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Planting a Fall Garden

Planting a Fall Garden

It may be the middle of Summer, but now is the time to be thinking about planting a fall garden. There are many vegetables that thrive in the cooler weather of the fall and some even benefit from a bit of frost to enhance their flavor. In addition, there are some vegetables that should be planted in the fall so they will produce in the following year.

When to Plant

The timing for planting your fall garden will depend on your hardiness zone and your first frost date. Almanac.com has a handy calculator that will tell you the best date to plant vegetables in the fall. The calculator considers your frost date and the time to maturity for the different varieties to help ensure they will be ready before the cold weather. Some plants, particularly the leafy green vegetables, may need to be started indoors during the high heat of summer and then transplanted when the weather and soil have cooled. Tender leafy vegetables produce best in a cooler environment.

Onions

A couple of vegetables that typically are planted in the fall that will not be ready for harvest prior to winter are garlic and onions. Garlic is traditionally planted in October (November in warmer climates) so that it will over-winter and produce in mid-summer of the following year. Onions can be planted in August or September for an early spring harvest. Leeks are a tasty cousin of the onion that will also over-winter well.

What to Plant

Many of the vegetables that you would sow outdoors in the early spring will also love growing in the fall. These include carrots, radishes, peas, and green beans. These vegetables produce quickly and you can even succession plant them for multiple fall harvests.

Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, arugula, and kale truly thrive in cool weather and kale will actually benefit from exposure to light frost to sweeten its flavor. Brassicas like cabbage, kohlrabi, mustard greens, and rutabaga are highly nutritious vegetables that do well in cool weather and can survive frost.

Brussels Sprouts

So many fall meals would feel incomplete without cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts. All three vegetables grow best in cooler weather, however, they have a longer growing season (10 weeks or more), so you may need to start seedlings indoors in the high heat of summer and transplant them outside while the soil is still warm but the weather is cooler.

Some root vegetables to include in a fall garden include turnips and beets. You can complement your fall garden with some cool-weather herbs like chives, parsley, and cilantro.

We’ve tried to simplify your fall garden planning with exclusive seed collections. Get our Fall Garden Seed Collection of 8 vegetables, or our Cool Weather Seed Collection filled with 5 cool-weather favorites.

Planting a garden in the fall offers several benefits. You can take advantage of the still-warm soil to germinate seeds faster. Pests and weeds are not as prevalent in the fall. In many regions rainfall is more prevalent, so less manual watering is required. Finally, you can take advantage of delicious garden-fresh produce all autumn and have additional produce you can preserve and store away for the cold winter months.

 Fall Garden Seed Collection Cool Weather Vegetable Collection