Planning your Fall Garden
by Emilee Morrison
This has been a whirlwind of a year and it's hard to believe we are starting to think about Autumn.
Now is the time to start planning for your fall vegetable garden!
One of the wonderful things about living in eastern NC is the long growing season. Since many of the planting dates overlap for both warm and cool season crops this will require additional planning on the gardener's part. For example, August is the time to plant a fall crop of tomatoes as well as leafy greens like chard and spinach.
This overlap can present challenges, mainly the challenge of where to plant everything!
I grow most of my vegetables in containers, so I'm beginning to think about which containers will be freed up and when, so I can decide what I will plant in there next.
Whether or not you have this dilemma, it is important to start thinking about planting dates for this upcoming growing season.
A very helpful resource for gardeners in our area is the NC Cooperative Extension's
Vegetable Planting Guide for Eastern North Carolina
The key columns to look at are the
Fall Planting Date, Planting Type, Days to Harvest, Planting Depth, and Planting Space.
The Fall Planting Date is a range of time when it is appropriate to plant a certain crop.
The Planting Type indicates whether it is recommended to start with transplants or direct seed into the garden. The Days to Harvest may vary depending on which varieties of crops you plant, so make sure to read up on your specific varieties.
Planting depth and space may also vary depending on which varieties you plant, so again, make sure to pay attention to those recommendations.
During this pandemic, many people have turned to gardening as an outlet.
hope this continues well after we have found a vaccine and can return to some sense of normalcy.
Spending time outside has so many positive health benefits, and growing your own food can be very rewarding.
Have fun trying to grow new things and figuring out what works for you in your garden!
We are here to help!
July & August Tips and Tasks
Remember to water according to plant needs.
Vegetables and newly established plants require more frequent watering than established lawns and plants. Sandy soil requires more frequent watering than heavier soils.
- Mulch plants to conserve moisture, inhibit weeds and reduce disease
- Drip irrigation and soaker hoses deliver water to the root zone without wetting leaves
- Moisture on leaves can contribute to disease development. If you must use sprinklers, water early in the day so leaves dry quickly.
- Provide appropriate support for fruit and vegetable plants such as tomatoes
- Trellises and staking will reduce disease and make maintenance easier.
- Harvest fruits and vegetables as they ripen
- Remove overripe, damaged, or diseased fruits immediately to help control diseases and insects.
- Deadheading promotes new blossoms for many annuals and perennials.
- Remove weeds before they set seed.
- Watch for insects and diseases.
- If you find an insect or disease, have it identified and get recommendations for control. In Onslow County, call the extension office at 910.455.5873 or email email@example.com
- Calibrate your sprinklers.
- Use a couple of straight-sided containers such as coffee cans to measure just how much water you are putting out. Some of my sprinklers will apply 1" of water in 30 minutes while others only apply a fourth of an inch over 4 hours! It depends on the sprinkler, your water pressure and the amount of area being watered.
- For lawns, aim for 1 inch of water per week on heavier soil
- Aim for half an inch of water twice a week on sandy soil
- Mow lawns regularly and at the correct height to promote dense turf and reduce weeds.
Virtual Junior Master Gardener Camp
The Onslow County Extension Horticulture and 4H Agents, staff, and Master Gardener Volunteers had been planning a week-long gardening camp for youth this summer.
Due to limitations on what types of programming we could do this summer,
especially with youth, we decided to modify the summer camp to a
format that families could do from home.
Each day of the week had a theme:
Each theme had two garden-related activities for youth to complete.
Staff members and Master Gardener Volunteers assembled kits for each activity, which included
growing plants in water
composting with worms
There were 33 youth from Onslow County and neighboring counties who participated.
Each day we broadcasted "how to" videos and offered interactive sessions over Zoom.
We hope to offer more garden-related programs for youth in the future!
Below are some photos
what the youth completed
Until Phase 3, we will continue to hold most of our programming
Stay tuned for more information.
Are you interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer?
The Onslow County Master Gardener Volunteers provide outreach and education to the residents of Onslow County using research-based gardening information. They also help maintain the Discovery Gardens, work with youth, provide outreach at public events, and are provided with exclusive training opportunities to learn more about horticulture topics.
For more information about this program, contact Emilee Morrison at
The next training course is scheduled to begin in January 2021
The Onslow County Farmers' Market has opened it's 2020 Season!
For more information on operation times, product availability, and vendor applications please
Like their Facebook page:
Saturday, April 18 - Nov 14
830am - 130pm
4024 Richlands Hwy, Jacksonville, NC
(Rain or Shine)
Tuesday, April 21- July 28
930am - 130pm
512 New Bridge St., Downtown Jacksonville, NC
(If weather permits)
Local Foods Coordinator
4024 Richlands Hwy, Jacksonville, NC
Our North Carolina Cooperative Extension - Onslow County Center has started a hashtag
to show our support of our Local Farmers, A
Community & Rural Development
Show your support by using
in your related Facebook and Instagram photos and posts!
Do you live in Onslow County and have garden-related questions?
Are you wondering why your plants are not looking great, or maybe want to know what a certain weed is?
The Plant Clinic is a free service through the NC Cooperative Extension and staffed by Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.
The physical clinic is currently
closed to the public
, but questions are being answered!
Let us know how we can help by:
*Due to COVID-19 our Master Gardeners are temporarily out of the office*
While you are there, you can post your questions to be answered by email using the "Ask an Expert' widget (
in the upper left hand corner).
Email a Master Gardener your questions or sample photos at
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.