What to Plant for a Fall Garden

Wondering what to plant for a fall garden? Many vegetables will still grow well from late summer into the fall. It is possible to extend your season even longer using garden fleece and polly tunnels.

Find out what I’m planning to grow in my fall garden this year and the ways I’m trying to extend my growing season. Also, enjoy a few musings on what farm life has been teaching me.

What to plant for a fall garden. Mother and daughter sitting in the garden under a trellis of Long Purple Chinese Beans. Looking at sunflower and sitting next to a harvest basket.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

Accepting the Seasons and What They Bring

It’s the tail-end of July here and I had a mini panic session the other day when I realized that I should have started seeds for my fall garden already.

June and July have been a blur with family visiting, preparing for a road trip, vacation, theater camp (for my 6 year old) and a birthday party (for my 1 year old). I try super hard to keep our family life simple. I say “no” to many good things to try and make space for the better things. But sometimes life just has busy seasons.

I spent several hours fighting the overwhelmed feeling that kept rising up in my chest. After falling to my knees in prayer several times and having a good cry about how disappointed I was that the summer is half over and I may not get to plant the fall garden that I wished for, I felt better.

Two little girls harvesting sunflowers in the garden. A large garden basket sits on the ground and is full of produce.

I’m learning, very slowly, how to be content in the season I’m in, thanking God for each and every moment whether chaotic or calm.

Although, I might be too late in starting some plants, I’m going to do what I can to have the best fall garden that time allows for this year and pray God blesses the earth, plants and harvest. After all I can only put the seed in the ground, he is the one that makes it grow.

My “First” Fall Garden

Split rail garden fence with sunflower growing tall.

For years I’ve had dreams of getting some plants in for a proper fall garden and harvest. So far I have never had much success getting it started.

I guess between pregnancy, having babies, moving, getting a puppy, homeschooling and all of life’s other unexpected bumps, I’ve just lacked the time and strength.

There is some debate as to whether I have the energy and time this year as well. Here’s the thing though, I’ve been feeling a push to work a little harder and longer, wake up a bit earlier and use each moment in my day with more intention.

A Good Kind of Tired

Sometimes I look back and wonder what I did with my time 10 years ago before kids or even 5 years ago before the farm. I think farm life is strengthening me although there are times I also wonder if it is slowly killing me.

Large summer no-dig garden flower and vegetables.

There is always so much to do, so much to learn, and so much to enjoy. I don’t ever feel bored with life. But I almost always feel like there isn’t enough time.

I look at other farmers and homesteaders and see who I hope to be in a few years. They are strong hearty people who aren’t afraid to work hard while getting sweaty and dirt covered.

My recent 6 am garden weeding sessions have shown me I can be an early riser and I actually love it. There is no better place to be than in the garden as the sun rises, hearing the mocking bird sing all her variety of songs. Then to hear the back door creak and watch my little early riser make her way to the garden to join me.

Oh, farm life is the good kind of tired but full of joy life.

What to Plant for a Fall Garden

Wondering what to plant for a fall garden?

Back to fall gardening. Below I’ve divided up the fall crops by what month they should be started.

*For reference, I’m in zone 6b. Plants and planting times do vary for each zone so be sure to factor that into your fall garden plan.

What to Plant in Late June – July

Potatoes – Potatoes can be planted as late as August but early frost can potentially be a problem. Getting a small pollytunnel to place over the potatoes will help to keep them frost free as long as possible.

Cabbage – Cabbage takes a while to mature (60-100 days) and starting the seeds indoors in late June or July is best. Plant seedlings out by August, being sure to keep them well watered as this is still the hottest part of the summer.

Cauliflower and Broccoli – Cauliflower and broccoli should be started under cover in the middle to the end of June. Planting seedlings out should happen around end of July. Since they are cool weather plants, it is important to keep them well watered and protected from extreme heat.

Bush Beans – Bush beans grow well when started late July through early August. They can then be harvested late September through October. Since green beans freeze well they make a great crop to preserve for the winter.

Beets – Beets can be started as late as the end of July. They can be grown for greens and for beet root. Harvest will be late September through early October.

Carrots – Start seeds in late July to early August for a harvest in October. They can be a bit tricky to get started. Carrot seeds need to be kept moist during germination. Be sure to keep them well watered. Since carrots don’t need light to germinate covering the seed rows with boards or cardboard is a way to keep the soil damp on hot sunny days. Take the cover off once the seeds have germinated.

Winter Squash – Although winter squash such as pumpkins, butternut and acorn squash can be started from seed in early May, planting seed in late June and early July will yield a harvest later in the fall. So, if you missed planting these in May don’t be afraid to start them in early July.

What to Plant in August

Lettuce – Lettuce does well planted all through the summer (protected from heat and well watered) up until the middle of August. Harvest lettuce by taking off just the mature leaves to allow for a continuing harvest of baby greens rather than just one head of lettuce.

Spinach – Spinach makes for a great fall crop as it is frost hardy. These can be started as late as the end of August and still make for a good fall/winter crop.

Kale – Another green that does really well in cold weather is kale. Although I don’t love to eat kale, it’s nice to be able to harvest something when nothing else is growing in November and December. Kale will sometimes continue to grow and produce (slowly) all winter.

Sweet Peas – Sweet Peas grow well in cool weather. Start harvesting peas around 6 weeks after planting.

Radishes – A great root veggie to keep growing through the entire year are radishes. They can be started in the garden as late as mid August for a fall harvest.

Herbs – Many herbs grow well in cold temperatures as well. Start some seeds in pots to keep indoors for fresh herbs all winter. It is also possible to harvest herbs grown outdoors well into the cold months and many herbs are cold hardy.

Season Extenders

Polytunnel greenhouse

Garden Fleece

Greenhouse Hoops

9 Gage Wire for Greenhouse Hoops

Large pumpkin and gourd harvest in wood boxes and wagons.

Now to Start Planting

I guess I will be planting like crazy over the next few days in hopes of getting a decent fall garden going. But even if I don’t succeed, I’m going to choose joy.

I’ve grown a lot of things this year and we’ve enjoyed a lot of produce. There’s always next year too!

Other Gardening Post

How to Make a Grid for your Square Foot Garden

Simple Steps to Start a Garden

Gift Ideas for the Gardener

Pin What to Plant for a Fall Garden

Wondering what to plant for a fall garden? Many vegetables will still grow well from late summer into the fall. It is possible to extend your season even longer using garden fleece and polly tunnels.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *