Planting for a Fall Harvest

Late summer is a time for harvesting and enjoying a lot of the vegetables you planted in the spring. Now is a great time to plant some new crops that you can have for a fall harvest. Many root and leafy vegetables grow well in late summer and fall, right up till the first frost and beyond. So keep your garden growing and enjoy more wonderful fresh vegetables.

Beets, radishes and lettuces are among the list of vegetables will grow nicely in the fall. It’s best to know the average when the first frost date average is  your area, in order to calculate when to plant these late vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by cold weather.

Vegetables for midsummer planting

Crop Days to maturity Cold hardiness Crop Days to maturity Cold hardiness
Basil 30-60 Killed by frost Green onion 60-70 Survives high 20s
Beets 50-60 Survives high 20s Kale 40-65 The hardiest – down to 20°
Bush beans 45-65 Killed by frost Kohlrabi 50-60 Survives light frost
Broccoli 50-70 Survives light frost Leaf lettuce 40-60 Survives light frost
Brussels sprouts 90-100 The hardiest – down to 20 ° Mustard greens 30-40 Survives light frost
Cabbage 50-90 The hardiest – down to 20° Peas 70-80 (longer than if planted in spring) Survives high 20s
Cauliflower 60-80 Survives light frost Radishes 30-60 Dig until soil freezes
Cilantro 60-70 Survives light frost Spinach 35-45 Survives light frost; may overwinter
Collard greens 40-65 The hardiest – down to 20° Swiss chard 40-60 Survives light frost
Garlic Harvest the following July Winters over in ground Turnips 50-60 Survives light frost

Leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard, kale and mustard greens can be harvested before the leaves reach full size. Often these small leaves are more tender and tasty than mature ones. These crops can be planted in succession every few weeks over the course of the spring and summer, to provide a steady supply of young leaves. Lettuce tends to bolt and taste bitter when grown in the heat of summer, so just enjoy it in spring or wait until temperatures cool to plant a late crop. Shade from taller plants may help improve the quality of summer-grown lettuce, as will selecting varieties suited for warm weather.

Basil and cilantro are fast-growing herbs that are ready for harvest about a month after sowing the seed. Garlic planted in September produces the biggest bulbs the following July, so after harvesting a late-maturing crop, you can plant garlic in that space.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for these tips

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