It’s late August and down here in Alabama that means it is HOT! So very very Hot! But Fall is coming and with it, cooler temps and a Fall Vegetable Garden.
If you want fresh vegetables right out of the garden this Fall, then now is the time to plant. The late days of summer are the best time to get in one last crop of growing things before winter makes it too cold. Growers in Zones 8 and 9 should be able to plant for fall veggies well into September. But for those of you growing in the colder zones, you will want to get started earlier.
So, what can you plant in a Fall Vegetable Garden?
There are quite a few vegetables that thrive in the slightly cooler temps of fall, below are some of the best!
I mean c’mon, that is some quintessential fall right there ya’ll. But quick warning, pumpkins are very susceptible to worms. Select varieties suited to your area and keep an eye out for pumpkin eating critters.
Varieties we are growing include: Johnny’s Selected Seeds Renegade PMR, Spark and Moonshine. But there are a dozen more I can’t wait to try.
Another fall classic, most Indian corn is best as an ornamental or for grinding. But even though it is not typically eaten right out of the garden I just love the color and variety of Indian corn.
Painted Mountain is a beautiful variety with the classic Thanskiving colors of burgundy, gold and bronze. Glass gem is probably my favorite with beautiful multi-colored transluscent kernels that really do resemble gemstones. If you are looking for something really different, give Jerry Petersen Blue, available at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, a try. Dark blue, almost black kernels make this one truly unique.
Start from a plant in mid Sept or start indoors from seed in August. This one can be a little fussy but well worth the effort.
Helpful hint – cauliflower will turn yellow when exposed to the sun while ripening. The yellow tint doesn’t affect flavor or nutrients but can be less visually appealing. Want to know how to keep your Cauliflower white? Read this post on Growing your Best Cauliflower ever!
- This is a great fall veggie. Its easy for the kids to grow and simple to care for. Just make sure and pick while the tops are nice and tight, before it flowers.
- Want to mix it up a little? Try a purple variety like Burgundy from Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Best planted in early August but one of our favorites.
Not sure about cooking cabbage? Check out this recipe for a delicious and oh so easy Cabbage and Sausage Single Pot Supper.
Kale and Lettuce
We haven’t had a lot of luck with traditional head lettuce in our garden, but any of the leaf varieties seem to do great. And there are a ton of choices out there.
Collards and Mustard Greens
Umm, umm. This one is a Southern classic. Easy to grow, abundant and will usually survive light frost. A big hit at New Years when superstition says you should eat Collards for healthy finances. Not sure it’s working for my finances but better safe than sorry.
Question mark, maybe. Most books and articles you read will tell you that peas do well in the Fall. I haven’t had much luck. Our summers seem to be to hot to plant for to long. And if the summer heat doesn’t get them, the first frost will. Because I really love peas I am going to keep trying and this article from https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/383/ offers some good suggestions.
Does anyone eat these really? Not us, but they do grow in the fall, so if you are one of the 10 or so folks out there who love beets, now is the time.
Bush or Pole Beans
Beans, not peas. There is a difference. There are a lot of varieties available and most will do well in falls cooler temps.
A fun one for the kids, these grow quickly and don’t need much attention.
I love the Vidalia and Spanish varieties but whenever I try these in the spring the weather gets hot before they reach full size. This year we will be planting in late fall/early winter and seeing how things go. If your Spring lasts a little longer than ours down here in the Deep South you should be able to plant these in Spring or Fall.
These are great for raised beds or large containers. They need soft soil and deep beds but make a great project for kids. They are also available in an astonishing variety.
With varieties like butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash making regular appearances in most kitchens these days; a fall planting is a great way to try some in your garden. Just remember most take 90-100 days to mature.
Late summer is a great time to get in a second planting of all the spring veggies you love. Things like squash, peppers and even tomatoes will produce until first frost. Just remember to keep tender new plants protected from the heat and water regularly.
So, what can you plant in a Fall Vegetable Garden? A whole lot!
The key to a successful Fall Vegetable Garden is understanding when your first frost dates typically occur and then counting backwards based on how long it takes for you chosen veggies to reach maturity. You want to make sure that if your veggie requires 90 days to reach maturity, that you have planted it at least that long before first frost. Or you can plan to protect them from frost but that is a whole other conversation.
Keep up with watering and weeding and make sure you are building your soil in between plantings and you should have a great Fall Vegetable Garden.
What are you planting in your Fall Garden? Comment below and let me know!
Missed our last post about Getting More Done? Tips on How to Avoid Project Paralysis and a Free Printable Project Planner to help get started!