It could seem counterproductive to plan crops later in the season – doesn’t a garden thrive best during the spring and summer? You may be surprised to learn that fall gardens are not only common, they are incredibly satisfying and delicious! By planting your second round of veggies in late summer, you will be enjoying the products of your decision all through the fall. Not all vegetables perform well during this time of year, though, so choosing the hardiest varieties will help ensure they grow well. Keep reading to learn the best vegetables to plant in summer and our best tips for doing so!
Planting Tips for Late Summer Gardens
Pick Hardier Vegetables – These will tolerate frost better and often have fewer days required to harvest – you can generally find this information on the seed packet.
Mix Up Your Crop Placement – By planting different families of crops than were originally in that spot, you can help to avoid insects and other pests that could ruin your veggies.
Restore Soil Nutrients – Add a layer of compost or some organic fertilizer to revitalize your soil and prepare it for your fall crop!
Water Carefully – Time of day and amount of water are both important factors for a successful fall garden. Water earlier in the day and use about one inch per week, all at once. Additionally, planting new seeds when the soil is moist (for example, after a rain) will improve sprouting.
6 Vegetables to Plant in Fall
1. Brassica Varieties
Brassica, or cole, are actually a type of vegetable family that fit the hardiness needed for a fall crop! Brassica varieties include:
- Brussels sprouts
Tip: It’s always best to plant this as seedlings to encourage successful growth!
Spinach is a nutrient-packed gem which will give you leafy goodness throughout fall. If you plant in August, you can expect your harvest to start around mid-October.
Tip: Cover the crop with a hoop house so you can continue to harvest well into winter!
Turnips are a tasty root vegetable that are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins! If you plant these about 8 weeks before the first frost, you will enjoy turnips and turnip greens throughout the fall season.
Beets are extremely versatile and good for you – not to mention, incredibly delicious! Beets are perfect on salads and in heartier soups or stews. Similar to turnips, you will want to plant these about 8 or so weeks prior to the first frost to ensure they root.
Is there anything better than a fresh, crunchy carrot? Late fall carrots are especially delicious because, as temperatures begin to drop, their starches turn to sugar, making them even sweeter than normal.
6. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a very hardy, leafy vegetable that can be cooked, steamed, or eaten raw. It truly is delicious and great for you! A general rule of thumb is to treat Swiss chard the same way you would spinach, both in cooking and planting. Plant in August for an October harvest!
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