In fact, I start missing summer in August when people start talking about fall and Walmart starts selling Halloween candy. Although I love Halloween and I do like fall colors, I do not like the cold. So, getting that last planting season in is important for those of us who live in zones three through six. The good thing is that many of the fall plants are food, and I love food. Blueberries, broccoli lettuce… yep, food. I am going to help you all out with a list of good things you can plant in the fall season if you live in a temperate area like mine.
Planning Your Garden
First of all, to figure out how to plan your fall garden you have to know when the frost date is for your area. You can get this info from the Farmer’s Almanac online or from your local news around this time of year. To decide when to plant your seeds in the fall, determine the number of days to maturity and work back the number of days from the first frost date. For example, if your frost date is November 22nd and spinach takes eight weeks to maturity, you better get them planted before September 27th if you want them to grow. Simple enough, right? Yeah but it is already October, so you better get busy. Right after you read which veggies and fruits to plant. I will do this alphabetically to help us all keep things in order.
Yes, apples have a season and yes, I know it is a tree and not a plant. However, you have to remember that apples are best when picked in very late summer and fall. September, October, and even November are perfect times to pick that fruit. Also, you should plant the trees in the fall to begin with.
Although artichokes are typically harvested in the spring, they have a second bloom in the fall which produces smaller numbers and sizes of the veggie. Either way, they are still good. And good for you too.
It typically takes about 10 weeks to get some beets so you will have to plant them early. But you can always get them when they are small, and the greens are good to eat as well. If the frost is coming too soon, you can always cover them with a cloth or tarp.
Although you can pluck blueberries off the bush from spring until early fall, you really should plant them in late winter after the last frost. However, they now have new really cold-hardy and fast-growing varieties for those of us who like to plant whenever we have time. Like right now.
You can grow broccoli all year long if you want to so many people do not even consider it to have a “season.” However, it is sweeter and less tart when you harvest during cooler weather. The florets will continue to grow into the winter if you cover them and some varieties will be there when you uncover them in the spring.
Since they are root vegetables, carrots can grow until the ground is completely frozen. You don’t want to be out there in the snow digging up carrots, but they will keep on growing as long as you reseed them every time you pick one. And make sure the soil is fluffy and loose to get the best carrots.
You should probably have cauliflower growing already if you are reading this in one of our zones in September, but you can always grow them indoors. Seriously, they will grow up until the first frost outside, but they take about four months to mature. There are some fast-growing varieties that are on the market now, which will help if you are just now starting your veggie garden.
This veggie gets a bad rap because it is so healthy, but you can make some pretty good recipes with kale. And not only do they grow well in cold weather, but they are also really pretty plants to look at. Some of it is purple or red and have a flowered head, making your garden look like a big giant flower garden when they all bloom together. Sure, it is still full of vitamins, but it helps that it looks good too.
You can pretty much grow lettuce whenever you want because it really loves cool weather. However, once it starts freezing, you probably want to pull it all. A nice new group of baby lettuce leaves make an awesome salad or sandwich topper, so you do not have to wait for them to grow to a full head.
Just like apple trees, plant your peach trees in the fall and harvest them during the fall as well. However, these are best planted in late fall or maybe even winter. They bloom in the late spring and can be picked from spring through winter, depending on the type and the zone you live in.
The best radishes are the ones harvested in the fall. The cool weather makes them sweet and mild instead of sharp and bitter. Harvesting them when they are small can also make them much tastier.
Even though you will have to plant them early, like in early September, for them to grow to complete maturity, many people love the spinach. In fact, it is now a better selling vegetable than mature spinach in this area. They are small and crisp, and you can just snip off a few leaves from each plant to make a huge salad.
Go Grow Something
So, there you have it. You can grow all this right now, and more! In fact, there are so many more that I did not include I may have to do another article or two on fall vegetable gardens. For now, you can just browse around the internet and you will find whatever you are looking for. Like, I have heard that you can grow turnips, collard greens, and brussels sprouts in the fall but I have not looked into that yet. If you know of any fruits and veggies you can plant in the fall, let us know in the comments below. Thanks!