Fall Gardening: Cool Weather Veggies – What are They and How to Plant?
As the summer warm weather crops are winding down, the chill of the Fall air doesn’t mean gardening season is over. It’s a lot of fun to keep the garden going as long as possible! This is the time of year to plant some vegetables that like the cooler weather.
What are cool weather vegetables?
Cool weather vegetables are simply vegetables that grow best in the cooler weather, 75 degree F or colder. If you’re concerned about your veggies getting frozen in the winter, there several types that will survive and even thrive in frost conditions, such as root vegetables, lettuce, kale and other types of greens.
Veggies like lettuce, greens, broccoli, peas, cabbage, radishes, carrots, and brussel sprouts love the cool weather and are ideal for a fall garden.
Where to plant?
My garden is still full of summer vegetables. The big problem is: where to plant? This problem is quickly solved – in a container! I am growing my fall garden in a Smart Pots 8 foot fabric raised bed container container. It is easy to pop up, fill with soil (I’m using Good Dirt) and gives me an extra 11 feet of growing space! It also comes in a 6 and 12 foot lengths, and fits perfectly up against my backyard deck. I’ve also installed some shade cloth to protect the fall vegetables until the weather cools off here Southern California
Cool Weather Veggies I am growing
All America Selections (AAS) Winners
For my Fall garden, I am growing AAS winners. I chose compact varieties, that can be grown in container or in ground. These varieties are vigorous growers and quick producers so I’ll have plenty to harvest before cold weather hits.
All America Selections (AAS) is a non-profit organization that has been around since the 1930’s. Its mission is to promote new, top performing garden varieties. These new garden varieties go through a series of impartial trials where they are grown and assessed against other similar varieties (that are already on the market) at trial gardens all across north America.
The new seed varieties that perform best in the trial gardens are deemed winners and receive the title AAS winner.
AAS winning varieties I am growing
Bopak Pak Choi
Tender, crisp and sweet, Bopak Pak Choi can be harvested as a baby green about 5 days earlier than other varieties. It can also be grown to a full sized head. It’s delicious in Oriental recipes, salads, soups and stews. Bopak is a stunning plant, compact, perfect for containers, grows in upright habit and can be planted densely if you have limited space in your garden.
Artwork Broccoli is a compact plant that is bolt resistant. This means you can harvest it over a longer period of time before it bolts, flowers and goes to seed. It is quick producing, going from transplant to harvest in about 55 days. After the main crown is harvested, it will continue to produce side shoots that can be harvested all season long.
If you think you’re not a cabbage lover, you’ll want to plant Katrina Cabbage! It’s sweeter and smaller that other varieties, with just 4 inch heads – perfect for container growing! The heads mature quickly, going from transplant to harvest in about 45 days, making them ideal for gardeners with a short growing season – or if cold weather is headed your way soon!
If you want to grow kale, but think you don’t have room, Prizm Kale is the variety for you! It has short, tight, ruffled leaves, perfect for containers. It has a nice nutty taste, and as soon as you harvest the leaves, new leaves grow in very quickly. Kale is super hardy, holding up to both frost and heat like a champ!
Mizuna Red Kingdom
A Japanese mustard green with stunning red leaves – a perfect “ornamedible”! Besides being absolutely gorgeous, this plant is super hardy, bolt resistant, and holds up well to heat and frost. Mizuna Red Kingdom is a vigorous grower, the leaves are flavorful, mild tasting and delicious in a stir fry, or a salad.
Sweet Baby Radish is a gorgeous purple/white/rose colored radish, and is crisply, crunchy and slightly spicy. It is quick growing, going from seed to harvest in 45 days. I love the peppery zip radishes add to a salad!
This is the quickest growing variety of radish I have ever planted, going from seed to harvest in about 20 days. Kids will love to plant these, because they can almost see them grow! Roxanne grows well in a variety of climates. In mild winter climates, seeds can be planted every few weeks for a continual harvest.
Another quick grower, Rivoli Radishes grow to a uniform size of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. They have a nice, mild flavor, and are amazingly tasty when picked young, but will retain their delicious flavor when they sit in the garden longer, unlike some other varieties.
Patio Pride Peas
One of my all-time favorite veggies, my fall garden wouldn’t be complete without sweet peas. This compact beauty grows to a height of 6-8 inches – perfect for a small space garden. It goes from seed to harvest in just 40 days. The sweet pods are very tender when harvested early and delicious for snacking on right in the garden. Don’t be surprised if these peas never make it inside!
How to get off to a quick start in my FALL garden
I got off to a quick start with my fall garden by starting seeds in indoors in peat pellets using indoor grow lights. This provides a more controlled environment so that the seedlings grow stronger faster and I can get them outside in my garden as soon as possible. This also allows me to start cool weather veggies indoors when it is still too hot to grow them outside.
If you are growing a FALL garden, make sure to check out All America Selections for more information about these and other top producing varieties. Their website also has a list of seed distributors where you can purchase seeds.
If you’re a northern gardener and don’t have enough time left in the growing season to grow cool weather veggies outdoors, no worries. I’ll also be doing a series on indoor gardening. Stay tuned!
Watch the video from my YouTube channel, “Fall Garden – Cool Weather Veggies, What they are and How to Plant Them” so you can see exactly how to get your’s planted! While you are there, subscribe and hit the bell icon so you get notifications when I posting update videos!
Comment below, let me know if you’re growing a FALL garden and what you are growing!
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