Fall planting is still possible in unseasonably high heat
Our area is experiencing unseasonably high heat this September.
In the last 8 days, four daily high temperature records have been broken and two tied in Chattanooga, including two days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees.
Even though it feels like summer, it is time to think about fall planting.
At Crabtree Farms in Chattanooga, they're diligently preparing for their Fall Plant Sale.
Even with the hot and dry conditions, you can still expect a successful fall planting season.
"Despite the heat and the drought that we're experiencing right now, it is important to put your plants in earlier because once the cold comes, you need your plants to be of an age and a size to be able to survive the frost and cold conditions," Sara McIntyre, Executive Director of Crabtree Farms explained.
That means purchasing and planting your fall plants soon.
Sara McIntyre said that the plants will look a little rough and will need a lot of water, but it will make them more robust in the long run.
The key is to look for ones that are drought tolerant and heat resistant.
"Those are varieties that specifically we choose when we're looking for annuals because we live here. We're in Chattanooga," said McIntyre of the plants available at Crabtree Farms.
Fall edible annuals include kale, collards, broccoli, and cauliflower. This is also the best time of year to plant perennials and berries.
"Perennials will establish themselves best in fall and winter months, and then they're ready for the vagaries and the heat and drought of our springs and summers," McIntyre stated.
Crabtree Farms will have all these plants available at the Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, September 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The sale will feature edible plants, seeds, fruit starts, herbs, and landscaping plants.
"We have food and drink and music and kids activities - things like that. In addition, we have all of our plants, so we have sustainably grown, chosen for this region," McIntyre described the Fall Plant Sale more fully.
Vendors for crafts and local products will also be set-up at the plant sale.
Once you plant your fall garden, remember to water it.
McIntyre recommends watering early in the morning or at dusk.
"It's always recommended that your plants get about an inch of water a week, and we recommend that it come in some big deep waterings, rather than lots of little shallow waterings," advised McIntyre.
Big soaks increase the vitality of your plants as the roots grow deeper, allowing you to go away for a few days and not worry about your plants dying.