There are several things to do in the Cape Cod vegetable garden in the fall. Here is a quick rundown of what you should be doing in October when growing vegetables on Cape Cod.
~ Continue to pick and enjoy your crops
If you’re still harvesting you’ll continue to pick as long as your crops are producing. In this region, vegetable growers can harvest lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, leeks, chard, beets and carrots into December. So continue to cut the oldest leaves off of the greens, the sprouts and heads off of your cole crops, and pull carrots and beets. Until we get a frost, you’ll also be picking what tomatoes are still ripening despite having early blight.
~ Top-off soil in raised beds.
~ Remove all diseased foliage from the garden
If your squash had mildew, or your peppers had leaf-spot, remove that foliage now and put it in a brush or burn pile, not in your compost. Clean up rotten fruit such as fallen tomatoes or peppers.
~ Continue to pull weeds
~ Be ready to plant garlic in late-October
~ Empty compost bins before winter
~ Plant a winter cover crop…aka a “green manure”
~ Have a soil test done
Fall is the ideal time to take soil samples from your vegetable garden and send them into the UMASS Soil Lab. There are complete directions on their website. Be sure to write on the form that you’re growing veggies, and send in at least a cup of soil. If you have trouble understanding the report once the results come back, print them out and bring them into the store for our Garden Department staff’s assistance.