Well, fall is in the air and things are finally cooling down here. As the days get shorter and the leaves begin to turn colors, many of us may be thinking about winding down our gardening for the year. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is the perfect time to get in some cool weather crops. That’s right you still have time to go so veggies and grow them fast.
First things first let’s get down our Hardiness zone, it will allow you to get your first frost date with an easy google search.
The second thing you need to do is make a plan, What you want to plant, where, and how. A good way to do this is to make a binder or planner. This lets you easily track your progress from seed to harvest. If you need a planner you can pick one up here.
3rd thing you should consider is are you using seeds or transplants. Some of us may choose to start with transplants especially if we have a short growing season or a close frost date. you can still find cool weather crops in some of the big box garden centers or your local nursery. Some of us will sow seed in the ground or growing mediums Seeds can be hard to come by this late in the season, so ordering online may be an option, If your looking for seeds check out calikim’s seed.
Fastest Crops To Grow in Fall
Get re-energized and ready for the second round of gardening when the air turns crisp and fresh. There are a few crops that can endure colder temperatures, frost, and even snow, regardless of where you reside.
In a fall garden, there are a plethora of delicious vegetables to choose from. Here are some of the fastest crops that grow during fall:
Who doesn’t enjoy a fresh arugula salad with its fiery, sharp kick?
Arugula is a cool-season annual, which means it grows well in the spring and fall. You can plant this crop in full light and well-drained, rich soil. Like any herb or vegetable with green leaves, Arugula will benefit from compost and/or fertilizer. It is a quick and straightforward addition to any fall garden.
Distribute seeds in late July and continue every couple of weeks to provide a continuous supply of Arugula into the fall.
Plant peas as soon as the soil can be worked — ideally two weeks before your region’s typical last spring frost.
This iconic spring staple thrives in the cooler fall weather, and peas produced in the fall have a sweeter flavor than spring peas. Because these seeds take around 60 days to develop, they should be planted directly in your garden about ten weeks before your average predicted frost date.
Beetroot is a fantastic choice for a fall garden since they have even more vivid colors and a pleasantly sweeter flavor than when planted in the spring. For a fall crop, beets can be sown directly in the garden eight to ten weeks before the first predicted frost.
Plants are frost-hardy and can survive temperatures in the mid-20s Fahrenheit, allowing them to stay in the garden even after a fall freeze.
Cauliflower is renowned for being a fickle crop, but it is absolutely achievable for the ordinary gardener if you pay close attention to its growth requirements. The time varies according to the environment, as it requires a lot of chilly temps to create a nice head.
Various cultivars take around 50 to 100 days to mature. Apart from the common white heads sold commercially in supermarkets, other types are also available, such as orange and purple heads.
Carrots can withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but continuous exposure to the cold causes the roots to become lengthy and weak.
So, for this reason, it’s best to plant carrots during the late summer heat. Directly plant 8 to 12 weeks before the first frost date, then trim to three inches apart when the tops are a few inches tall.
Broccoli grows well in colder climates and can withstand harsh frosts. Without the added stress of summer heat, the plant devotes its resources to growing bigger heads while avoiding bolting.
Broccoli in the fall is also wonderful. A few mild touches of frost enhance the sweetness and tenderness of the heads. Try using a floating row cover to shield seedlings from pests until the temperature cools down in late July.
Another fall garden favorite is spinach. It grows fast in cooler temperatures, producing plenty of leaves. Also, it can withstand frosts and freezing weather, which makes it a must-have for any fall garden.
Eight weeks before the first predicted frost date, sow directly in full sun. Harvest the outer leaves as soon as they reach a length of several inches and continue to do so until the plants blossom or are destroyed by a strong frost.
Kale is extremely cold-resistant, retaining its dark green color and nutrient content far into the fall and winter months when most other crops have wilted.
With appropriate care, it may even last far into the winter. And it actually grows sweeter after a few touches of frost, as the cold changes the starches in the stems and leaves to sugars.
9. Bok Choy
This delightful Chinese cabbage, also known as Pak Choi, is crisp, soft, and delicate, with a slightly peppery flavor.
Beginning in mid to late summer and up until six to eight weeks before the first predicted frost, sow directly in full sun or medium shade. Bok choy thrives in chilly temperatures, and July is an excellent time to get started. The plant bolts (goes to seed) fast in the summer, which might affect the flavor of the leaves, making them bitter.
Cabbage is a cold-tolerant crop that reaches its optimum taste after being exposed to mild frosts in the fall. Plant seeds in the summer, 12 to 14 weeks before the first predicted frost. After this, transfer seedlings into a sunny area in the garden when they’re four to six weeks old. Make sure to leave 12 to 18 inches between the plants.
To protect plants from overheating after transplanting into hot summer soils, consider using temporary shade coverings.
Summer doesn’t have to be the end of having a healthy food garden. With a bit of forethought and preparation, you can produce veggies far into the fall or even year-round if you live in a warmer environment down south.
Until Next Time,