Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden

Published: 11/01/2024 | Updated: 18/01/2024

Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


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Whether you want a plentiful fall harvest or a stunning, promising fall garden to give you spring and summer crops, this is the guide for you. There isn't a huge difference between the two, as most summer crops can get a second chance in the fall.

The cooler temperatures can also positively affect the taste of your favorite summer and spring vegetables. So, even though there are two different sections for summer and fall vegetables on this list, know that for most of them, you can plant those summer crops in the fall as well.

Everything You Need to Know Before You Start

After you finish reading this article, you'll have all the information you need to start planting a fall garden. You'll know exactly how to have plentiful crops from your vegetable garden in both summer and fall and the best vegetables to plant in either case.

The one thing you need to have in mind is the first frost date for your area. Otherwise, it's all here.

When to Plant to Get Fall Crops

To get a full fall garden ready to harvest for October, you should plant your young plants in mid to late summer. Exact planting dates will differ from one zone to the other, depending on the average first frost date.

For example, to get pumpkins right around Halloween, you'll need to plant them in late spring in northern areas with cooler weather to early summer around the start of June in southern areas with warm weather.

Fall Garden Vegetables

Those are some of the best vegetables you can plant seeds for in mid to late summer to get a great fall harvest to shine among fall flowers for a stunning garden.

Many fall vegetables in this section can have an extended growing season with the right protection or be re-planted again in the fall for a year-round vegetable garden.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Yellow Squash

Yellow squash is a perfect vegetable to get a splash of color in both your garden and salad. While squash types, including this type and summer squash, are technically not root vegetables, they're generally cooked the same way.

To harvest yellow squash in early fall, you'll need to plant them around late July to mid-August. Yellow squash generally needs only around 50-70 days to harvest. Plant them in the full sun and give them enough daily water and you'll get a perfect harvest with the turn of the season.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Broccoli and Cole Crops

Other than broccoli, cole crops include cabbage and cauliflower. Cole crops vary in the length of time they need for maturity but an average is from 55 days to 75, with some variants taking longer.

Late summer is a good time to plant young plants in your summer garden. You'd need to let the seeds germinate earlier in late spring-mid summer inside before taking them out to the garden soil, as late summer heat could be too much for them.

Then you'd need to provide a row cover to protect them from weather elements, cabbage worms, and insects.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


There are no fall gardens without pumpkins! Planting pumpkins a little earlier can lead to pumpkins passing over their growing season by October and getting softer and eventually rotting by the time you want to carve them for Halloween.

Generally, opt to plant them to get a harvest before freezing temperatures because while a light frost won't harm the fruit itself, freezing temperatures will destroy it.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Spinach and Other Leafy Greens

Spinach and similar leafy greens are perfect for fall crops. To get a fall harvest, plant them around 7 weeks before the first frost in the fall.

Spinach can survive light frosts, however. They can grow well into early winter until the ground freezes. This is only the recommended time to get to cook those delicious greens in the fall season.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


To get a radish fall crop, you can plant roots in mid-summer around August. Generally, you can also plant them in early April for a spring crop.

Radishes are also freeze-tolerant to an extent and can survive temperatures up to the low 20s in cool soil, so you can re-plant them again in the fall.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Kale Plants

Kale plants are generally very hardy and do best in the cool weather, tolerate frost, and easily survive winter, making them perfect for fall planting. However, you could plant them 6-8 weeks before the first fall frost date to get a fall harvest.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens, also known as brown mustard, vegetable mustard, Indian mustard, and Chinese mustard, are getting very popular in the USA for their health benefits and delicious addition to many different recipes.

They're cool-season crops and perfectly tolerate cool temperatures and get uncomfortable in warm soil, so they're perfect for planting both in the fall and for a fall harvest. Plant around 6-8 weeks before the first frost in the fall.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


Warm and cozy fall food won't do without some herbs for a good harvest. Basil comes at the top of this list for its incredible versatility, both in recipes and on the ground.

Like cole crops, you'd need to start basil seedlings inside before taking them outside, as they prefer mild climates. In the fall, you can also plant basil, but preferably inside away from the frost on a windowsill and you can still easily enjoy it.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


Cilantro is a perfect succession plant. It can be planted both in the spring and fall. It prefers the cool season so it would need some protection on the hotter days. For a fall harvest, you can take the plant inside during the hot early days and get it out a few weeks before the first light frosts in the fall.

What to Plant in the Fall for Spring and Summer Crops

As previously mentioned, many of the above vegetables can be grown again in succession in the fall for a spring harvest. The gardening season doesn't end with the warm season. You can plant food in the cool weather of fall and reap the harvest soon after.

Here are some more vegetables from the many fall vegetables you can plant.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Green Onions

Green onions are a great spring vegetable for salads and many recipes. To include it in your fall garden, plant it in dry conditions (enriched with organic matter).

That should be around 4-6 weeks before hard and cold conditions so that it would be established by early winter and deep freeze. Around early October is a good time.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


Turnips can be planted for a fall, winter, and spring crop. They mature quickly and are a great addition to any fall garden. They're cold-hardy and handle the cool climates. To harvest in late fall, you simply need to sow them in early fall.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


Beets are also some of the amazing vegetables you can have in your vegetable garden year-round. They're frost tolerant.

They have a starker color, and a stronger, sweeter taste when planted in the cool weather in fall. Plant them in mid-October for best growth.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts prefer the cool weather and don't necessarily need row covers if the winter and conditions aren't extreme. You can plant them nearly any time during the year.

But for a fall garden, plant them in late winter and they will crop from fall through to spring with minor timing differences between different Brussels sprouts plants.


Where to Start to Plant a Fall Garden - Shrubhub


Carrots are cool-season vegetables and prefer to be planted in the fall or spring. So you can plant them in late spring for fall harvest, or include them when you plant a fall garden. Sow in early autumn before the ground gets cold.

A fall garden is a great way to add character to your garden while getting healthy food planted in your backyard. After reading this article, you'll have a kickstart on how to get a good fall crop while also planting in the fall for early spring and summer harvests.

Many vegetables on this list can be planted both in the summer and in the fall, but you could also go beyond them to plant your favorite vegetables.

Achieving a pretty and edible garden isn't always an easy task, especially if you have established plants that you don't want to get rid of but aren't sure how to plant around them. A professional landscape designer will help you get the exact results you want based on your conditions.

At Shrubhub, Our team of landscape designers often works around that for our clients. If this something you find on your mind reading this article, have no worries, you're perfectly on time, as we're currently offering a 70% discount on all our design services. Sign up here right now to get the discount and a designer to contact you.



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