Embrace Your Green Thumb This Fall!
Grandpa Ludwig at his garden in Suwalki, Poland
It takes a special kind of commitment to garden, and I can tell you that it is definitely rooted in love (pardon the pun).
It always amazed me how much my grandparents in Poland know about gardening, from knowing exactly when to plant, when to harvest, what kinds of fertilizer and soil to buy and what to do when the occasional acid rain pays a visit. And don’t get me started on their love for flowers. My father’s parents own a little plot of land in the middle of town where they made space for a flower garden, rows of gooseberry bushes and a small greenhouse for their tomatoes and cucumbers. This community garden could easily rival any nursery at Home Depot back here in the United States, and is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m with my family in Poland.
Caring for everything from a few pots of flowers on your balcony to a vegetable garden is an amazing and rewarding hobby, but it doesn’t have to end with the changing of seasons.
But whoever heard of gardening as a fall activity? Think again- because this is the ideal solution to your end of the summer blues.
Here are some tips inspired by my grandparents on how to change up your gardening routine this fall.
My grandma Maria’s tomato greenhouse
Crops like broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach and turnips- also known as “hardy” vegetables tend to grow better during the cooler months. Semi-hardy vegetables like beets, Irish potatoes, celery, carrots and cauliflower grow best when the season brings in light frosts (29 to 32 degrees F).
The best part about planting these vegetables is that you can harvest them through winter! Hardy vegetables will be tastier if grown in the fall, so why strain yourself during the hot summer months?
Don’t Forget the Flowers…
Plant tulip bulbs six to eight weeks before the first frost. (Which is usually the beginning of October.)
Given the changing climate, our region has been experiencing milder winters during the earlier winter months. This could give the bulbs time to settle into the soil before the heavy snowfalls and drops in temperature hit Connecticut. Soon enough, you’ll be as excited as my grandparents to watch your tulips break through the melting snow in early spring.
Unable to plant your garden outside? Good news! Some types of tulips can bloom indoors.
Lavender shrubs are as beneficial to your health as they are beautiful and romantic.
Looking for an easy DIY gift idea? Try drying clumps of the lavender from your garden with a friend or companion and make your own sachets or potpourri.
Keep up with your herb garden
If you’re a fan of guacamole, there is no doubt that you’ve heard of cilantro. Commonly used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisines, cilantro can be easily grown and stored in your refrigerator for several days. Cilantro is wonderful in salsas, salads, rice dishes and if you’re feeling adventurous- you can make your own salad dressing with a bit of plain yogurt and a hint of cilantro.
Other herbs like mint lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary are great either on their own, or if dried and used later, and offer countless benefits to your health and well-being.
There’s nothing better than incorporating your own, freshly grown herbs in your meals, so if you’ve never gardened before this would be the perfect way to get started.
Cooler temperatures, limited mobility – no problem!
Move your herb garden and plants indoors by using a variety of containers and pots. The great thing about moving your garden inside is that you can use less water, and keep your herbs at reach in your kitchen!
If you’re passionate about gardening in the spring and summer months, don’t give up just yet! Get a head start on your gardening adventure now by planting your favorite fall vegetables and herbs, not to mention your tulips that will be popping out of the melting snow come springtime.
At Euro-American Connections and Homecare, we can help you find the perfect companion that shares your love for gardening year-round!
Check out Bonnie Plants.com https://bonnieplants.com/ for more gardening tips and DIY projects that are sure to brighten your day.