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Fall Garden Guide | Saving your soil, picking the right veggies, & more!

This guide is for all gardeners! We will provide some general gardening tips as well as some local advice if you’re based in Central/ Southern California.


**Climate is variable even within Southern California so always listen to your garden! Try something and see how your soil and veggies respond.


With Fall rolling around it’s time to pull out your tomato vines and revitalize your garden. With a new season, it feels good to change things up, so use it as an activity that helps signal a changing of the seasons, autumn is here! Even though it’s still 70 degrees in Santa Barbara, you better believe the seasonal sweaters and cozy Ugg boots are coming out of storage. 

One of our favorite things about gardening is reconnecting with food and being outside! The best way to “learn” to garden is get out there and do it. Trial and error. There are so many variables in gardening like, soil composition / consistency, humidity, and sun exposure. This makes it hard to have a step by step process of what to do to your personal garden. But, this is what makes it fun! It’s a mini experiment and you can learn so much along the way. That feeling of growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating whole fresh foods that you, yourself grew, is one unmatched. AND growing our own food can help us foster gratitude for the foods and farmers that grow them.  

Replenish your soil

A great first step in transitioning your garden from summer to fall is to replenish the soil. The nutrients have been drawn out of the soil into the veggies you grew and ate in the summer - thank you soil! But now, to restore the soil it helps to add in compost or manure, some sort of organic matter that can bring in nutrients and healthy microbes. Check out our compost blog about how to make your own compost and you can use your own food scraps to replenish your garden. Wait a week or so and then you can start planting!

Ok, now that your soil is healthy, what should you plant? 

Here are some cool-weather crops that are good for the general fall/ winter season. Below you can find some of our favorite and most successful veggies during this time (we’re based in Santa Barbara, California for reference). 

Cool-weather crops:

  • arugula
  • broccoli
  • bok choy
  • spinach
  • leeks
  • kale
  • chard

(the above are easy to grow as transplants)

  • Peas (use a trellis for support)
  • lettuces
  • beets
  • radishes
  • carrots
  • root vegetables
  • winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin)

(these are better to start as seedlings)


Herbs:

  • cilantro
  • parsley 
  • mint
  • coriander
  • rosemary
  • thyme 

Brassicas: 

  • arugula
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • kale

All of these yummy herbs and veggies are perfect for fall soups and flavorful meals. Try making butternut squash lasagna or mushroom and pear stuffed acorn squash this season!