As the weather cools and the leaves begin to change color, many people’s thoughts turn to fall vegetables. But with so many choices, it can be not easy to decide what to plant. Here are some of the best vegetables to grow in the fall.
Spring cultivars that grow quickly reach maturity in 3 to 4 weeks and can be successively planted every week up until a month before the first frost. Winter cultivars grow more slowly but have thicker roots and leaves, a more powerful flavor, and a longer storage period after harvest in the ground and the refrigerator. For some variation in your fall garden, grow both kinds!
The rising soil temperature at planting time will result in higher germination rates in the middle to late summer. When the leaves are mature, the colder temperatures result in softer, tastier leaves. Spinach is the salad green that can withstand the coldest temperatures and light frost. Similar to radishes, spinach can be grown until winter by planting a new batch every two weeks.
Although carrots may not grow particularly quickly, some of the smaller types, such as Thumbelina and Paris Market, will be ready to harvest in around 50 days. Sowing conventional carrots in pots first is an additional method of growing them.
You can start your seeds in long window boxes with a minimum depth of six inches until you’re able to plant them in your garden in the early fall.
Sweet, soft lettuce can be collected at all stages, from the baby leaf to the entire head, and should be sown 4 to 8 weeks before the first frost. Try growing your favorite salad-making kinds in succession throughout the season. Lettuce can survive the winter if kept under a row cover or in a cold frame.
When it comes to growing broccoli, fall planting has two significant advantages over spring planting. First off, while mature broccoli plants can withstand frost, young broccoli seedlings are less resilient and can be shocked or even killed by early spring frosts.
The florets will also expand more slowly in cool conditions because they are flower buds, giving you more time to harvest. Broccoli takes many months to develop, so plant a fast-grower like Waltham in mid- to late-summer for a yield in time for fall.
Cauliflower thrives and produces tight, sensitive heads when cultivated in the fall. As they do take a bit longer to mature, start your fall crop a little earlier, preferably around mid-summer. Seeds can be grown inside earlier and seedlings can be transplanted mid- to late-summer to gain a head start on them.
Being a root vegetable, turnips require a long growing season (100 days or more) in order to reach maturity. However, if they are encouraged to mature in the fall, they grow the biggest and taste the best. It doesn’t really matter if they are hit by frost because they are grown for their roots and their tops are quite hardy; in fact, they might even taste better.
Cooler temperatures are required for cabbages to form a head. If you transplant seedlings in mid to late-summer, an autumn crop will certainly result because they need between 90 and 120 days to mature.
With sufficient protection, you can continue to harvest cabbage family varieties long into the winter because most of them are robust enough to withstand a light frost. If they won’t grow while it’s cold outside, they’ll stay fresh and get even sweeter.
What is harvested in the fall?
In North America, the fall season is associated with harvesting crops like pumpkins, corn, and apples. However, as the leaves begin to change color and the weather cools, farmers worldwide harvest various fruits and vegetables this time of year. Here are some of the most popular items that are harvested in the fall.
Pumpkins are one of the most well-known fall crops. These orange gourds are often used to make jack-o-lanterns, pies, and other Halloween treats. Pumpkins are usually harvested in October.
Corn is another common fall crop. This grain is used to make things like tortillas, popcorn, and cereal. Corn is typically harvested in September or October.
Apples are a type of fruit that is often harvested in the fall. There are many different types of apples, including Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious.
Fall is also the time of year when many farmers harvest their grains, such as wheat and oats. These grains are used to make bread, cereals, and other food items that are staples in our diets.
How late can you plant fall crops?
It’s not too late to plant your fall crops! You can still sow your seeds for cool-season vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and radishes. September and October are the best months to plant these crops in most parts of the country.
To ensure a good harvest, start by preparing your garden bed. loosen the soil and remove any weeds. Then, choose a sunny spot to plant your seeds. Water regularly and thin out the seedlings once they’ve sprouted.
With a little care, you can enjoy fresh produce from your fall garden well into November and even December!