Fall is just around the corner, and today we are looking at 6 vegetables to plant in your fall garden. If you are wondering what the hurry is all about as summer won’t end for at least a month and some days, it’s because autumn is your last chance to get fresh juicy vegetables from Mother Earth before the frost hits in winter. Most vegetables have a lifespan of at least 40- 45 days, so the earlier you plant them, the better for you: you would be able to enjoy a bountiful fall harvest before those cold, growth-numbing days.
In her most recent post, Deborah gives us handy tips on preparing our gardens for fall vegetables. If you haven’t made your garden ready for the sweet beauties below, make sure you check out that post before you start planting. Without further ado, here are 5 common, popular and easy-to-plant vegetables that you can harvest in the fall:
Everyone loves salads, at least I know I do. Now what’s a salad without some lettuce? To be able to enjoy the succulent taste of lettuce throughout the winter season, plant it this fall. Lettuce has a growing period of 45 to 85 days, depending on the variety planted. The fastest growing lettuce is the mesclun mix, as it can be harvested after 30 days. The lettuce plant enjoys full sun or partial shade, and so it can either be grown directly outdoors or planted in containers inside your kitchen; the choice is yours.
Radishes are awesome salad vegetables with impressive nutrient levels. They are also fast-growing and can mature within 25 – 65 days, depending on the selected variety. To plant radishes, your soil must be fertile and well-drained for maximum output. They can be planted outdoors or used for container gardening. They must receive sufficient amount of sunlight, as they need full sun to thrive. A unique feature of radishes is their moderate cold hardiness: they are capable of tolerating a decent amount of frost, making it possible to still harvest them within the first few weeks of winter.
The beet plant is renowned for its edible root. However, the leaves (better known as beet greens) are also delicious nutrient sources. Beets have a fairly long growing period spanning 50 – 70 days, and as such, should be planted pretty early. If you do plant them late, no worries, they are capable of withstanding light frost due to their cold hardiness.
With a maturity period of 45 days, the spinach is a very hardy vegetable. It can survive temperatures below 20 degrees, making it one of the few vegetables that can last through winter. However, for this to happen, the plant must be well matured before frost hit. By so doing, it is equipped to fully cope with the onslaught of snow. Therefore, planting your spinach plant early is pretty key.
The kale is a dark green vegetable reputed to be one of the healthiest in existence. It doesn’t achieve this feat lightly as it is quite choosy about the temperature conditions. If I may be so bold, I would love to say that the kale quite vacillates and is not really clear on what it wants, but one thing is sure: it loves full sun and it’s also a big fan of very cold weather. Heh, what a conundrum!
The chard is a leafy vegetable and another entrant in the dark-green category. Also referred to as Swiss chard, this nutrient-packed plant has a long maturity period of two months and above. It is not so tolerant of deep freezes like its kale cousin and therefore should be planted pretty early, most probably during the late days of summer.
This list is far from exhaustive,as there are several other great options to choose from: arugula, collards, mustard greens, kohlrabi, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprout, broccoli, carrots, leeks, peas, turnips, bush beans, parsley,…(I’m sure you are beginning to get the drift on how huge the list is).
I would like to point out that while the vegetables on this list can be harvested before or during winter, some fall vegetables have a maturity period of about a year. Thus, they would be harvested the coming spring or summer. Such crops include the much-loved garlic and the cry-inducing onions.