Fall Vegetable Gardens

Planting Guide For Cool Weather Crops

 Cornucopia of Fall Vegetables




Fall vegetable gardens aren't as popular as spring and summer gardens. As Labor Day fades into memory , and the remaining bounties from spring /summer gardens are being harvested many of us still enjoy sowing yet another crop or two to harvest in the weeks ahead.

Some gardeners may simply be tired from the toil associated with gardening and are looking forward to a bit of rest over the cold months ahead. Those of us who are garden fanatics and enjoy the toils of our gardens turn to Fall gardening. As summer comes to an end there are still crops that can be planted that will mature before the first frost, as well as a few plants, primarily bulbs that can be planted now to harvest next spring and summer.

Ornamentals [flower bulbs] are generally planted
in the fall - Garlic is a bulb and should be planted in the fall, it can also be planted in the early spring as soon as the ground can be worked, but fall is best. Planting in the fall leads to bigger and more flavorful bulbs when you harvest the following summer. See: Garlic Planting Guide


Other hardy vegetables will tolerate hard frosts of 25 to 28 degrees F. They are good for spring and fall gardens. The spinach, kale and collards will tolerate temperatures into the high teens, and will actually taste better when they mature in cooler weather. In some regions, the harvest can extend into mid winter . See: First and Last Frost Dates

Hardy Vegetables

Brussels sprouts
Mustard greens






You may want to start some of your vegetables from transplants rather than seed. Starting from transplants as opposed to seed is slightly more expensive but your success rate is improved.

Semi Hardy Vegetables

Vegetables that are best started from transplants for Fall Gardens include:

Beets - Beets planted for a fall harvest should commence 10 to 12 weeks before your first fall frost.

Carrots - Will tolerate light frost and can be harvested while immature if the temperatures dip early

Cauliflower - is frost tolerant only when it matures in the fall.

Celery - Exposure to cold for over a week can cause plants to bolt and produce seeds.

Chinese Cabbage - does well in cool weather. Warm weather can cause it to prematurely bolt to seed.

Endive -  Ideal for fall gardens, frost improves the flavor and makes them less bitter

Irish potatoes - Irish potatoes usually thrive in the cool weather, sometimes a hard freeze ruins them.

Lettuce - Performs well in both spring and fall gardens

Radicchio - Radicchio plants handle fall frosts very well. In cold climates, frozen heads can still be harvested and eaten.

Rutabaga - Salsify and Swiss chard are also considered semi-hardy fall vegetables

Kale is a great selection and is the hardiest of all of the crops, it will continue producing well into the next season.

Another advantage of fall gardens is that the crops that mature in a low temperatures will also retain their quality much longer while still in the garden. Those that are extremely winter hardy can actually be left in the ground until needed for dinner.
If you plant at two-week intervals starting in early-mid September and ending in early-mid October, you will have a steady supply for a relatively long stretch. If you've never attempted fall gardening, try it, you may like the results.

Hardy herbs

Herbs that fair well in cool weather