For many of you, vegetable gardening is coming to an end. My beans are almost done, tomatoes are long gone (thanks to my squirrels) and lettuce bolted long ago. Fall Gardens often look bare, but there are plenty of vegetables that will actually product if planted in late summer.
Plant Now to Harvest in Fall Gardens
But gardeners should not despair. Now is the perfect time for many to plant for a fall harvest. Just clean out the old vegetable vines, till up your soil a bit and amend with some fresh compost. Then you can plant a variety of seeds in mid summer for a wonderful harvest at the very end of the summer and even in to the fall.
What to plant and when depends very much on where you live and when the first frost is expected for your area, but for my zone 7b garden, I can plant a huge variety, many of which will keep me going even in November. The Farmer’s Almanac has a page that you can use to determine your first frost in the fall. Enter your area and check the date of the first frost. From there, just look at the seed packets to find out the days to harvest and then plant those which will fit into the time frame you have left until the frost.
Vegetables that you plant in the fall can often also be planted in early spring. See my list of the best cold hardy vegetables and when to plant them for best harvests.
Here are some vegetables that should work well for most zones. A few of the images below are from my garden and my sisters garden. Most are from my Affiliate partner American Meadows who have a wonderful selection of seeds for vegetables. (They are out of stock for the items pictured but have other similar ones in stock. See their banner at the bottom of the page or follow any of the links in the images to see what they have in stock now.)
- Radishes, basil, and spinach can take as little as one month to mature. They will also survive a light frost, so they are a great choice for fall.
- Coming in second place are lettuce, Swiss Chard, Kale and collage greens. They take about 40 days, so there is still time to plant these in most zones. Kale and collard green will keep going even after the colder weather, so these are a sure bet. I discovered the taste of this for the first time last year and it’s one of my very favorites now.
- Beets and cabbage take two months to harvest but the will take temps down to the 20 degrees F which makes them perfect for fall gardens.
- Garlic is a great crop to plant in the fall. You will not be able to harvest it now, but will be very glad you planted it next summer when it matures!
- Brussels Sprouts take about three months until harvest but is very hardy down into the 20 degrees F. (mine went right through the winter last year and did not die.) This photo makes me jealous every time I look at it. These are from my sister’s garden in Maine. I can not for the life of me get them to grow here in NC, no matter when I plant them!
- Cauliflower takes 40 – 60 days and will also survive a light frost.
- Green onions take 60 – 70 days and will survive into the high 20 degrees F so they are perfect for fall gardens.
- And finally, my favorite vegetable to plant for fall gardens is Peas. They take 70 to 80 days to mature and survive into the high 20s.
What are you planning to plant this year for your fall gardens? Please leave your comments below.