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Plant Now for a Fall Harvest: Best Vegetables to Grow (2023)

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vegetables to plant now for a fall harvestReady to reap the rewards of your gardening labor? If you’re looking for a late-season harvest, now is the perfect time to plant vegetables that will thrive in cooler weather. With careful planning and timing, you can enjoy fresh greens like spinach or kale, root crops like beets and carrots, and other cool-weather favorites all season long.

Plus, herbs such as parsley or oregano can add flavor to fall dishes while extending your garden’s bounty into wintertime.

Key Takeaways

  • Plant cool-weather favorites 8-10 weeks before the first frost, hardier vegetables 6-8 weeks prior
  • Utilize companion plants to deter pests and mulch for extra protection
  • Turn the soil over for good drainage and fertilize it regularly
  • Monitor for slugs and critters, provide consistent watering, and mulch for water conservation

Planting for a Fall Harvest

Planting for a Fall Harvest
Now is the time to start planning your fall harvest! Cool-weather favorites like beets, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, and celery can all thrive in cooler temperatures. Meanwhile, hardier vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts do best when planted 8–10 weeks before the first frost.

To ensure success with your fall vegetables, it’s important to amend soil with compost or fertilizer and add mulch; you should also consider companion planting for extra protection from pests.

Cool-Weather Favorites

Experience the sweetest and crunchiest flavors of fall by planting cool-weather favorites like beets, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, celery, and more! Plant 10-12 weeks before the first frost for broccoli and cabbage. 8-10 weeks for arugula and kale. 6-8 weeks for beets and radishes; mulch if needed! Amend the soil with compost or fertilizer; companion plant with herbs like parsley and chives. Enjoy the harvest when temperatures are cooler, and don’t forget to add mulching tips, too!

Hardier Vegetables

Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and longer days to plant hardier vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, and leeks. Prep soil for good drainage with compost or fertilizer. Know the average first frost date; know the days to maturity for each veggie; stagger small plantings every few weeks.


Mid- to late summer is the best time to get your garden started blooming, so you can enjoy a full and flavorful harvest come fall. Plant varieties such as lettuce, bush beans, and seed packets with soil amendments for success.

Use companion planting, row covers, or aluminum foil to protect from pests. Grow quickly by staggering plantings every few weeks and plan succession plantings of fast-growing plants with mulch for extra nutrition.

Know the Average First Frost Date

Know the Average First Frost Date
It’s important to know the average first frost date for your area so you can plan accordingly and enjoy a successful harvest. Preparing soil, succession planting, companion planting, adding green manure or mulching are all essential steps in preparing for fall vegetables: beets, kale, radishes; pumpkins and potatoes.

#1 Start by tilling the garden bed deeply and amend with compost or fertilizer as needed. #2 Plant fast-growing vegetables such as radishes before slower-growing ones like broccoli. #3 Utilize companion plants to deter pests from feasting on your crops. #4 Mulch around tender veggies like turnips to protect them from cold temperatures.

Give pumpkins plenty of room to roam! Winter squash varieties include acorn, spaghetti, butternut, buttercup, hubbard, etc. Knowing when—mid-to-late summer—and what types of vegies to plant will ensure they mature quickly without rotting due to overabundance of moisture or bolting because it’s too hot outside.

Tips for Starting Your Fall Vegetable Garden

Tips for Starting Your Fall Vegetable Garden
Start planning your autumn vegetable garden now with tips like amending the soil, succession planting, companion planting, and mulching! Prepare the soil by turning it over and mixing in balanced fertilizer or adding green manure.

Then carefully plan out a second crop of vegetables to sow after the frost date, such as Swiss chard. Succession planting allows for earlier harvesting since some vegetables grow faster than others. The right companion plants can help deter pests while maintaining steady growth in cooler weather; consider herbs like cilantro, dill, basil, and parsley.

Mulching prevents weeds from competing for resources and helps maintain moisture levels so you don’t have to water every day.

Herbs to Grow With Fall Vegetables

Herbs to Grow With Fall Vegetables
Herbs like cilantro, dill, basil, and parsley can be planted alongside fall vegetables for a flavorful harvest. Companion planting is an effective way to get the most out of your garden space; try pairing collards with spinach or mustard greens with bibb lettuce.

Bush snap beans are fast growers that return nitrogen back into the soil – consider succession planting them for continuous harvests throughout autumn. Mulch gardening helps conserve water while keeping weeds away, so your vegetables have room to thrive – it’s especially beneficial in cooler climates when temperatures start dropping early on in fall months.

Vegetables for Midsummer Planting

Vegetables for Midsummer Planting
Mid-to-late summer is the prime time to get your garden growing with cool-weather favourites like beets, Chinese cabbage, and cauliflower. Parsnips, bush beans, and garlic can all be planted in mid-summer for a successful harvest.

Turn over the soil beforehand and mix in balanced fertilizer or green manure before planting anything.

Leafy vegetables should be harvested before they reach full size – lettuce may bolt if left too long! Basil and cilantro are ready for harvesting about one month after sowing seeds; winter squash varieties include acorn, spaghetti, butternut, and buttercup; yellow squash will mature quickly when planted at this time of year; Brussels sprouts are resilient enough to handle light frost, while carrots and radishes sweeten when matured in cooler temperatures.

So why wait? Start planning now so you can enjoy fresh produce come fall!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know when to harvest my fall vegetables?

Harvesting your fall vegetables depends on when you planted them. Check the seed packet for growing time and calculate accordingly.

What vegetables should I avoid planting in the fall?

Avoid planting warm-weather vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash in the fall. Stick to cool-weather favorites like beets, cauliflower, spinach, and Swiss chard for a successful harvest.

What type of soil is best for growing fall vegetables?

For the best results, grow fall vegetables in soil that is nutrient-rich and well-draining. Add plenty of organic matter to ensure your veggies get all the nutrition they need – compost or fertilizer work great! Make sure your soil has a pH between 6 and 7 for optimal plant growth.

How often should I water my fall vegetable garden?

Water your fall vegetable garden consistently, ensuring the soil stays moist. For optimal growth, water deeply and regularly; about 1-2 inches per week.

What is the best way to protect my plants from pests?

Protect your plants from pests by using plant collars or cloches, particularly in the cooler fall months. Mulch beets, carrots, and turnips before the ground freezes. Monitor for slugs, cutworms, and cabbage worms and take action to prevent infestations.


With the arrival of fall comes the opportunity to put your green thumb to work and create a garden full of delicious vegetables. Planting now for a fall harvest can bring a great reward in the form of a bountiful vegetable crop.

To get the most out of your garden, it’s important to know the average first frost date, as well as the best vegetables to grow. Cool-weather favorites like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, arugula, Chinese cabbage, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips are all great options for the fall harvest.

Additionally, consider adding herbs like cilantro, dill, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, mint, and nasturtiums to enrich the flavor of your vegetables. With the right preparation and a bit of luck, you can enjoy a successful fall harvest.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.