Aspiring Gardener: Hello, and welcome back to another week with the Aspiring Gardener! It’s pumpkin season, and far beyond the time to plant them. In fact, it’s just about harvest time for pumpkins. Instead, it’s time for a whole new slew of plants to be planted! Many plants that are planted in spring can also be planted in the fall, including spinach, turnips, lettuce, kohlrabi, and more! Timing is important, though, and it’s important to give these plants time to develop roots before the first frost sets in, so give them at least six weeks. Visiting sites like the Almanac, the online branch of the farmer’s almanac, can give you an idea of what to plant and when.
Perhaps a surprising addition to this list, though, is grapes! In fact, in zone 9’s like Chico and much of Butte County, fall planting is preferred for grapes as it allows roots to establish faster and with less root and shoot competition with other plants. Some varieties specifically fare better with fall planting, though, such as concord, muscadine, or California wild grape. All three of these varieties can be eaten off the vine or made into jams, juices, preserves, or wine. While it will take a few years for seedlings to be ready to bear fruit, these plants also make beautiful ornamental additions to any garden, whether as a ground-cover, arbor, fence windbreaker, or whatever shape you wish. A very happy fall to you all, and happy planting!