In many areas, fall is considered the prime harvest time after the warm weather growing season and when hot temperatures subside. But there are certain vegetables that are ideal to plant in the fall because they are hardy to survive low temperatures and thrive when allowed to mature in cooler weather.
Here is an overview of vegetables to consider planting in the fall based on your location and climate. In many regions throughout the U.S., planting these vegetables now will yield excellent winter and spring harvests.
The sweetness in carrots comes from their growing season during cold weather. You can enjoy more flavorful carrots by planting in the fall and harvesting them throughout the winter. Carrots can be planted in October and November because they thrive in the cold.
Autumn-planted spinach tends to be tender, sweet, and especially delicious. You can typically harvest spinach that you plant within just a month of when it seeds. Some gardeners seed new spinach successions every week throughout September, October, and November for a plentiful supply.
It’s also recommended to plant peas in the fall, such as sugar snap, shelling, or snow peas. All of these pea varieties thrive in cool weather but not too cold because they prefer between 45 and 65 degrees. Plant your peas about eight to 10 weeks before the first frost is expected, typically in September or October.
Another fall vegetable to plant is turnips, which have hardy roots that can tolerate moderate frosts. Turnips have edible greens that are perfect for salads and can grow to full size in about 40 to 60 days. Autumn turnips can be harvested in the late fall after some light freezes and used in roasts and stews on chilly days.
With a little advance planning, you can make broccoli work as a fall vegetable. Sow the seeds indoors in June or July and then replant them outside at least eight weeks before the first expected frost. The predictable conditions of fall weather make great growing conditions for broccoli, especially with more moisture and rain, to help the vegetable thrive. Sprouting broccoli and broccolini are other options to try if you have difficulty growing standard broccoli.
For your fall garden inspiration, also consider cauliflower, which takes about 10 weeks to mature. It can’t handle extreme cold though, so you may need to pre-plant your cauliflower indoors by July and then transplant it later. Cauliflower prefers temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees, making it ideal for mild fall climates around the country.
Garlic is a resilient food to grow and is perfect for planting in the fall. Plant garlic in October in zones 5 through 7 and in November or December in zones 8 and 9. This garden crop loves cold weather, and you’ll get a summer harvest with garlic.
Read more fall gardening tips in these articles: