Experts say fall gardening should be on radar

Published 12:04 am Monday, July 24, 2017

While July is in full swing and most people are still basking in the summer sun, experts say waiting until the end of the summer season to plant a garden could be a mistake for the future.

It is vital that gardeners start preparations for their perfect fall garden in the next couple of weeks, according to Gene Fox, horticulture agent for the Beaufort County Cooperative Extension.

“All plants, fruits and veggies must be planted by Aug. 15,” Fox said.

However, gardeners don’t have to do it alone. The Beaufort County Cooperative Extension is holding a “Learn How to Grow in Your Space” class on Aug. 3 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

The class, offered by Fox, will assist gardeners in learning how to prepare and plant their gardens for the cooler months ahead.

The free gardening class is geared toward gardeners who are new to the area or anyone who is struggling with planting their fall garden, according to Fox. The workshop will cover soils, vegetables, fruits and turf.

Fox said that getting an early jumpstart on gardening is the biggest favor a gardener could do for himself if he wants to have a thriving, prosperous garden for the remainder of the year.

“Well, everybody always get excited in the spring to go out and get in the garden, but unfortunately, gardening really needs to start in the fall,” Fox said.

Fox explained that each plant needs adequate time to mature and become established. If plants, vegetables and fruits aren’t mature enough when the first frost covers Beaufort County, they simply won’t survive. But, if gardeners start planting now, crops will be able to produce long through the new year, he said.

“Let’s take broccoli for example. If you plant broccoli in the first week of August, you should be harvesting broccoli by mid-October,” Fox said. “And they last. A gardener harvested Brussels sprouts until March.”

Fox said this is his first time holding a fall gardening class, but that it’s extremely important to teach not to make the mistake of waiting to plant until September.

“I get quite a few questions about fall gardening and unfortunately it’s normally in September or October, and that is way, way too late,” Fox said.

The gardening class is free and open to the public, but organizers ask that interested gardeners note their interest in advance. For more information, visit or call Gene Fox at 252-946-0111.