Beginner/Intermediate Home Gardeners: 3 Best Tips for Planting Fall Vegetables

As a beginner to intermediate gardener, you know that fall is coming up quick and you only have so much time left to plant your fall vegetables. As a home gardener with a few years of gardening experience under my belt, who is taking a social media class from Northwestern University through Coursera.com, I found two articles that explain how to plant vegetables in the fall.

Good Housekeeping posted an article about fall vegetables by Hilary Dahl titled, How to Plant a Fall Garden and Grow Late-Season Crops. The article delves into the importance of planting early & while it’s still hot out in order to give your plants the best growing conditions and the extra time that they need in order to give you the biggest harvest you can get out of them. It also states that it is important to know when the average frost date for your area is in order to know how long of a planting window you have to grow fall crops. The article goes on to state the importance of finding out the “days to maturity” a particular plant has and making sure to plan your planting so the crops have time to mature before your first frost. The other tips include harvesting your summer crops first to make room in your garden and that cooler weather makes your fall crops last longer.

Infographic is my own, made on canva.com.

Better Homes & Gardens also posted a fall veggie article titled, Planting Fall Vegetables by Heather Luckhurst. This article also recommends planning your fall garden according to your average frost date and adding two weeks on to the “days to maturity” of a particular plant in order to play it safe. The article states that speedy crops (arugula, mustard, spinach, turnips, radishes and Asian greens) that go from seed to your table in 40 days or less are a great option for fall gardens. It also lists plants that can take a light freeze like beets, carrots, green onions, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi are good to plant in late summer for a fall harvest. The article goes on to state that kale and spinach are very hardy and can grow into the early winter.

Drawing on these two articles and my own experiences growing fall vegetables, I have listed three action items that you should take if you want to have a fall vegetable garden this year:

  • Find Frost Date – Figure out the average frost date for your area.
  • Plant Early – Make sure your plants get off to the best start & have time to mature by planting in late summer.
  • Plant Speedy Crops – Choose plants with short “days to maturity” like arugula, mustard, spinach, turnips, radishes and Asian greens.

Starting today, find the average frost date for your area, plant your crops early, preferably in late summer and plant speedy crops to ensure that you will have a fall vegetable garden that will be booming until frost.

Hello, my name is Megan and I am an avid home gardener who loves to try out new plants as well as stay true to my tried and tested favorites. I created this blog to give gardening advice and provide inspiration to beginner to intermediate gardeners. I am taking a social media course from Northwestern University on Coursera.com. Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram.  

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