You might think that the beginning of fall is the end of your gardening adventure for the year, but this simply isn’t the case! There are some very tasty vegetables that can be grown in the fall and winter months with the right care. Check out our list of the top ten vegetables to grow this season.
As a gardener, you are already a patient person. If you have a bit more patience than most and extra space in your garden, consider planting asparagus. Male varieties of asparagus are more productive and, once established, asparagus can continue to produce for 25 years. Give your plants the right nutrients by using aged manure or fertilizer to maximize yield.
Onions are an easy crop to plant in autumn and are great for beginners as they require very little maintenance. With a long growing season, onions require a bit of planning and a nitrogen-rich growing environment. Curb weed growth and keep soil moist by adding mulch in between rows of onions.
Spinach is a vitamin-packed salad ingredient that loves to grow in cool weather, which makes it a perfect addition to your fall or winter garden. Once ready to harvest, spinach can be cut and will re-grow making this crop a particularly valuable use of garden space. You’ll want to give spinach a 1-foot deep start in the soil and use amendments or fertilizer high in nitrogen.
Perfect for planting mid-fall, garlic is easy to grow and easily preserved for future use (never buy your garlic from a store shelf again!). Garlic needs a fine topsoil and, if you live in the North where the ground readily freezes, a 6″ layer of mulch to protect it. Garlic cloves can be placed in rows 6″ apart, which is perfect for raised beds of compatible vegetables.
If you don’t mind waiting until its warm to harvest carrots, they’re a great crop to grow in the fall and winter months as the cold adds a sweetness to their taste. Carrots prefer light, airy soil (consider a mix of sand and peat moss) and need plenty of underground space for the root vegetable to prosper.
See a rapid return on your investment by planting radishes in your fall vegetable garden. Ready for your salad bowl in less than a month, radishes enjoy loose, well-draining soil with lots of nutrients. An all-purpose fertilizer should do the trick provided your soil isn’t too compacted.
Like carrots and radishes, broccoli prefers sandy soil and full sun. This nutrient-packed super vegetable tolerates cool weather well and should be planted about three months before first frost. Broccoli grows best when the soil is mixed with compost or manure before planting.
- Snow Peas
In as little as two months you can start to harvest sweet snow peas when you plant this vegetable in fall. Amend your soil with compost or manure to add nutrients and give snow peas a great head start. It’s important to note that snow peas are sensitive to moist soil so these are best grown in raised beds or when ground soil is mostly dry.
- Swiss Chard
Plant swiss chard in early fall to begin harvesting edible leaves as little as 25 days later (just in time for the holidays!). Depending on your soil’s quality, add a balanced fertilizer before sowing seeds 1″ apart. Trap moisture in the soil by adding a layer of mulch. If a deep freeze is expected once your crops have leaves, cover the plants for protection.
Perhaps one of the most stable in cold months, kale is a must-grow plant in fall and winter. Give kale the best possible growing environment by using 5-10-10 fertilizer and ensuring the soil is light and well-drained. Unlike swiss chard, kale doesn’t need constant moisture to mature.
Keep Your Green Thumb Green
Don’t let your green thumb turn brown for fall and winter. Keep your garden growing and produce delicious, nutritious food right at home when you choose one or more of these hardy vegetables.