9 Foods to Plant Now for Fall Harvest

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peas-sqThere’s plenty of time to plant some great crops before the season is over. Whether you’ve got some garden space available after a summer harvest or haven’t planted anything yet, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

 

To plant for a fall harvest just clean out the old vegetable vines, till up your soil a bit and amend with some fresh compost. Then you can plant a variety of seeds in mid summer for a wonderful harvest in the fall and early winter.

 

What to plant and when depends very much on where you live and when the first frost is expected for your area, but for my zone 7b garden, I can plant a huge variety, many of which will keep me going even in November. The Farmer’s Almanac has a great chart that you can use to determine your first frost in the fall.

 

Here are some vegetables that should work well for most zones.

Turnips & Radishes: These can survive a light frost and radishes can take as little as  25-35 days to maturity. Most climates should plan for about 45 days for a fall radish harvest. Turnips take between 30-60 days and heavy straw mulch will extend harvest. Sugar content increases as temperatures drop, therefore the longer you can wait, the sweeter your harvest will be.
Basil, and Spinach can take as little as one month to mature. They will also survive a light frost, so they are a great choice for fall.

 

Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Kale & Collard Greens:  They take about 40 days, so there is still time to plant these in most zones.  Kale and collard greens will keep going even after the colder weather, so these are a sure bet. You can provide a 1 ft layer of loose leaf or straw mulch to protect kale and collard greens for even longer, sometimes all the way through the winter.
Beets take two months to harvest but they will take temps down to the 20 degrees F. Excessive removal of the leaves for greens will inhibit enlarging of the root.

 

Broccoli takes about three months to mature but can survive a light frost. Although it may be too late to directly sow if you live in a higher zone transplants are perfect for this time of year. The cooler weather prevents bolting which will result in large, sweet, and compact heads.

Brussel Sprouts can take up to three months until harvest but they are very hardy down to nearly 20 degrees F.  (Mine went right through the winter last year in zone 7b and did not die).
Cauliflower requires 55 to 100 days of cool, even temperatures to reach harvest and will also survive a light frost.
Green Onions take 60 – 70 days and will survive into the high 20 degrees F. If left undisturbed the roots will shoot up several massive stalks in the spring. Allow these stalks to flower then dry and you will find many black onion seeds within the blossoms by early summer.
Peas take 70 to 80 days to mature and survive into the high 20s. Frost needs to hit the lower 20s to hurt them even when they are in bloom.

 

Bonus: Garlicis a great crop to plant in the fall. You will not be able to harvest it this year, but will be very glad you planted it next summer when it matures! Click here for an in depth video about planting and growing garlic.

 

Sources:

thegardeningook.com

pubs.ext.vt.edu

Image:Flickr/bitzi

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