10 Random Things for your Fall Garden

I started this small vegetable and herb garden in the fall. I wanted to keep the critters out, increase soil fertility, get some kind of harvest, and have fun! Gophers were my first priority!

Hand drawn garden plan. The garden is about 6′ wide.
  1. Coffee Grounds to Deter Gophers
    • Gophers don’t like coffee grounds. Ha! take that you gophers. I saved all mine and buried it around the edge of the garden. Even with this small garden, I didn’t generate enough coffee grounds. The local cafe gave me their entire garbage can full of grounds, though, so I didn’t have to ask my neighbors.
  2. Daffodils to Deter Gophers
    • Gophers don’t like to eat daffodils, so I planted them around the perimeter of the garden. Can’t wait until spring to see the blooms!
  3. Potatoes to keep Gophers Occupied
    • If the gophers are occupied with the potatoes they won’t get into other crops. I learned this from local organic vineyards. They use this technique and plant potatoes and other root vegetables between the rows of vines.
  4. Fava Beans to fix nitrogen
    • I love to eat fava beans. Fava Beans are a cover crop too which fixes nitrogen in the soil, I recently learned how this works and was excited to see it in action. Bonus: Salmon and fava beans in parchment paper in the oven, delicious!
  5. Mustard Greens, Cauliflower, Broccoli
    • On sale random summer crops that I picked up at the local nursery. If I get a warm fall, which happens often, I can get another crop before winter fully sets in. Or, I can also let the plants over-winter in the garden and, if they survive, provide a crop in an early spring.
  6. Cold Frame from old glass cabinet door
    • Using found logs from all over the property, I elevated an old cabinet door creating a cold frame (like a mini green house) where I could grow greens and herbs that are sensitive to the cold.
  7. Horse Manure
    • Local horse ranchers offer up manure for gardeners like me. I took advantage of this and dug it into two of the beds. Great fun to go out to the ranches to retrieve the manure!
  8. Found Fence from old wire roll with twine
    • I use old wire fencing to surround the garden to protect it from the deer. The fence didn’t come up high enough in some places so I added sturdy branches from the nearby willows and then hooked twine around with colorful fabric and wind chimes! I’m not sure everyone thought it looked as cool as I thought it did.
  9. Herbs and Garlic
    • To discourage the critters more, and to have some herbs and garlic, I have plenty of smelly plants in and near the garden. For the garlic I broke up a clove I bought at the grocery store and poked them in one of the beds. I bring a chair out and sit in the garden during the afternoons and can smell the sage.
  10. Hügelkultur
    • Again, using logs and plant debris from all over the property, I bury wood and other organic matter in a mound on three of the beds. The wood and organic matter provide nutrition to the plants for the long term and all the debris piled up creates a raised area that is less likely to be infiltrated by the gophers.
Photograph of a Fava Bean Bloom

Free! I had a lot of the supplies on hand with recycled coffee grounds, used wire fencing and other found and cheap items.

Purchased discount plants, a bag of bulk fava bean seeds, garlic.

My cousin thought it was a beautiful garden that her father, my uncle, would have approved of.

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