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The spring and summer months are when home gardeners turn their attention to a vegetable garden. A lot of edible crops grow happily in the warmer temperatures brought on by these seasons.
However, the hotter the temperature is, the more pests and plant problems you might encounter. With the heat comes the bugs, the constant watering, the endless weeding, and possible nutrient deficiencies and disease control.
If you don’t like the heat and the problems that accompany it, you might want to try fall gardening. Even if it seems there are more crops that can be grown and harvested during the summer season, there are still plenty of plants that can do wonderfully well during the cool weather.
Knowing which vegetables to plant in your fall planting will open your eyes (and your stomach too!) to a whole new world. It will also extend your gardening season for many weeks to come.
If your garden space is smaller, it will also allow you to grow more crop as well as a greater variety. You can add your fall vegetables to your gardening space as you harvest the crop from your spring garden.
If you are in an area with extremely cold weather, you may want to consider protecting your plants with a row cover. This can also extend the growing season into fall and winter.
If you are wondering what vegetables to plant in autumn, here’s a list of some of the fall crops you can plant late in the season and from which you can enjoy bountiful fall harvests.
Fall Vegetable Garden
Brussels sprouts are ideal to plant in your fall garden since they taste better when allowed to mature in cooler temperatures.
Buy some brussel sprout seed and start planting Brussels sprouts in mid-summer and in about three months time, you will notice sprouts beginning to appear. These vegetables are ready for harvesting once the sprouts become green and firm.
Broccoli seedlings can be planted ten weeks before the first frost in your area. During the last summer days, you should start applying mulch around your plants to keep the ground moist and cool so your broccoli will flourish.
Use a low nitrogen fertilizer to feed your broccoli plants after transplanting them to the garden beds. In about 70 days, your broccoli will be ready for harvest.
Plant cabbage seedlings at least six to eight weeks before the first frost hits.
If the summer heat is intense, it can dry out your plants so make sure that they are protected from the sun. Since cabbages are known as heavy-feeders, apply organic fertilizer and water consistently.
Cabbage takes about 70 days to mature and be ready for harvesting.
10 to 12 weeks before the first frost, you can start planting your beet seeds. It takes five days for the seeds to germinate. You can also use seedlings, if you are not comfortable starting the seeds yourself.
Beets taste best if they are harvested before they get too large, as with many fruits and vegetables.
Carrots are one of the most popular cool-season crops. Plant carrots ten weeks before the first frost. It takes the seeds about seven days to germinate.
When harvesting carrots, they are the tastiest when they are harvested small. Make sure that the soil does not dry out as it can result in a bitter harvest. Leaving them in the ground for too long can also result in woody carrots.
Plant cauliflower seedlings in your garden six to eight weeks before the first frost in your area.
Unlike other fall vegetables, cauliflower can be tricky to plant and take care of.
A high-quality soil rich in nutrients and consistent watering are the keys to growing healthy cauliflower.
Fluctuating moisture, nutrients, and temperature can cause the crops to produce small and undersized heads. To prevent this, tie the outer leaves over the heads once they are two to three inches long. Doing this can also prevent them from tasting bitter and turning green.
There is no feeding or fertilizer needed when growing radishes, but you need to make sure that the soil is well-drained and fertile.
Radishes are quick to mature and it only takes 25 to 50 days for them to reach maturity, depending on the variety you use. As soon as they are of an edible size, they are ready to be harvested.
The cool and moist weather of fall makes spinach taste better.
An established spinach crop can last a long time, even during the winter season, and can survive during the coolest temperatures.
Spinach needs fertile soil to survive and thrive well. Make sure to use a high-quality potting soil to encourage tender leaves and rapid growth.
It takes about 45 days for spinach to mature for harvest and you can cut what you need and more will continue to grow.
Beans make a great addition to any fall garden.
Varieties like great northern beans, navy beans, and kidney beans grow healthily during fall. They are high in manganese, fiber, and iron.
You’ll know that your beans are ready to be harvested once the pods are dried on the vine. They should be light brown in color and you can feel that the beans are hard inside.
You can start sowing pea seeds during late summer to early fall. It takes about 10 to 14 days for the seeds to germinate.
When planting peas during the fall, make sure that you give the vines something to climb on. You can install a trellis or bamboo walls.
The most popular pea varieties to plant during the cool seasons are snow peas and sugar snap peas.
Once the temperature drops after summer is over, you can start digging trenches that are 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep in your vegetable beds to accommodate your asparagus crowns.
Prepare the asparagus by soaking the crowns in water before planting them.
When planting directly in the vegetable bed, make sure to space each plant at least a foot apart.
Turnips are tender, crisp, and sweet and make a perfect addition to your garden during fall. Their leaves also serve as top-notch greens for your salads and meals and are packed with a lot of nutrients.
These vegetables are super fast to grow, too. The roots are ready to be pulled out in as little as five to six weeks after you planted them.
One of the easiest crops to grow during the fall is Kale.
The seeds can germinate in cool or warm soil. Plus, the cooler the weather is, the faster and greener the vegetables will grow. The leaves will have a better texture and the taste will be deeper and sweeter.
You can start planting your kale seeds during mid to late summer.
Swiss Chard is another really simple and easy veggie to grow in your fall garden.
In order to harvest in the fall, make sure to plant swiss chard about mid-July through mid-August. If you are in an area that has an early freeze date, make sure to plant in July, if your first frost date later then plant seeds in July.
It’s never too late to start preparing for your fall garden! If you want to continue your harvest even during the cool season, try planting any of these vegetables.