Putting in a Fall Garden

Think gardening is only for spring and summer? Not true! You can grow late-season veggies and keep harvesting until it turns cold. In some areas of the country, even longer.

Consult your local garden center, or an almanac to find the best crops for your region. But in general, cool-weather vegetables are sometimes easier to grow because you’ll be doing less weeding, less watering, and dealing with fewer bugs. Not to mention, it’s much more pleasant to be outside in cooler weather. 

Before you start, calculate the first frost date for your area and work backward from there to find the best start date for your fall garden. Be sure to add mulch to your fall garden to protect plants from evening temperatures and to prevent moisture loss.

You can plant radishes, kale, spinach and lettuce in September, and they’ll grow fast. And fall-planted spinach will do much better in fall than in spring. Squash and zucchini will produce within about 45 days. The cooling weather helps fall vegetable plants take hold and keep producing. Plant veggies like carrots, beets and broccoli and you’ll be able to harvest them til winter. Onions and garlic are hearty and can also be planted mid-fall — and you’ll most likely see a second round harvest next spring.

Whatever you choose, with a little planning you can even grow crops year-round, rotating veggies in and out through all seasons.