10 Great Vegetables to Grow In Fall

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You may think that gardening for the season is finished once the summer crops begin to wane, but that’s hardly the case.

In fact, your vegetable garden is truly just getting started good.

There are many vegetables that grow well during the fall and even into the winter months in some cases.

If you are interested in keeping some vegetables growing in your vegetable garden after the tomatoes and squash are gone, here are ten great vegetables to grow in fall.

Beets

Beets

Beets are an excellent choice for a fall garden. They love cooler temperatures and are hard to “beet” when roasted in the oven.

Beets are sown directly in the garden soil most of the time, but can also be started indoors and transplanted using care. Sow the seeds a 1/2-inch deep and then plants to about six inches apart.

The seeds should germinate in five to fourteen days and be ready to harvest in about 50-65 days after the seeds germinate. Beets can tolerate a few light freezes.

Not only are the roots delicious, but the tops taste great as well and contain a number of important vitamins and minerals.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is probably one of the most under appreciated vegetables in the US. If you love turnips or collards then you should definitely grow some kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi grows well in cooler temperatures and has a very distinctive look. I will admit, the first time I laid eyes on this vegetable I thought it was an alien!

Don’t let the unusual look fool you – this vegetable has a rockin’ taste. it features a bulb that grows above ground with stems that project outward.

The bulbs are peeled and cooked in a variety of different ways and tastes much like a turnip. The leaves can be harvested and cooked much like collards, with a taste that is very similar.

Kohlrabi can be started indoors or sown directly in the garden. Seeds should be planted 1/2-inch deep and thinned to ten to twelve inches apart.

Lettuce

Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the vegetable garden. There is a huge assortment of different varieties to choose from – some with frilly leaves and some that grow into large heads.

Lettuce grows bests in rich soil and cooler temperatures. It can tolerate a light frost, but freezing temperatures may kill it.

Sow lettuce directly in the garden, or start it indoors to get a jump on the growth time. Sow lettuce seeds about a 1/4-inch deep with a spacing of about twelve inches apart.

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, and also calcium and iron. These greens can be added to salads raw, or sautéed for a delicious side dish.

Another great attribute of mustard greens is it is very easy to grow.

Start seeds indoors for a fall garden in the late summer, or sow seeds directly in fall. Mustard greens are ready to harvest in about 50 – 60 days after the seeds germinate.

Collards

Collards

Collards are the classic fall vegetable for many southern vegetable gardens, but it grows well in other areas too.

Collards are related to cabbage and broccoli and need fertile soil that has good levels of nitrogen for foliage growth. They transplant fairly easily so starting seeds indoors and transplanting into the garden later is no problem.

Remember to give collards plenty of space – about 36 inches apart – to accomodate the large leaves of the plant.

Kale

Kale

Now we are getting to one of my favorite fall vegetables – kale. Kale is another leafy vegetable that is similar to collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens. The leaves of the plant can be found to be curled and very ornamental depending on the variety.

Kale tastes best when the leaves are picked young and tender. Leaves left on the plant too long can become tough and leathery.

Sow kale seeds1/4-inch deep and about 12-24 inches apart depending on the variety you are growing. Refer to the seed pack for spacing requirements for your specific variety.

You can harvest outer kale leaves when they are eight-ten inches long. A light frost helps to improve the taste of kale and removes bitterness in the leaves.

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is mostly grown in early spring, but can also be grown with great success in the fall. Seeds can be started indoors or sown directly in the garden.

Sow seeds 1/4-inch deep and thinned to about 24 inches apart once seedlings emerge.

Broccoli heads are usually ready to harvest in 65-75 days after the seeds germinate.

Onions

Onions

Many types of onions can be planted in fall and allowed to overwinter for an early summer harvest. It is best to plant fall onions using sets instead of by seed.

Cover the onion sets with a thick layer of mulch during the winter for insulation in cool climates. The sets will grow new green tops in spring and will be ready to harvest in late spring/early summer.

Bok Choi

Bok Choi

Bok choi is not a very common vegetable in the US, but it has a tasty cabbage-like taste and is easy to grow in fall gardens.

Bok choi needs fertile soil with plenty of nitrogen for good foliage growth. It is a very fast growing vegetable that is ready to harvest in as little as 35 days after seed germination.

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach is another fantastic vegetable for the fall vegetable garden that grows pretty quickly. Spinach is known for its nutritional value and ease of growth.

Baby spinach leaves can be harvested in less than 40 days from seedling emergence and go well in salads, stir-fry and other dishes.

Sow spinach seeds 1/2-inch deep and space plants about six to twelve inches apart.

You can harvest outer spinach leaves and allow them to re-grow giving you a steady crop of leaves for several weeks.

Bonus Vegetable for Fall

Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is a relatively slow growing plant and should be planted in fall for most regions. Allow garlic to overwinter and provide a thick layer of mulch for insulation.

The garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest in mid-summer of the following year.

It’s hard to beat the taste of homegrown garlic compared to store bought cloves.

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Comments

  1. I’d also recommend Mache (pronounce ma-shh) and miner’s lettuce. Both of these can be grown with the help of a cold frame or greenhouse and provide very mild flavored greens. Mache is a very popular winter green in Europe and miner’s lettuce is a native plant to the Pacific Northwest.

  2. You say that garlic should be sown in the fall for “most regions”. What regions shouldn’t plant garlic in the fall? I live pretty far north.

    • Hi Kendra – I was actually referring to very warm regions. Garlic doesn’t grow well unless it receives very cool/cold temperatures. Sorry for any confusion. :)

    • I live in Zone 4a and I planted my garlic in mid Sept. It is now March and my garlic has emerged and is about 6 inch tall. We have had a very warm early spring. The winter freeze makes the garlic plant bulb up real nice when it starts growing the next spring. My garlic is usually ready to harvest around mid July. I then dry it in the yard for a couple of weeks and use the largest cloves for planting in Sept. again. The rest of the garlic is used all winter.

  3. Hey Tee, Im new to gardening and Im needing a little advice here. I compost a lot of different items: fruit and vegetable scraps, coffe grounds, rabbit manure, grass clippings, etc. I have a good bit of earth worms as well. I planted my garden and everything came up great. My squash plants are huge and have a lot of blooms but the blooms seem to fall off before producing any squash. I have only gotten 1 squash of my plants. My tomatoes are head tall and havent produced a bllom yet. I have heirloom type tomatoes and I have read they are late bloomers. Should I cut them back any? My cucumbers are doing great. They are coverd in blooms and are starting to produce. I live in central GA if this helps. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  4. Thanks for all of your knowledge! All of these posts are really helping me find my green thumb. Always wanted to get into my own (organic) gardening, and now I’m finally doing it! :)

    Best wishes
    -Evan

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