Trying to figure out the best vegetables to plant in the fall vegetable garden can seem like a daunting task.
Like it or not the world looks a little different these days and it also causes us to think about being more self-sufficient for at least a portion of our daily needs. It’s only natural that we want to build security for our family because #stayathomewife that’s what you are wired to do.
If you are feeling a little confused about fall gardens and what vegetables to plant in the fall. Wipe those worry wrinkles off your forehead because we are about to change that.
If you have been around for any length of time you know flowers are more my speed. So I brought in the pros. Sarah from planmade.co is an expert in growing more produce in a small space. You know me, I am all about doing as much as you can with what little you have.
Take it away Sarah…
Are you feeling sad the gardening year is almost over? For me, I always feel a bit blue once the sun isn’t as high in the sky as it used to be and the light gets its distinctive autumnal hue. It’s super pretty but it’s also kinda sad.
Some of the plants in the vegetable garden are past their best, nothing is as vibrant anymore and everything’s very much slowing down. You just know and feel it in your bones that the growing year is almost over.
Still, there are vegetables to plant in the fall!
It’s not too late to grow a few extra plants and extend your harvest into the winter. These vegetables will all do well and give you a Fall/Winter harvest!
Go to a local, ideally organic, nursery that grows plug plants and see what’s available! There might be local options that aren’t covered here or things that simply work better in your area.
This all applies to growing zones 8 and up. You could get away with this in zone 7, depending on your local environment. You would need to grow more things under cover more quickly.
Vegetables To Plant In The Fall For September:
- Radishes – This is the absolute latest in the year you can grow radishes.
- Lettuce – All varieties that are quick to mature and can tolerate the cold will work well. Cut-and-come-again lettuces are a good option too.
- Bok choi or tatsoi or similar leafy vegetables – These greens that are classed as oriental vegetables can still be grown from seed if you get them in the ground now.
- peas. Either you overwinter these for an early crop next Spring or, what we would recommend, if you’ve got plenty of dried peas, plant some and harvest the tops of the plants. They taste exactly like peas but they’re a nice, fresh addition to salads and soups. They’re very fancy too, restaurants will use them to spruce up dishes.
As plug plants/sets
- kale: while you could still grow some plants from seed indoors and plant them out, they won’t mature enough to harvest from this year. If you want to have a kale harvest, you will need to buy plugs. If they don’t grow quickly enough, they will still give you leaves early next Spring! Kale are very hardy plants so they can be outside in the winter weather and they will be fine. Once the temperatures drop too low they will stop growing until it warms up a bit.
- winter leek. Winter leeks can still be planted and enjoyed later in the year or next Spring. They are frost hardy so don’t need winter protection.
- cabbages. Will be harvestable for early Spring greens or later in Spring for their hearts.
- onions, garlic, shallots. Can all be planted now for harvest next Spring.
If you are loving what you’re reading from Sarah. She has an awesome AND affordable ebook all about growing more in small spaces. Find her ebook here.
Vegetables To Plant In The Fall For October:
From seed, all will need to be covered soon:
- bok choi or tatsoi or similar leafy vegetables
- As plug plants/sets: (h4 or bold)
- winter leeks
- onions, garlic, shallots
Vegetables To Plant In The Fall For November:
It’s a bit late to plant out anything but make sure to cover any small plants you do have!
Lettuces, spinach, microgreens… Will all survive Winter when kept under cover.
Do keep in mind: all plants under cover for winter won’t grow much once temperatures and light levels drop.
Protecting your crops this way is more about being able to harvest one last time or have a much earlier harvest early next Spring, well before any other vegetables would be available again.
It’s not just about vegetables this time of year!
This is the time exact time to plant out most of the fruit available for you to grow at home.
- Strawberries should be available as bare root plants (that means exactly what you think it does, it’s a plant without any soil or a pot. Just the plant and its roots) in September and October.
- Rhubarb can be planted now as well.
- Fruit trees (apples, pears…) and fruit shrubs (currants, raspberries…) can all be planted until next March or so.
Bare-root plants will need to be in the ground by March. They simply aren’t available later because they need to be in their dormant state (still asleep) when planted to be able to start growing and not die.
Trees and shrubs in containers can be planted year-round but won’t flower or give any fruit (unless there are pollinated flowers on the tree when you buy it) in the first year. If you’ve been able to get the plant in the ground in the Fall, you might get a harvest that very first year!
PS. what’s a plug plant?
A plug plant is also called a seedling or a start. Plug plants are small plants that are grown in individual pots and sold to gardeners to grow on in their own gardens. You’re buying yourself some time back. If you weren’t able to sow your seeds at the right time and you’re cutting it a bit fine, you simply buy a plug that someone else has grown for you and you can get growing.
What’s a set and how are sets different from plugs?
A set is a small vegetable you’ve bought and you’re growing it on. Wait, isn’t that what a plug is? Yes! When we call something a ‘set’, we’re only referring to onions, garlic, and shallots. They’re tiny onions or small garlic cloves that a specialist grower has harvested and sells for you to grow into large ones. They’re all relatively dry so they will store a while, they don’t come in a pot of soil like a plug plant.
Guest: Sarah From Planmade.co
Sarah is a health coach and designer. She’s also an avid gardener and loves growing unusual produce in her small garden. She founded PlanMade with her mum Jatte who’s an herbologist.
I hope you enjoyed Sarah’s helpful information. Knowing which vegetables to plant in the fall season a little confusing, to say the least. With me being in the north I knew I had to bring in a pro to help you out.
Check out Sarah’s book all about growing more in a small space.
You can take her knowledge and apply it to all outdoor gardening. Not just vegies. Try it with your herbs too!