The heat is beginning to wind down and the summer season is slowly transitioning but that doesn’t mean that gardening is over. There are plenty of thriving plants to grow in the fall that will help provide fresh produce for your family as well as squeak out as much use of your garden as you can before winter. Gardening tips and tricks for a successful harvest starts with understanding what to plant. Here are some of the best vegetables to start growing in your fall vegetable garden:
Lettuce Loves Cool Weather
There are plenty of options when it comes to planting lettuce in the garden. Choose from a wide variety of greens like iceberg, romaine, spinach and arugula. Lettuce is a cool season crop meaning that it grows best when temperatures aren’t so hot. It germinates and sprouts very quickly and can be planted every two weeks throughout the fall season in order to provide a never-ending supply of lettuce for your table. Many lettuce varieties also develop a deeper flavor after a first frost or early snow as well.
Peas are Perfect for Fall
If you live in a higher USDA growing zone with a longer fall season, consider growing peas in the garden for an edible snack. Peas like the cooler temperatures of fall and take a little bit of time to establish and produce. Plant them near a fence or some tall structure that they can grab onto and climb to produce the best peas. Enjoy fresh peas for dinner or have your kids take them in their lunches for a healthy snack right from your own backyard.
Carrots: Root Veggies Rule in Fall
Soil quality is important for producing the best carrots in the fall. Make sure to plant carrot seeds in fall vegetable garden soil that is well drained in order to allow the carrots to grow. If you have clay soil consider planting carrots in raised beds with moderately fertile soil that will allow them to grow better. Carrots should be planted about 12 weeks before the first frost date; you have flexibility after the initial frost date for planting since carrots are a root vegetable. Harvest them as close to this date as possible but don’t worry if you are a little late.
Plant the Perfect Herbs
The great thing about planting herbs in the fall is that they are quick to grow and you can start using even when the plant is still young. Consider growing easy herbs like chives, basil, and oregano in the fall in order to add fresh herbs to favorite dishes. Another option is to grow these herbs indoors in a windowsill planter that will keep them longer after the first frost arrives.
Another great option to add to your fall vegetable garden are zesty radishes. Radishes are also quick to germinate and grow making them the perfect option for homeowners in all USDA growing zones. Harvest radishes young in order to enjoy their unique flavor. Depending on your garden’s location, radishes can be left in the ground for a good part of the winter due to being a root vegetable. Add radishes to salads and soups for an extra kick of flavor.
Cabbage Grows Quick
Both red and green cabbage love the fall growing so much that they are considered one of the best producing fall vegetables. Harvest cabbage when the heads are firm no matter if they are small or large. Grow cabbage during the fall to produce large heads ready for fresh coleslaw or as a great addition to fall soups and stews.
There are plenty of vegetables to begin growing during the fall season. Add fresh produce to your meals by growing easy fall varieties like lettuce, radishes, and herbs. Enjoy longer growing fall vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and peas in order to take advantage of the full fall gardening season.