Fall garden planning season is upon us! The corn stalks turn from green to brown, tomato plants no longer hang heavy with fruit. And while many things may still be growing in the garden, you definitely have free spots waiting to be filled. It’s time to start thinking about those fall bearing crops and what you want to grow in the fall garden.
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Fall Garden Planning:
Some of our fall garden favorites include both salad greens and heartier greens that are perfect for cooking down or adding to soups and stews. We’re also giving pumpkins a try this year, so hopefully we’ll have some bright orange growth soon! You can choose to grow straight from seed (we love Southern Exposure Seed Exchange) or purchase plants from a local store. Here is a list of our favorite fall veggies:
- Lettuce (Romaine, Arugula, Mixed Greens)
- Greens (mustard, turnips, collards, kale)
- Broccoli (Check out my full post on How to Grow Broccoli!)
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes (plant in mid-summer)
- Pumpkins (plant in late summer)
When to begin planting the fall garden
Depending on zone, you can begin planting your fall garden as early as August. When to plant will also depend on whether you’re growing from seed or plants. For seeds, begin planting several weeks earlier. Here’s a diagram from Almanac.com with fall planting dates based on vegetable and zone.
What to grow in fall in warmer climates
There’s still plenty of growing time left if you live in a moderate climate. We live in the southeast, so okra, eggplant, and tomatoes will grow for a while longer, but I’m also plant my cooler weather veggies soon. (Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are already in!) For more moderate climates, you can also include these veggies into your fall garden planning:
- Carrots (See my guide for How to Grow Carrots from start to finish!)
- Beets (Find out how to make fresh oven roasted beets, too!)
Fall Companion Planting
Last year our Brussels sprouts and broccoli did well, while our cabbage and lettuces could have used some help. This fall I’m hoping for a better harvest and to do this, I’m going to try companion planting. I picked up the book Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte at the library recently.
It is full of great information on what to plant where to keep plants healthy and pest-free by using companion planting techniques. Many gardeners know that there are benefits to planting certain things together, but not everyone has time to do the research. So, as you begin planning your fall garden, you can find my ebook Natural Pest Control for the Home Garden super helpful in managing pests without chemicals.
And as always, you can grab my Free Kitchen Garden Planner which will help you plan a garden any time of year. Planning is always a great idea, since you don’t want to waste time and money buying plants, seeds, and supplies you may not need.
And if you’re a square-foot gardening fan like me, The New Square Foot Garden book is a fantastic resource for knowing how many plants to use per square in your garden. Or if you’ve never used this method, you may want to give it a try for an easier gardening method!
I’d love to know what you’ll be growing in your gardens late this summer and fall. It won’t be much longer before we see those leaves changing colors and those delicious fall crops filling our tables. Happy Gardening!