Learn what to plant in your fall garden to ensure a robust harvest!
When to Plant
As many of you know, we are located in Zone 8b, 9a which means extremely warm temperatures late into the fall season. In cooler climate zones, gardeners start their fall garden at the end of July-early September. But if you're in a zone like ours, temperatures don't start to really get below 85 degrees until mid-September, so you can plant transplants all the way until the end of September (like we've done) and still be safe.
If you're wanting to start with seeds--start your seeds indoors in mid-late August and then transplant to your outdoor garden by the end of September. The general rule of thumb is to plant about 6-10 weeks before the first frost.
What to Plant
The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can plant--so we have listed out what we decided to put in our fall garden and why.
Lettuces are a great fall/winter crop to plant because of their heartiness.
Green Bibb lettuce: thin yet hardy, green lettuce
Arugula: peppery, bitter taste, perfect for salads and garnishing dishes
Oscarde: thin, red, leafy variety--similar to bibb lettuce but darker color
A fall favorite, beets are an earthy staple for any garden. Fun fact: beets harvested in the fall have more vivid colors and higher sugar content levels so they're typically more flavorful than spring beets.
Emerald Crown is the most popular type of broccoli to grow and are "heavy feeders" meaning you should plant them with 1in of compost at planting and make sure they are always watered properly. Composted chicken manure and a high nitrogen fertilizer are also good to sprinkle in every few weeks if you feel like the broccoli needs a little extra love.
Diablo Brussel Sprouts are a hybrid with a sweet and nutty flavor. Brussels need full sun and fertizlier after 1 month of planting. Plant about 3-4 inches apart for best results and water daily.
Hercules Carrots are your cone shaped, classic carrot that Peter Rabbit would prefer. They're very adaptable to most soil types but do take a few weeks to grow. Their sweet, crunchy flavor make them a popular variety.
We wanted to add some herbs to our garden to garnish our winter dishes. Cilantro can be grown throughout the year, with sowings every 2-3 weeks and your rows about 6-8 inches apart. Dill is another great herb to add to the mix and pairs well with winter dishes like creamy spinach and dill.
Spinach is a fall favorite since they prefer cooler temperatues. If you're starting from seeds they take about 6 weeks to grow and can withstand most cold temps in southern climates.