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Inside: What To Plant In A Fall Garden – Growing a fall vegetable garden is the best! Come and learn what to plant in a fall garden so that you can grow lots of food in your backyard this fall.
Growing a fall garden can be even more rewarding then gardening in the spring. But you need to know what to grow in a fall garden to get a successful harvest.
We have a fairly short growing season here and I love to make the most of it. Growing a fall garden really helps to extend your harvest and increase the amount of food you can grow even in a small backyard garden.
The most important thing to know about growing a fall vegetable garden is what plants grow well in the fall and when you need to plant them.
I’ve shared my favourite fall vegetable plants here but to make planting your fall garden really make sure to get this FREE fall garden planting calculator. It’s so easy to use, just enter your first frost date and it calculates the best time for you to plant each vegetable in your garden.
What To Plant In A Fall Garden
Arugula is a fast-growing green that likes cool weather. Plant them in the late summer to early fall and harvest like lettuce leaves to use in your salads.
Spinach is the perfect fall vegetable to grow. If the plants have grown to maturity they are very resistant to frost damage. Younger plants can benefit from some frost perfection if you are expecting a hard frost.
Plant your spinach by seed at least 4–6 weeks before your last frost date.
3. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is another easy to grow fall vegetable. It tolerates light frosts but will be damaged by hard frosts and freezes.
Start Swiss chard 8–10 weeks before your first frost date. If you are expecting some deep freezes make sure to cover it with a fabric row cover like this one.
Related: How To Grow Swiss Chard
Beets are a great fall vegetable to grow. Start the beets from seed 10–12 weeks before your first frost date.
Beets are a hardy vegetable and can easily handle light frosts. To keep them growing well through the winter cover them with mulch and a row cover.
Broccoli loves the cool fall weather! In fact, it actually makes the broccoli taste sweeter.
Broccoli doesn’t like hot weather at all, so it’s best to start it in your garden by transplants in early to mid-August depending on your growing zone.
Give broccoli plants lots of water and full sun and they will grow great in the cool fall weather.
6. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are one of the more unusual fall garden vegetables because they actually need to be planted early in the season.
Brussels sprouts take a long time to grow, on average 85–120 days. Start them by seed indoors and transplant them into your garden in the late spring.
For the best tasting, Brussels sprouts water until after your first frost to start harvesting them.
Kohlrabi is one of my favourite garden vegetables to grow. It’s perfect for growing in the fall, but also spring and summer.
They mature quickly needing only 65 days before they are ready to harvest. Start them indoors 6–8 weeks before your last frost date and transplant out when they are at 3–4 old. If your planting directly in the garden, do it 8–10 weeks before your last frost date.
Cabbage is a very hardy vegetable that tolerates frost well. Like other members of the brassica family, they get sweeter after being touched by frost.
For growing a fall garden it’s best to use early varieties of cabbages. Start them indoors about 8 weeks before your first frost date and transplant into the garden when they are 3–4 weeks old.
Turnips are a great root vegetable to grow in the fall. They can easily tolerate light frosts and if you mulch and cover them with a heavy row cover you can keep harvesting them over winter.
Plant your turnips seeds 60 days before your first frost date in full sun.
Radishes have to be the fastest growing root vegetable and thankfully they are also tolerant of cold weather.
Plant radishes by seed 30 days before your first fall frost. Some varieties are prone to splitting so if you have a wet fall make sure to check them often.
Peas are one of my favourite fall vegetables. They fairly tolerate to cool weather but a hard frost can damage the plants.
To grow great peas in the fall start them about 60–80 days before your first frost date.
My favourite variety of peas to grow in the fall are snow peas. They grow fast and can be eaten much sooner then shelling peas.
Don’t forget that you can also eat the pea shoots! So even if your peas don’t mature before a hard frost, you can harvest lots of shoots for salads.
Related: How To Grow Peas
Fall is the time to get your garlic planted. While you won’t be harvesting it this fall, it will overwinter and be ready to harvest next summer.
Garlic is a very easy to grow and hardy plant. Just make sure to plant it before your soil freezes in the fall. For best results plant garlic 1–2 weeks before your first frost date to 2 weeks after.
Related: How To Plant Garlic
Lettuce is a great choice for your fall vegetable garden. It’s not as hardy as other greens like spinach are and can be damaged by hard frosts and freezes.
For growing lettuce in the fall, I find that leaf lettuces work the best because you can start harvesting them very early by just breaking off the outer leaves.
Start your lettuce 4–8 weeks before your first frost. As the colder weather approaches cover it with a fabric row cover or cold frame.
With protection, you can grow your own lettuce well into the winter.
14. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are a fast growing vegetable that does well in fall gardens. Although they are not as hardy as kale, a light frost doesn’t harm them but makes the leaves sweeter.
If you are expecting a hard frost or freeze make sure to cover them with a fabric row cover to extend your growing time.
Plant mustard greens by seed in your garden 4–6 weeks before your first frost.
15. Green Onions
Green onions, also called bunching onions, grow very well in the fall.
Start them indoors about 2 months before your first frost date and then transplant them into the garden when they are 3–4 weeks old.
Green onions are very tolerant to frosts and freezing, even snow often doesn’t hurt them but it’s best to give them some protection in extreme weather. It will help to keep them in their best condition.
Kale is a leafy green that you just have to plant in your fall garden!
Kale is a very hardy plant that can withstand hard frosts and even freezes. However, if you want to keep it growing well into the late fall or winter then make sure to cover it up on the coldest days and nights. This will encourage faster growth.
Like other Cole crops, kale gets much sweeter tasting after the cool weather of fall arrives, so this is the best time to grow it. If you find you don’t normally like kale, try eating some that has matured in the fall!
Start kale plants indoors in the mid-summer, around mid-July. Then transplant into your garden in mid-August. They will be ready to start harvesting in September.
Kale is a seriously hardy plant, we’ve had it over winter many times in our garden and then start growing new leaves in the spring.
Have you grown a fall vegetable garden before? What did you decide to plant in your garden?
Don’t forget to follow my Gardening Pinterest board for more garden tips!
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.