Though the hot, summer sun is no longer beating down and wilting your plants, there’s still just enough warmth left to garden. Some veggies will grow just as well in fall as they do in summer, depending on your region.
Keep fresh food on the table for you and your family with an autumn garden. Whether planting seeds or seedlings, before planting, add peat, compost or soil conditioners to your garden beds. After planting, mulch to keep weeds at bay, help enrich the soil and prevent the soil from drying out.
5 Crops to Plant in Your Fall Vegetable Garden:
High in vitamins, especially vitamin C, cabbages are a favorite fall edible. They are heavy feeders that require healthy soil and regular watering. The best varieties include savoy, ‘Superstar’ and ‘Red Acre.’ Seedlings will easily transplant into the fall garden at this time. Watch for caterpillars and treat as needed. Matures in 85 to 110 days depending on variety.
2. Bunching Onions
Bunching onions, also known as green onions or scallions, produce bright edible stalks that are perfect for topping off nachos or baked potatoes. Varieties such as ‘Evergreen’ or ‘White Lisbon’ may be grown from seed, sets, transplants or division. Plant close and harvest as needed. Bunching onions mature in 50 to 75 days depending on variety.
3. Beans (pole, bush)
Beans are easy to grow and usually yield bountiful results. Plant either bush beans, which mature early and do not need staking, or pole beans, which require support. Plant rust-resistant varieties such as ‘McCaslan,’ ‘Kentucky Wonder’ or ‘Blue Lake’ pole beans or ‘Bush Blue Lake,’ navy, black, or kidney bush beans. Fertilize at half the rate used for other vegetables; too much nitrogen limits production. Beans mature in 45 to 70 days depending on variety.
4. Squash (summer, winter)
Warm climate gardeners can grow both winter and summer squash. Summer squash usually grows in bushes while winter squash have spreading, vining habits. The top summer varieties include ‘Early Prolific Straightneck’ and ‘Summer Crookneck.’ Some of the best winter varieties include ‘Table King,’ ‘Table Queen’ and ‘Table Ace,’ ‘Waltham’ and ‘Early Butternut.’ Winter types store well. Matures in 40 to 120 days depending on variety.
5. Swiss Chard
As pretty as it is delicious, Swiss chard’s frilly leaves are a unique addition to a fall garden. Sow seeds or plant seedlings of varieties such as ‘Bright Lights,’ ‘Bright Yellow’ or ‘Fordhook Giant’ directly into the soil. Harvest baby leaves as early as 30 days for smoothies and salads. Matures in 45 to 60 days depending on variety.