By the time summer comes to an end the thought of tending to another garden may seem like too much! But some plants really prefer the cool weather and so a fall vegetable garden is a great option for growing some of your favorite fall crops.
So here is a list of fall vegetables to plant as well as all of the information you need to successfully grow them!
A List of Great Fall Vegetables to Plant
- Brussels Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
- Lettuce, Baby Mix
- Lettuce Heads
This list is long and even though it’s unlikely that you’ll plant everything at once, it shows all of the possibilities for your garden.
I really love a fall garden because even though I am exhausted from gardening all summer, it’s much easier in the fall.
The weather is cooler which makes working outside more enjoyable.
It’s cooler and so the plants require less water!
And some of my favorite veggies like broccoli, carrots, and lettuce thrive in the cooler weather so I get a much better fall harvest than I do earlier in the gardening season.
There are a few things to consider when planning out your garden vegetables for the fall though.
You need to know your growing zone which will allow you to check out when your first and last frost dates are. You can check that by typing in your zip code here.
Then you need to look into each plant variety and know days to maturity to make sure you can get a harvest before the weather gets too cold.
If you live somewhere with harsh weather that comes on fast you can specifically plant fast growing vegetables that are ready to harvest quickly such as radishes, baby mix lettuce, and spinach.
When to Plant Fall Vegetables
2-4 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Spinach, direct seed or transplant
3-4 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Arugula, direct seed
4 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Baby Mix Lettuce, direct seed
- Lettuce Heads, transplant
- Radishes, direct seed
6-8 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Turnips, direct seed
8 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Swish Chard, transplant
- Collards, transplant
- Kale, transplant
10-12 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Broccoli, transplant
12 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Beets, direct seed
- Brussels Sprouts, transplant
- Cabbage, transplant
- Cauliflower, transplant
12-14 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Rutabagas, direct seed
16 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Celery, transplant
12-18 Weeks Before 1st Frost:
- Carrots, direct seed
For a free printable list of when all vegetables should be planted just put in your information below and a pdf download will be emailed directly to you!
In fall, since it is your last planting of the year, each of the the recommendations on whether to direct seed or transplant is important so you can be sure you get a harvest before it’s too cold.
All About Crops and Their Days to Harvest
If you know your growing climate and whether or not a crop is a short season, half season, or a long season crop, you can better plan out what will grow most successfully.
So while planning out your fall garden, choose the plants that will be easy to grow in your area and have plenty of time to mature.
Some plants can handle a light frost and some are may even be cold tolerant, but no matter what it’s always best to plan accordingly and grow what best suits your zone.
Short Season Crops in Days to Harvest
Direct Seeded Crops:
- Arugula, 30-60 days
- Baby Mix Lettuce, 25-40 days
- Radishes, 30-60 days
- Spinach, 30-40 days
- Lettuce Heads, 30-45 days
Half Season Crops in Days to Harvest
Direct Seeded Crops:
- Beets, 50-60 days
- Carrots, 50-60 days
- Broccoli, 60-75 days
- Cabbage, 60-90 days
- Cauliflower, 50-80 days
- Swiss Chard, 50-60 days
- Collards, 50-60 days
- Kale, 50-60 days
Long Season Crops in Days to Harvest
Direct Seeded Crops:
- Rutabagas, 90-100 days
- Brussels Sprouts, 90-120 days
- Celery, 75-85 days
Fall Vegetable Growing Tips
If the weather gets cold quickly you can put mulch around your turnips, carrots, and beets which will help prevent the roots from freezing even if their tops wilt.
You can extend the life of some of your plants to have a winter garden if you use structures such as row covers, cold frames or greenhouses.
Seeds germinate best at a soil temperature of about 65-80 degrees F so if it’s too hot outside to start your transplants for fall planting, plant the seeds in pots indoors where it is cooler.
It has more information than you could imagine for growing a successful garden. I am constantly referring to it. It’s a wonderful book whether you are a beginner or advanced gardener!