Reno has a short growing season, only about 135 days. Those who wish to plant a fall garden must act fast – in July and August. In July, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi should be started indoors. Seedlings can be moved outdoors in early August. If you haven’t started seeds, purchase seedling plants from your local nursery. Sow seeds of lettuce, parsley, and spinach directly in garden beds in late July through mid-August.
Vegetable Garden Design
In northern Reno, soils are sandy, acidic, and rocky. In the flood plains of southern Reno, soils are heavy in clay. Even with significant additions of organic matter – 6″-12″ per season – it can take years to develop good garden soil. Gardeners in this area have the greatest success using raised bed gardening. Raised beds allow you to grow in rich organic garden soil, provide good drainage, prevent soil compaction, and keep weeds at bay. Deeply rooted plants will extend their roots beyond the garden soil, breaking up compacted soils, further improving the garden beds. Most important, however, are higher yields for your gardening efforts.
If you are interested in planting a raised bed garden, here are some plants and products we recommend: Kellogg Garden Organics Raised Bed & Potting Mix
Fall vegetables need consistent moisture; something nature does not provide in Reno. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses supply water very slowly and consistently, saving money on the water bill and keeping your plants happy. Mulch retains moisture, moderates soil temperature and helps keep down any weeds.
The first winter frost of the season can be as early as late September, making frost protection for your crops a must. Low hoop tunnels, built with lengths of pipe bent into a half circle and secured, are a fast, inexpensive way to extend the harvest. Cover with a lightweight row cover or plastic. If using plastic, be sure that it does not come into contact with the foliage. Cold damage may result.