If you are planning a fall garden, there’s good news. You haven’t missed the chance to get in on the gardening trend that was sparked during the spring Covid-19 quarantine. If you have vegetable and herb envy after looking at the harvests of all your friends, do not despair. You can still join them this fall with a bountiful basket of colorful and tasty edibles.
The key to gardening in the fall is that you have to know what to plant. In various areas of the country, there may be items that work better than others. Plus, if you live in the northern half of the country, you may have a little less time to get going, so don’t put it off.
When planning a fall garden, look for crops that will keep growing even when the temperatures start dipping and can tolerate a light frost. Check out some options to include in your midsummer garden and then go get your garden on!
8 Vegetables to Include When Planning a Fall Garden
- Radishes. If you don’t want to wait for a great harvest, plant some radishes. They can go from seed to harvest in just four weeks!
- Broccoli. Broccoli is a perfect garden-to-table crop that can easily be added to a variety of dishes. It can even be sown directly into garden soil during the late summer. It is susceptible to frost, though, so look to harvest before it gets too cold.
- Beets. Beets are a great fall crop, because they can be planted during the summer. It’s best, though, to do plant betts among other plants that will provide some shade. Then, when the weather cools, and the summer vegetables are all harvested, they will thrive.
- Collards. Southern gardeners know all about planting collard greens in both spring and fall. They actually taste sweeter when they are lightly touched by frost, so don’t worry about harvesting them early.
- Beans. When planning a fall garden, include beans if you want more bang for your gardening buck. They grow rather quickly and you should be able to harvest quite a lot. You can plant beans even during the hottest part of the summer. Go for the bush varieties if you want to avoid adding a trellis into your garden.
- Lettuce. Know what loves cooler weather? Lettuce! Plant it directly from a seed in late summer or early fall to harvest later in the season. You can also plant lettuce in a container garden among color fall blooms and enjoy fresh garden salads most of the year.
- Peas. Peas should be included when planning a fall garden. Choose one of the varieties that have a short growing season. Try to sow these in your outdoor garden once temperatures are regularly in the 70’s or lower.
- Brussel Sprouts. Your kids may not love you for this, but brussel sprouts are a great fall crop. They are another crop that becomes sweeter when grown in cool weather.
5 Tips for Planning a Fall Garden
- Know your hardiness zone and the typical date of the first frost in your area.
- Be smart about choosing what to plant as not everything works well in the fall.
- Replant a fall crop to replace a summer crop that has already been harvested. This can help to avoid diseases that are particular to one plant.
- Enrich the soil. After the sun has roasted the soil in your garden throughout the summer, consider adding some organic fertilizer and compost to replenish nutrients.
- Provide enough shade. Use a trellis, tall plants, or other natural shade creators to help keep fall gardens from getting too much direct sun.
When planning your fall garden, just remember to be mindful about what you plant and where you live. But don’t overthink it. Get the most from your garden by lengthening your growing season! And be sure to check out these great fabulous finds for the garden!
What will you plant?
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.