A Fall Gardening Guide: How to Grow Cold-Weather Vegetables

Fall is the new spring! Eat from your garden well into autumn by choosing plants wisely and installing simple season-stretching devices.

| September/October 2011

If you’ve already done the work of digging and prepping garden beds for spring and summer, why not make use of that space for nutritious veggies this fall? With a little effort, you can harvest garden goodies well into winter—even in snow!

What You Can Grow: Cold-Weather Vegetables

Most garden greens and plenty of hardy veggies will thrive in cold weather, and many are actually sweetened by autumn’s dipping temperatures. Some cold-hardy plants, such as kale, mâche and spinach, will still be sending out tender, new leaves when it’s snowing outside. Root crops such as beets and carrots store well throughout the winter, providing four seasons of fresh flavor.

Timing: When to Plant Your Fall Garden

In most areas of the country, it’s not too late to plant your fall garden. The key is to start right now. Many fall garden plants get a good start from the last flushes of summer heat. If it’s already getting cool, you can still plant leafy greens. Garlic and shallots like to be planted around the time of your first fall frost.

To determine the appropriate growing season for fall plants, find out when you can expect the first fall frost in your area. If you’re not sure, search “fall frost” at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website. Then check seed packets for “days to maturity” and subtract that many days, give or take, from your fall frost date.

Most fall garden plants can be started from seeds, but broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale fare better as transplants. Give transplants a solid start by exposing them to direct sunlight for a couple of hours a day for about a week before planting.

As your spring-planted crops die off, replace them with more of the same. Find spots between summer crops to tuck in a row of beets here, a block of radishes there. Consider growing a new crop of peas up your summer trellises. Sow radishes once a month until they stop producing, usually after the first fall frost.

10/23/2013 10:42:28 PM

We get our fall and Heirloom Seeds from a American company own and operated by U.S. Military Veterans. The company is http://www.myheirloomseeds.com their package contains many of the fall vegetables writing in this article. I posted their name so that you could update the article as list them a s source for Heirloom Seeds. Thanks, Donna Wilks

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14 2018
Topeka, KS

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!