Psst…we are going to let you in on a secret: Fall is a fabulous time to harvest cool-weather crops! Now that we are in the middle of August, there is no time like the present to start preparing you bed for a fabulous fall garden.
Fall Garden Soil
It’s always good to think of your soil as the foundation to a productive garden. Whether you are rotating crops from a previous season (warm-weather, summer crops), or you are creating your very first fall garden, selecting the right soil should be first task on your list.
Furthermore, growing a fabulous fall garden does require a little balance in chemistry. For example, your onions and leeks benefit from high organic matter, while broccoli and cabbage need nitrogen-rich soil. Knowing the soil requirements for your crops will help you yield better results. At Beaver Lakes Nursery, we provide custom soils that all include a base mix of ingredients.
- CoCo Coir (high water-holding capacity)
- Compost (high source of organic matter)
- Pumice (high nutrient-holding capacity)
- Rice Hulls (high source of carbon)
- Perlite (aeration and drainage)
- Alfalfa Meal (replenishes sugar, starches and proteins)
This incredible recipe of soil ingredients, with a nice ratio of top soil, will have your fall garden thriving. Either way, stop by and chat with us. We’d be happy to talk about which custom soil will help achieve your growing goals.
Fall Garden Companion Planting
There are many cool-weather crops that have companions. Companion planting is based on the idea that crops can grow together in a beneficial partnership, reducing the time needed for pest control and maintenance. Here are a few well-known companion combinations, but feel free to experiment and discover your own!
Onions and Lettuce
- Plant rows of onions, or even garlic, next to lettuce and other salad greens. This creates a “smell” barrier that helps stop slugs and snails from approaching the salad plants.
Nasturtium and Cabbages
- Nasturtium are a favorite food plant of cabbage-white caterpillars. Grow them as a trap crop to lure the butterflies and caterpillars away from your brassicas. Add aphid-free flowers and leaves to salads.
Radishes and Cucumbers
- Reduce the risk of cucumber beetle by planting a ring of radishes around the cucumber plants.
Carrots and Onions
- One of nature’s matches-made-in-heaven. The onions drive away carrot flies and the carrots keep away the unwanted onion flies.
Compost as Mulch
Once your seedlings start peering above the soil, it’s time to add mulch. As we mentioned in our last article, Compost as Mulch: The Best of Both Worlds, compost is one of the most essential ingredients to build a prolific garden. Beaver Lakes Nursery offers a variety of mulches and composts, but we recommend our course compost for this job. The combination of small, medium, and large particles in our course compost work as a team to provide the necessary nutrients to a healthy garden bed.
For example, the micronutrients filter they way down to the roots, providing the much needed nutrients for your fruits and vegetables. The medium-sized nutrients provide the “fluff’ needed for the roots of your plants to expand and grow; finally, the macronutrients stay on top, which helps to conserve water and prevent the spread of weeds. Finally, we recommend covering your beds with thick layer of about three-inches course compost. This compost layer will be like adding a blanket to keep your cool-weathered crops warm on those crisp, fall nights.
Your Fall Garden Starts With Us
When we get excited about planting a garden, we usually just think about which fruit and vegetables we want to plant. However, before you buy your seeds, or seedlings, from your favorite local shop…start at Beaver Lakes first. We have the custom soils you need to kickstart your fall garden. In addition to custom soils, we also have organic soil amendments that will feed your plants all season long. Don’t forget that we have the compost that can act as both compost and mulch to your delicate sprouts.
Not only is Beaver Lakes Nursery and Landscape Supply a locally-owned business located in Montrose, Colorado, but that we also aim to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as we can. When you visit us, be sure to bring your pick-up truck or a trailer because you can purchase your soil and compost by bulk. Say goodbye to that pesky plastic waste of bagged soil and mulch! Also, did you know that we are a designated green-waste drop off? What a great trade-off! You bring us your green waste, and we’ll help you load up the soil and compost you need for your fabulous fall garden.