Here we go, the hot season is nearly over, and you may think that your crops should be too. But you would be mistaken! There are, in fact, lots of vegetables that will last through fall, and even some you would normally expect in spring!
So, if you have no idea yet about which plants you can grow for this season, just have a look at this list, and prepare for a fall of rich and fruitful harvest days!
The Keynote: Frost
The key point to keep in mind if you want to grow vegetables in fall is when the first frost is expected to come. It will change from region to region, but in most temperate areas, it will come at the end of this colorful season.
Of course, if you live in a hot country, you will be able to grow vegetables even in spring, but if this is not the case, do some research and find when on average the first frosts will come. In this article, we will measure the planting date exactly from that time, the first frost… And, don’t worry; we will give you plenty of time to harvest your kale but even – and here’s a surprise – your peas!
Great surprise to start with! Yes, lettuce will not stand freezing temperatures in most cases, and it will simply suffer too much from the hot and dry summer days… But any “mid-season” is good for fresh (and refreshing) lettuce…
Fortunately enough, lettuce also has a short life cycle, and you will be able to pick its juicy leaves in a matter of weeks!
Give your lettuce 4 to 8 weeks before the first frost is expected, and make sure the temperature is between 45 and 75oF, and you will enjoy it even in fall.
Another leaf vegetable (more a herb actually) that will grow well in the late season is parley. This too will tend to yellow and die in summer, but fall is a perfect time for it.
All you will need to do is plant it 10 to 13 weeks before the first frost is expected and you won’t regret it.
Yet again, you may associate tender spinach leaves with spring, but there is no reason why you deprive yourself of their pleasure on your table if the weather is mild in fall in your region.
With spinach, make sure you plant it 4 to 8 weeks before the first frost, and it will be plenty of time for you to pick quite a lot of spinach.
Maybe this is less of a surprise, as broccoli is a typical vegetable for late in the year. Still, don’t forget that you should plant it at least 12 weeks before the first frost, so, hurry up!
A close relative of broccoli, which we enjoy during the cold months, Brussels sprouts can be harvested even a bit in advance, if you plant them as summer comes to a close. Many people make the mistake of planting it late, which means that they only get one harvest. If you move early, instead, you may even get repeated harvests.
To do this, make sure you plant Brussels sprouts about 100 days before the first frost, which is about 15 weeks.
The king of cold-weather vegetable, cabbage cannot miss from your garden, and it gives you plenty of time to play with, as this is a plant that will easily withstand frost it will need it to close and compact its leaves.
Just make sure it is strong enough for when the first frost comes, which means that 6 weeks are enough, as it is not a very fast grower, but if you are still in time, plant it also up to 12 weeks before the first frost and you will have two different crops!
Look at the shape of cabbages… Notice that they leave a gap that is just perfect for onions? So, don’t waste it, and about 8 weeks before the first frost is expected, plant rows of bunching onions between your cabbages.
Another cold-weather vegetable with a unique, heart-warming flavor that you cannot miss in your garden is the leek. This too will grow well between Brassicaceae(like cabbage, kale, and broccoli), and this too will not mind frosty weather.
Just plant it 12 to 8 weeks before the first frost, even in two different times, to have a double crop.
How could we forget kale? Another plant that will give you flavor and nutrients galore, and another vegetable that likes fresh temperatures, your kale will be very happy if you plant it 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost in full sun or part shade.
To complete the list of classical “fall to winter vegetables”, one that can be eaten in salads, soups, or that you can even make into a pure, cauliflower, cannot miss from your table. Plant it 12 weeks before the first frost and give it time to grow; the best time to harvest it is just after a night freeze.
Another little vegetable you can plant between your broccoli and Kale, which will also keep slugs and pests away is garlic. Garlic is a very easy plant to grow late in the season, as it is very hardy and it will stand frost and cold weather with no problems at all. To give it the best chance of establishing itself though, plant it 2 to 3 weeks at least before the first frost.
Let’s close this list with a surprise, peas! Yes, peas are synonymous with spring, with their fresh and sweet flavor, but more and more people are now growing them in the fall too, as all they want is fresh weather. They may not yield as much as in spring, but as long as you plant them 10 weeks before the first frost, your crop will not go to waste, and you may even surprise your dinner guests!
As you can see, fall is not a sad season where you can’t grow much. Ok, no tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines, but apart from the classical late-season vegetables, like cabbage and leek, you can also grow spring vegetables, as many gardeners are now doing, so, you are welcome to join this fall gardening revolution too!