What To Plant In Fall: Top 29 Fall Garden Vegetables

vegetables to plant in the fall


There’s something satisfying about planting a garden in the crisp, colorful autumn weather, knowing that, after carefully planning what to plant in fall, I’ll be able to enjoy the produce through the colder months and into the new year. Fresh peas, broccoli, leeks, peppers, and onions make a good portion of my meals homegrown, healthy, and packed with flavor, even withstanding the occasional freeze that my North Carolina homestead experiences.

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Hi, I’m Ryan

Over the years, through lots of experimenting, I’ve learned what vegetables grow well in each season in my garden. I’ve compiled a chart of what to plant in fall to reference every year. It keeps my gardening calendar on target, and the fresh vegetables just keep coming.

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When Is The Perfect Time To Start Thinking About What To Plant In Fall?

When Is The Perfect Time To Start Thinking About What To Plant In Fall

As much as I enjoy gardening on my homestead, deciding what to plant in fall does require some planning and calculating to get everything in the ground at the best times. I honestly find the planning stage to be a fun part of gardening — it’s like puzzling together your fresh produce plans for the year and optimizing your yield with prime growing times for each crop.

vegetables to plant in octoberConsider what fall garden plants you want to grow, which seedlings you’ll need to care for, and when they’ll be ready to harvest. I like to plan my fall garden during mid to late summer to help me transition to the new season as efficiently as possible.

To prep my fall garden, as my warm-weather plants stop producing, I gradually go through my late summer garden, clearing out the dead plants and adding them to my compost pile.

Some of these plants will produce well into the fall, so I do any necessary pruning, fertilizing, and mulching to keep these veggies healthy and productive. I’m ready to get my fall garden plants into the soil by September.

If it’s the middle of fall right now, though, and you still want to squeeze in a fall garden, don’t be discouraged. As you’ll see on the chart below, plenty of fall vegetables can be planted in mid to late fall in mild climates.

Fall Vegetables To Grow From Seed

Fall Vegetables To Grow From Seed

Many of the fall garden vegetables on my chart above can be successfully grown from seed or from a transplanted seedling, but there are a few that you’ll want to sow directly into the soil as seeds for best results. These vegetables include bok choy, rhubarb, sunchokes, asparagus, collards, garlic, peas, arugula, lettuce, and scallions.

In my mild climate, I have had great success with seeding these vegetables outdoors by using a lot of compost and mulch and by utilizing frost cloths to cover my rows of fall vegetables. If you live in an area with frequent freezes, consider seeding some of these indoors and allowing them to grow in pots in a sunroom or another room of your house with a lot of direct sunlight.

easiest vegetables to grow

Tips For Planting Fall Vegetables

Tips For Planting Fall Vegetables

One of the great things about fall gardens is that the soil is still warm from the summer months (unlike spring gardens). Although it will start to cool off, especially toward the end of autumn, many of the best veggies to plant in the fall grow their best in cool weather — some, like turnips, beets, and broccoli, even taste better after having endured some frosts.

Even though fall is an optimal growing time for those in mild to warm climates, there are some measures you’ll need to take to keep your plants protected from frosts and keep your soil packed with moisture to help your plants grow and thrive.

Getting Your Fall Vegetables To Grow

Top 6 Tips For Getting Your Fall Vegetables To Grow

  1. If you live in an area with harsh winters, the best vegetable plants to grow in the fall will be those that can mature in under 70 days, such as arugula, Swiss chard, and scallions.
  2. Veggies grow at a slower rate in the cool weather, so your fall vegetables might need a little extra time in the ground. Adding a couple of weeks to their projected maturation date on your seed packets will help you avoid harvesting too early.
  3. Lots of seeds will go on sale during the colder months of the year, and you can use these sales to stock up for next year.
  4. When transitioning from a summer to a fall garden, simply loosen your topsoil and mix in some compost before planting your fall vegetables.
  5. Use lots of compost and mulch with your cold-weather crops to give them extra nutrients, pack in the moisture, and shelter them from frost.
  6. Consider building cold frames or even a greenhouse on your property if you’re in a mild to cold climate but are committed to having large fall and winter harvests.

choosing the right vegetables for your garden

FAQs For Fall Garden Vegetables

FAQs About Fall Garden Vegetables

I love fall gardening, and choosing what to plant in fall every year on my homestead has created a comfortable growing rhythm that I thoroughly enjoy. Because of this, I love it when others ask me questions about what vegetable plants to grow in the fall and how to start their fall gardens. Let me answer a few of my most frequently asked questions.

what to plant in july

What Is Considered Too Early For Fall Planting?

For you over-achievers out there who want to know the earliest you can start your fall planting, that is, honestly, before fall even begins. Many gardeners start their fall planting in mid to late summer, which works perfectly for many vegetables on my chart. If you’re considering this, just keep in mind that some fall vegetables are true cold-weather plants and will do better when planted in the fall months.

vegetables to plant in winter

What Should You Not Plant In The Fall?

For as many plants that grow well in the fall, there are also quite a few that you should avoid planting too close to the end of the year. The following veggies are not cold hardy enough to withstand any frosts or freezes, so you should avoid these plants in your fall planting spree.

Plants To Avoid Planting In The Fall

  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
bell peppers in vegetable garden

What Fall Garden Plants Are Also Perennials?

What Fall Garden Plants Are Also Perennials

I always try to include perennial vegetables in my fall garden because they just keep on giving. Another amazing thing about the autumn growing season is that many of the best fall garden plants are also perennials.

Perennial Fall Vegetables and Herbs

  • Broccoli (some varieties)
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Many other herbs
Perennial Fall Vegetables

What Are The Best Practices For Watering Your Fall Garden Vegetables?

Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and pay attention to how often it rains. Fall gardens don’t require quite as much water as your warmer weather gardens, but the soil needs to stay moist. I like to water my fall garden every other week, as long as rainfall in my area has been fairly average. As the weather starts to cool, start weaning your plants back on water little by little. By mid fall you should be down to just a couple of times per month. Water low and slow, keeping it close to the roots. Don’t drench your fall garden plants, but apply extra mulch to pack the moisture in.

homesteading tips

Why Plant Fall Vegetables In Your Garden?

Why Plant Fall Vegetables In Your Garden

Planting fall vegetables easily became second nature for me as I was already in the habit of tending my garden for most of the year. Planting a fall garden takes work, but it’s definitely easier when you’ve already been cultivating the soil in the summer months.

homesteading skillsTo make your fall gardening easier, I recommend you start transitioning to fall in stages, clearing your warmer weather plants out as they stop producing, rather than all at once, so you’re ready to plant once September hits.

The soil temperatures and the weather throughout the fall months are honestly ideal for many cold-weather plants, and I’m confident you’ll find the work of your fall garden to be more than worth it.

Using my chart of fall vegetables, go ahead and choose what to plant in fall in your garden this year and get your plan rolling. The sooner you start planning your fall vegetable garden, the more confident you’ll be when the time comes to get your plants in the soil!

Your Turn!

  • What are your favorite fall vegetables to grow?
  • What protection do you use to keep your plants safe from the cold?

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