Now is the time to plant your fall garden and get a few more months of fresh vegetables. Some plants produce higher quality and more flavorful vegetables when they are allowed to mature during cooler weather, which makes late summer/early fall the perfect time for these veggies. While there is still plenty of time to plant hardy crops such as lettuce, spinach, kale and other greens with shorter growth times, it’s the ideal time to plant tender vegetables that could be damaged by frost. Planting now will allow crops such as potatoes and beans that have longer slower growth rates the time they need to mature before the first fall frosts.
Picking Your Seeds
There is one important step to remember before purchasing or planting your seeds. Determine the date of your first fall frost and count backwards. This will give you the number of days left in your growing season. Some plants, for example onions, beets and carrots can handle a light frost so you can go outside your growing season by a week or so with these.
Our company garden has been cleared out of our spring planted onions, collards, and lettuce which gave us room to start our fall planting. As always we removed all dead plant material, loosened the soil and added a good quality fertilizer (we use Dr. Earth Vegetable Fertilizer) before direct sowing our Fall seeds.
Several weeks ago we planted cucumbers and pumpkins since we live in Zone 6 and have a shorter growing season. If you live in a warmer climate you still have time for pumpkins, guards and winter squash. Then, late last week we direct sowed the rest of our seeds for fall in the raised beds. In addition to the big autumn pumpkins our fall garden now includes the following:
Tall Top Early Wonder Beets
Purple Top White Globe Turnips
Green Sprouting Calabrese Broccoli
Yellow Spanish Onions
Other great fall vegetables include: potatoes, beans, gourds, winter squash, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, parsnips, head cabbage, kohlrabi, rutabaga, radish, spinach, lettuce, mustard greens, and parsley.
I always get a bit excited when I see the first sprouts popping up. Here’s a quick overview of what our garden looks like today: