15 Fall Garden Vegetables to Plant for A Productive Fall Harvest
Last summer, I struggled and struggled with my tomatoes all summer long. I fought blight, little black bugs, and tomato worms. By September I was about to give up when they finally started producing. Lo and behold, once the summer quieted down, they began to produce like crazy until November hit.
This year, I am planting a fall garden. If this is the first time you’re planning for a fall garden, one thing you must know is that almost all fall vegetables must be planted mid-summer. So here is what we should be planting now and shortly, in order to see the season extended well into the year.
15 Vegetables to Plant Now for Your Fall Garden
I will go into detail about how to plan for each of them.
The reason I say NOW is because these plants take ninety to one hundred and twenty days from seed to produce.
1. Winter Cabbage
For your cabbage, your broccoli, and your cauliflower, you are going to need to watch out for cabbage worms. Similar to corn worms and tomato worms, it’s never fun finding your precious vegetable that you’ve worked so hard on was eaten by something else!
Helping the critters stay away, is as simple as putting a mesh laundry bag over them. This lets sun and water in but keeps bugs out!
You want to plant carrots four to five inches apart. Since they are root vegetables, you will want to make sure your ground is free of rocks. I am a big fan of raised beds, this being one of the reasons. In my part of Texas, the ground is just not well enough for anything besides raised beds anyways.
It is a good idea to put some mulch down with the carrots so you can speed up germination and fertilize it in about six weeks. Also, don’t be afraid if it frosts before you pick them – rumor has it, they taste better after a few good touches of frost.
The leek row(s) need to be spaced twelve to eighteen inches apart with each leek planted four to six inches apart. These babies need full sun and soil should be mounded around them once they are the size of a pencil. Continue to do this every couple of weeks until time to harvest.
If the leeks are tender, a slug or two might decide to make it dinner. One of the best ways to get rid of slugs is to plant the leek in a large metal container with both ends cut off. This allows the roots of the leeks to grow and when the slug goes to munch, the metal from the can will stop the slug!
Once they are about two inches in diameter around the bottom, the leeks are ready to be harvested.
4. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts are one of my and my daughter’s favorite things to eat in the winter time. And, much to my excitement, these plants do best in raised garden beds. They can be directly sown in four months before the first fall frost or bought from a nursery.
Plant Brussel sprouts twelve to twenty-four inches apart and water well when you are doing the transplanting.
While you should not cultivate, it is a good idea to mulch. Fertilize three weeks after transplanting.
Like their carrot friends, these plants can withstand (and even prefer) a frost or two.
5. Winter Squash and Pumpkins
These do best being sown in the ground instead of being transplanted. You are going to want a lot of compost on the top of your soil, as pumpkins prefer very rich soil with the ability to let the water run through them easily. They say to make the area look similar to a pitcher’s mound.
The seeds should be sown six to twelve inches apart and in rows six to ten feet apart. They need a lot of water- a minimum of an inch a week and will eventually need a trellis with either netting or old socks to help support them. Also, you want to make sure you fertilize at least once a week.