Fall veggie crops

Well, I'm starting to think about a fall cool-weather crop, and I'd like to see about some feedback from other folks.

This fall, I'd like to grow:

Snap peas

I may add to this list, but the 5 above are definite "must grows" this fall.

When do people sow these? How long before the first frost should I sow each of these guys?

And, for the broccoli and cauliflower, when should I start them indoors, and how long before first frost should I set them out?


Port Huron, MI(Zone 5b)

Hi Dave,
It must have some bearing on your climate because my broccoli and cauliflower are in the ground. Earlier today I was harvesting some radishes and I have 2 more rows planted. They are very fast and I plant them about every three weeks to keep them coming all summer. For the past 20 years or so, I have always had my broccoli and cauliflower in early and it does well for me..that's why I think ...maybe your climate in Tenn is going to make a big difference than up here on the Lake,
Sandy( I guess that was no help!!!! )

Lyles, TN

Dave: Usually I have a bed of carrots started as a fall crop that lasts almost all winter. I sow them broadcast, pretty thick then when they're small, start thinning by eating some each day or so. This leaves room for the remaining ones to swell as they grow. A bed about 3 1/2' wide x 10' long lasts a long time. Of course if we have 10 degree temps I cover them, but they grow a little every time it warms in winter. Usually sow in Late August or Sept. Brassicas on the other hand need the coolest place I can find. (so they don't try to bloom when they're 4" tall) Sometimes you can plant 2-3 weeks apart and pick the crop that does best in your micro-climate. Greens of course are as near fool-proof as can be since you don't wait for flowers, etc.
Favorite radishes--French breakfast, daikon.
So far it's been no-go for fall snap peas and potatoes. Somebody give me a hint!

Silver Springs, NV(Zone 6b)

Along with greens like turnip and kohlrabi, you might consider some of the specialty lettuces, late cabbages, Chinese looseleaf celery cabbage, pak choi and bok choy, Swiss chard, maybe a late spinach. Last year my kohlrabi, Chinese celery cabbage and Swiss chard overwintered under plastic, and kept producing between snow/freezes until late March when we had a warm spell and they started blossoming. (NV weather is unpredictable.)
I definitely want to try a fall crop of garden peas, green cover if nothing else if frost nips the blossoms. Maybe more green cover, buckwheat and oats again.
Problem I have with fall crop planting is it is really hot in August and September though first killing frost usually is Sept. 10, so stuff doesn't want to come up because temp is in 90's/100, then drops to 20's/30's, then heats up again, etc. Maybe I should start the fall stuff indoors, and stagger planting outside, since Oct. can be nice.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Dave,people around here plant their fall greens(mustard/turnip)the first weekend in Aug.It's still blistering,so they water.I'd do the radishes at the same time...do the lettuce and peas about 2 weeks later so temps will cool some.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Dave, what about shallots and garlic?

Santa Barbara, CA


Hard to advise you because out here on the West coast, I grow yearround. I do most of my crops as transplants (not carrots or radishes) started 6-8 weeks before I want to plant out, started inside, brought outside to harden off before transplanting.

There are broccolis for different seasons, same with carrots. Saga Broccoli is my summer broccoli here but can't find it this year; Marathon my winter one. Lettuces and spinach and carrots don't germinate well in very warm soils. Stick with leaf and oakleaf lettuces and the white cos for warm-season lettuce because they are slower to bolt. The asian radishes, like some chinese and daikon can tolerate warmer weather than the typical European radish.

You might try Sugar Mel for spring planting of snap peas -- definitely more heat tolerant as is Oregon Sugar Pod II snow pea which I let fill out some and it still stays sweet and tender.

Well, I could really get started here! Enough for now.

Crestview, FL(Zone 7b)

Removed by member request

No fear, MM, the carrots are there! I just didn't mention them for some reason. For carrots I'm growing: Danver's Half long, Kundulus, and Danvers 126.

I just sowed the danvers 126 a couple weeks ago and they are just now germinating. I'll be sowing another bed of carrots this fall.

Thanks for all the advice everyone!


Knoxville, TN

Hey dave,Thanks I just thought,that's what's missing in our garden,lol Hubby will love you for this one Dave lol
Hey hubby,daves got carrots in his garden down the road nd we don't !!lol
luv herblady

Salina, UT(Zone 4a)

This is what I have found that works best for me:
I put burlap sacks over the cool-crop things that I'm trying to germinate during hot weather, and I keep the sacks watered. The plants come up better because as the burlap dries it cools the ground and the seeds. Watch for sprouts though, so that you can get them uncovered as soon as they germinate.
Also, be sure to mulch around the plants with a light colored mulch (grass clippings or something). This will cool the ground around the plants after they emerge.
Good luck! Birdie

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

We start the late crops the first or second week in July. We sow them under lights in an airconditioned room, set to around 65-70*.We sometimes start a second crop 2 weeks after the first.

Don't get too concerned about first frost for your cool season vegies.
I have temps in the 90's and 100's through the first of September, then it drops off. We have first frost around the end of October or early November. Killing frost (20's) don't hit till close to christmas.
I plan all my seedlings to be transplanted outside as soon as our temps drop below 90 or about the second week of September. I can't direct seed lettuce, carrot, or radish after the end of September, or the temps are too cool to get them to grow big enough to harvest. Local farms plant spinach through mid december, some of the later plantings are for early spring harvest.
The reason I went throught the info at the top is because I can plan to harvest these items to almost christmas. The light frosts don't hurt my fall crops. If you look back through your weather info, you can figure out your harvest times for the fall plants.
Good luck.

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