Plants That Are Perfect for Gardening at Home in the Fall
If you were busy all spring and are lamenting your missed chance at a garden this year, or if you simply long for one more round of homegrown vegetables before the growing season is over, there’s good news for you. Gardening at home in late summer can be fruitful if you choose the right varieties.
These recommendations are all based on gardening at home in zones 4 through 7, so if you live in other zones, consult your local nursery for guidelines on late summer planting.
Brassica or Cole Crops: This isn’t just one plant, but a whole category of plants that work great into the fall. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi all fall in this family and will do well with being planted in August. Be sure to plant these varieties from seedlings, not seeds.
Kale: This plant falls in the brassica family, too, but it deserves its own mention because some people prefer kale grown in the colder months. In fact, if you live anywhere over a zone 5b, you can grow kale through the winter with only a piece of heavy row cover for protection. Growing kale in the cold can make it sweeter, so experiment this fall to see if you prefer cold-weather kale.
Lettuce: Lettuce is a great choice for fall and early winter because a light frost won’t ruin your plants. Also, many gardeners prefer to grow lettuce in the cooler months because the summer sun can burn the tips of the leaves. Plant lettuce eight weeks from your first frost and continue planting until two weeks before the first frost.
Carrots: These are one of the best choices for fall and winter harvests. As the temperatures drop, the starch in your carrots turns to sugar, leaving your carrots extra-sweet. Start your carrots in August with a lot of water, sprinkling them once or twice a day. Once the weather begins to cool, you may want to cover your plants with straw to keep the heat in the ground.
Spinach: Spinach thrives in the fall and will even give you a mini crop in late fall or early winter if you protect it with a cold frame or a hoop house. Your plants can over winter and then provide more harvest until early May. Start approximately eight weeks before your first frost and plant up until two weeks before the first frost.
Turnips: While turnips used to be considered food for livestock, they have been cultivated to have a more refined taste. Plant these root vegetables in late summer, or about eight weeks before your first frost to enjoy them all fall and winter.
When you’re gardening at home, be sure to include Kincaid Plant Markers so you can provide your plants with the individualized care they need to thrive. Take a look at our full selection of attractive markers to keep your garden neat throughout the year.