As days get shorter, many gardeners might think their harvesting days are coming to a close but think again! Many crops perform and taste better when grown in cooler temperatures. The key is knowing when the average first frost date is for your area. Don’t know your first frost days? There’s always room…
We’re not talking about setting aside a large area for fall crops but if you have it, use it! Consider using available space in your flower garden or mixed border; fill in areas with edibles as you remove tired-looking annuals or prune back perennials. Or, as warm season crops finish productivity, fill in with cool season crops.
Direct sowing is easy…
Plant the seeds directly into the soil. Since you will be planting in the heat of summer, sow the seed in a partly shaded spot, or provide shade to keep them cooler. Mist lightly during the day to refresh the seedlings and young plants. Otherwise, they require no different care than spring-sown seeds.
Kale Prizm, AAS Winner - When grown, Prizm produces attractive short, tight ruffle-edged leaves that are content to be grown in containers as well as in-ground beds
Their easy-to-maintain, almost stemless stalks are quick to re-leaf so harvest early and often for a continual supply. Time crop to finish under cool conditions in the fall. Frost enhances flavor. Harvest time from seed is 50-60 days.
Kohlrabi Konan - 2016 AAS Edible-Vegetable Winner
Konan was selected for it smooth, globe-shaped bulbs that can grow up to 6 inches in diameter. Sow seed about 4-6 weeks before average last frost, and two weeks apart for an extended harvest.
Avalanche Beet exhibits a mild, sweet taste with a uniform root shape and no reddish tinge, making for more attractive produce.
Sow in late summer in fertile, well-drained soil, sow 1 inch apart, 1/4 inch deep. Thin to 3 inches apart while small. (Use thinnings–tops and roots–for salads!) Beets will be ready to harvest in 50 days!
Mizuna Red Kingdom AAS Edible - Vegetable Winner
Best harvested at 3-5 weeks and leaves can be harvested about 3~4 times continuously. Harvesting can be longer based on preference. This attractive plant can be grown in containers as an ornamental edible.
Radish Roxanne F1 - 2015 AAS Edible - Vegetable Award Winner Roxanne is a hybrid radish with uniform bright red color and a beautiful creamy white interior.
Sow seeds at weekly intervals. With only 27 days to harvest from planting, you will be able to enjoy Roxanne throughout the fall season. In mild climates, you can sow at intervals throughout fall and winter for continuous harvest.
Radish Rivoli 2014 AAS Vegetable Award Winner Upright healthy leaves with fruit that is an even-colored bright red.
Exceptional quality and taste when picked young, but still tasty if allowed to sit in the garden longer, giving gardener an extended harvest opportunity. Harvest from seed in 30 days.
Bean Mascotte 2014 AAS Vegetable Award Winner The first AAS winning bean since 1991, this compact variety is perfect for today’s small-space gardens.
Mascotte is a bush type bean that produces long, slender pods that stay above the foliage for easy harvest. Harvest in just 50 days from planting seeds, works well in containers and garden beds.
Lettuce Sandy - Sandy is an attractive oakleaf type lettuce with a multitude of sweet tasting frilly dark green leaves.
When planted with cool season flowers, Sandy will add an abundance of interesting texture to patio containers. Days to harvest depends on what you are wanting 30 days for baby leaf, 50 days to full maturity.
Pakchoi Bopak AAS Winner Matures early and the tender leaves with crisp sweet stalks taste great.
Pak Choi’s love the cool temperatures of the fall. The tender leaves and crisp sweet stalks are a tasty addition to many recipes or eaten raw. Continous plant for a longer harvest – Plants mature in usually 60 days.
Fennel Antares F1 - 2017 AAS Edible - Vegetable Winner What is extremely fun about this winning plant is its many uses: as an edible bulb; for its ornamental fronds; as a seed producer; and as a favorite food of pollinators, namely swallowtail caterpillars.
Antares is a very uniform, pure white, beautiful plant with a much improved, almost sweet, licorice/anise flavor. Start now and enjoy Fennel this fall with 68 days from seed sowing to harvest.
Bean Pole Seychelles - 2017 AAS Edible-Vegetable Winner
Seychelles does well on a 5 to 6 foot tall trellis or a container placed near a patio fence or with proper staking. This AAS Winner produces high yields in multiple crops over the fall season and is ready to start harvesting after 55 days.
Pea Patio Pride - This compact beauty produces sweet, uniform pods that are very tender when harvested early. With only 40 days needed to maturity
With only 40 days needed to maturity, Patio Pride can be one of your last fall harvests from your garden! This pea is wonderful when planted in containers and is ideal for succession planting yielding a consistent harvest over many weeks.
But transplants work too!
If you are lucky enough to have a good garden retailer nearby, you can find transplants of things like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts. These plants need longer to mature for harvest so buying seedlings and transplanting them at least 60 days before frost will result in delicious vegetables for your family this fall.
Katarina Cabbage has a perfect smaller head size (4”) and shape to be grown successfully in containers on patios, decks or in-ground beds, possibly as an ornamental/edible border.
Katarina has a perfect smaller head size (4”) and shape to be grown successfully in containers on patios, decks or in-ground beds. Harvest in just 55 days from seed, these cabbages are the perfect fall crop.
Broccoli Artwork is a unique and beautiful dark green stem broccoli that has only recently become available to home gardeners.
Artwork starts out similar to a regular crown broccoli but after harvesting that first crown, easy-to-harvest tender, and tasty side shoots continue to appear long into the season. Harvest in 85 days.
Brussels Sprouts Hestia tolerates much cooler temperatures and the flavor improves deliciously when the temperatures dip into the 30’s.
Hestia tolerates much cooler temperatures and the flavor improves deliciously when the temperatures dip into the 30’s. In mild-winter areas, plant in late summer and fall for winter-to-spring production. Harvest in 100 days.
FOOD for thought...this next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa