What To Plant In the Fall

What To Plant In the Fall

When the temperatures are down in the 40’s at night and during the day they are in the mid 70’s is time to plant for the fall. What to plant in the fall is the question? The first frost date is what you use to calculate your planting. Therefore, what can be planted and harvested before it’s killed by frost during the night.

There are a number of vegetables that will tolerate frost, while others, of course, will die immediately as the leaves turn brown. There are many blogs about many of the vegetables I will mention, and you can refer to them for more detailed information. Get my paperback copy: ‘Garden the Organic Way’ and become an expert gardener. Garden the Organic Way is a comprehensive guide to organic gardening, designed for all skill levels. The book provides methods for growing delicious, pesticide-free vegetables using sustainable practices. https://gardentheorganicway.etsy.com

The short season cool weather crops that can still be planted in the fall are:

Harvesting radishes


These will be ready for harvesting 25-60 days. Pick fast maturing varieties that will be ready in about 25 days, and you can then plant two crops, one in early fall and the following one to two weeks  apart. Read more about growing radishes and look at the video on how to grow radishes

Mustard greens

Mustard greens will be ready to harvest in 30-40 days and will survive a light frost. This is advantageous, as you can then go until the second week of December and maybe even the third week.  Start picking the outer leaves once they are 6” to 8” long and you can continue to do so until it gets to cold. Then harvest the whole plant.


Spanish will survive a light frost and may even overwinter.  Pick a variety that can be planted in the fall and continue to do so until the ground freezes. These seeds can be soaked for a few hours and then planted in order for them to germinate quickly. Leaves will be ready to start harvesting after 30 days.  Once it leafs out, do the same as the mustard greens, by harvesting only the outer leaves. To read more on how to grow spinach.


Turnips take 50 to 60 days to harvest, so you can get one crop in. Also, you can choose to grow the turnip greens, which become quite sweet and tangy as the weather cools off. Harvest outer leaves until frost. I strongly recommend this delicious green. Read more about how to grow turnips.

Lettuce and leafy greens

All leafy greens takes only 40 days to reach full maturity but you can harvest outer leaves until frost hits.  Soak seeds before planting and don’t cover them. Just pat down. To read more about growing lettuce and greens.

Kohlrabi will survive a light frost and you can get one crop if you plant it in early fall.  It takes 50 days or so to harvest. Read more about growing kohlrabi.

Kale is a very hardy plant that survives to temperatures in the 20° F range. Harvesting outer leaves is viable well into December. Enjoy this highly nutritious, fiber-rich vegetable. Read more on collard greens as they have similar habits.

Collard greens mature in 40 to 65 days and, like kale, tolerate temperatures into the 20’s F range.

Collard plants

The plants will overwinter and come back in the spring.  One can harvest the outer leaves well into December. Read more on growing collard greens.


can be planted until the beginning of November or before the ground freezes. It will overwinter in the ground and be ready to harvest in July. By planting now and allowing the plant root system to develop, it will be ready to take off in spring. Read more about growing garlic.


Use cabbage transplants that are fast growing varieties. These are ready in 50 to 60 days. The difficulty may be in finding the transplants or seedlings from a local nursery.  Visiting a community-supported agriculture farm or a farmer may be the best choice or start your own.  Cabbages are hardiest down to 20° F. To read more about how to grow cabbages easily.


Another member of the cabbage family and you need to use transplants. Broccoli will be ready to harvest in 50 to 60 days. They survive a light frost and, in a worse case scenario, you may just have to harvest the heads before they are totally developed. Read more about growing broccoli.


Beets only take 50 to 60 days to harvest and are capable of surviving temperatures in the high 20’s. Read more on growing beets.

Basil only takes 30 to 40 days for a full plant to develop. But it’s very sensitive to frost and cold temperatures.  High winds and temperatures in the low 40’s totally brows the leaves on basil. Use a blanket or row cover to protect it overnight in case temperatures drop. See video on advantages of row covers


Parsley will survive right up to frost and, in a protective area right against the house or the like, until January with some overnight protection. To read more on how to grow parsley.

Additional greens that do well at this time of year are pak choi (Bok choy or Bok choi), corn salad, arugula, Chinese cabbage and Tatsoi.  These will do well until frost and, with a simple row cover, can survive to the low 20’s F in the evening.