28 Best Fall Garden Vegetables For An Amazing Harvest

Ever wondered how you can keep your garden producing delicious vegetables even as the temperatures drop?

Planting fall garden vegetables is a great way to extend your growing season and enjoy fresh, homegrown produce well into the cooler months.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best times to plant, tips for starting your fall garden, and introduce you to 28 of the best fall garden vegetables to grow this season.

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When to Plant a Fall Garden

Timing is crucial when planting vegetables for a fall garden. The goal is to ensure your vegetables mature before the first frost hits.

Typically, fall planting begins in late summer to early fall, depending on your USDA hardiness zone.

For most regions, late July through September is ideal.

Start by calculating the days to maturity for each vegetable and count backward from your area’s first expected frost date.

This will give you a planting schedule to follow, ensuring your crops have enough time to develop and thrive.

various kinds of small decorative pumpkins in a wicker basket as a decoration of garden.YayImages

How to Start A Fall Garden

Starting a fall garden involves a few key steps to ensure success.

Begin by clearing out any spent summer plants and weeds from your garden beds.

Add a layer of compost to enrich the soil, providing essential nutrients for your fall crops.

Consider using row covers or cold frames to extend the growing season and protect plants from early frosts.

Choose seeds or transplants suited for fall growing, and water them consistently, as the late summer heat can still be intense.

Mulching around plants helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

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Best Fall Garden Vegetables

Let’s take a look at some of the best vegetables to plant in your garden for fall:

1. Pumpkin

Orange pumpkins on a table in fall in front of a garden covered in fall autumn leaves.YayImages

Pumpkins are quintessential fall garden vegetables, perfect for pies, soups, and decorations.

These large, vining plants require ample space and full sun to thrive.

Pumpkins need plenty of nutrients, so enrich your soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting.

Water consistently, especially during dry periods, to encourage healthy growth and prevent blossom end rot.

Harvest pumpkins when they have a deep, uniform color and the rind is hard.

Cure them in a warm, dry place for a couple of weeks to extend their storage life.

2. Winter Squash

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Winter squash varieties, such as butternut and acorn, are hardy and store well through the winter months.

These squashes prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

Space them generously to allow the vines to spread and produce multiple fruits.

Regular watering and occasional feeding with a balanced fertilizer will promote vigorous growth.

Harvest winter squash when the skin is tough and fully colored.

Store them in a cool, dry place, and they’ll keep for several months, providing a nutritious addition to your winter meals.

3. Spinach

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Spinach is a fast-growing leafy green that loves the cool weather.

It thrives in rich, well-drained soil and prefers partial shade to full sun.

Sow seeds directly into the ground and keep the soil consistently moist.

Thin seedlings to allow room for growth and to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to disease.

Harvest spinach by picking the outer leaves, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing.

This method provides a steady supply of fresh greens for salads, soups, and sautés.

4. Lettuce

Butterhead lettuce, a fall garden vegetable, in a harvest basket.YayImages

Lettuce varieties, including romaine and butterhead, are ideal for fall gardens.

They mature quickly and prefer cooler temperatures, making them perfect for succession planting throughout the season.

Lettuce needs well-drained, fertile soil and consistent moisture to thrive.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to promote healthy growth.

You can start harvesting lettuce leaves as soon as they reach a usable size, or wait for full heads to form.

To extend the harvest, plant a new batch of seeds every couple of weeks.

5. Carrots

Freshly harvest carrots in the fall.YayImages

Carrots are a versatile root vegetable that sweeten as the weather cools.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin them to ensure enough space for roots to develop properly.

Carrots prefer loose, well-drained soil free of stones, which can cause the roots to fork.

Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, which helps prevent the roots from becoming tough and woody.

Harvest carrots when they reach the desired size, and enjoy them fresh, roasted, or in hearty soups and stews.

6. Broccoli

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Broccoli thrives in the cool temperatures of fall.

Plant transplants in late summer for a steady supply of nutritious florets that are perfect for roasting, steaming, or adding to stir-fries.

Broccoli prefers fertile, well-drained soil and consistent moisture.

Mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Harvest the main head when it’s fully developed but before the buds start to flower.

Side shoots will continue to produce smaller heads for an extended harvest period.

7. Beets

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Beets are dual-purpose fall garden vegetables; you can enjoy both the roots and the leafy greens.

They grow well in cooler temperatures and can be harvested from late fall into winter.

Beets prefer well-drained, fertile soil with a neutral pH.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to allow space for root development.

Water consistently to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Harvest beets when they are about the size of a golf ball for the best flavor and texture.

Beet greens can be harvested as needed and used like spinach or Swiss chard.

8. Radish

Homegrown fresh red radish on wooden table.YayImages

Radishes are quick-growing and can be planted multiple times throughout the fall.

Their crisp, peppery flavor is a great addition to salads and sandwiches.

Radishes prefer well-drained soil and full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to avoid overcrowding.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist and to prevent the roots from becoming tough and bitter.

Harvest radishes when they reach the desired size, typically around three to four weeks after planting.

9. Kale

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Kale is a cold-hardy green that becomes sweeter after a frost.

It’s packed with nutrients and can be harvested well into winter in many regions.

Kale prefers well-drained, fertile soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden or start transplants indoors and move them outside.

Water regularly and mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Harvest kale leaves from the bottom of the plant as needed, allowing the central bud to continue producing new leaves.

10. Turnips

Turnip vegetables in the garden.YayImages

Turnips produce both edible roots and greens.

They grow quickly and are excellent for roasting, mashing, or adding to soups and stews.

Turnips prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to allow space for root development.

Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, which helps prevent the roots from becoming tough and woody.

Harvest turnips when they are about the size of a tennis ball for the best flavor and texture.

11. Peas

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Peas, including sugar snap and snow peas, flourish in the cooler fall temperatures.

They’re perfect for adding a crisp, sweet flavor to your meals. Peas prefer well-drained soil and full sun.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and provide a trellis or support for the vines to climb. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest peas when the pods are plump and full but before they start to harden.

Enjoy them fresh, steamed, or added to stir-fries and salads.

12. Swiss Chard

Top view of a wooden crate full of harvested organic swiss chard, ripe juicy tomatoes in the hands of a farmer agronomist wearing yellow work raincoat. Vegetables for sale at local farmers market.YayImages

Swiss chard is a colorful, leafy green that grows well in the cool weather.

It’s versatile and can be used in salads, sautés, and as a spinach substitute.

Swiss chard prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to promote healthy growth.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant as needed, allowing the central bud to continue producing new leaves.

13. Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts develop a sweeter taste after exposure to light frost.

They require a long growing season, so start them in mid-summer for a fall harvest.

Brussels sprouts prefer well-drained, fertile soil and full sun.

Plant transplants in the garden and water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest sprouts from the bottom of the stalk upwards as they mature, usually around three months after planting.

Enjoy them roasted, steamed, or sautéed.

14. Cabbage

Vegetable Garden  Cabbage.YayImages

Cabbage heads up beautifully in the cool weather, providing a crunchy addition to salads and slaws.

It also stores well for winter use.

Cabbage prefers well-drained, fertile soil and full sun. It can also survive in clay soil.

Plant transplants in the garden and water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Harvest cabbage heads when they are firm and fully formed.

Store them in a cool, dry place for several weeks.

15. Cauliflower

Close up box of fresh cauliflower cabbages at retail display of farmer market, high angle view.YayImages

Cauliflower prefers the cooler temperatures of fall.

Plant transplants in late summer and enjoy this versatile vegetable roasted, mashed, or in casseroles.

Cauliflower prefers well-drained, fertile soil and full sun.

Plant transplants in the garden and water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Harvest cauliflower heads when they are firm and compact, before the curds start to separate.

16. Collards

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Collard greens are frost-tolerant and improve in flavor after exposure to cold.

They’re nutritious and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Collards prefer well-drained, fertile soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden or start transplants indoors and move them outside.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest collard leaves from the bottom of the plant as needed, allowing the central bud to continue producing new leaves.

17. Garlic

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Plant garlic cloves in the fall for a harvest the following summer.

It’s easy to grow and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to your dishes.

Garlic prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

Plant individual cloves with the pointed end up, about two inches deep and six inches apart.

Mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Water regularly until the ground freezes, then reduce watering.

Harvest garlic when the tops begin to yellow and fall over.

Cure the bulbs in a warm, dry place for a few weeks before storing.

18. Kohlrabi

Close up many fresh green kohlrabi cabbages (German turnip) at retail display of farmer market, high angle view.YayImages

Kohlrabi, with its unique bulbous stem, thrives in cool weather.

It’s great raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries and soups.

Kohlrabi prefers well-drained, fertile soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden or start transplants indoors and move them outside.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest kohlrabi when the bulbs are about the size of a tennis ball for the best flavor and texture.

19. Arugula

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Arugula grows quickly and loves the cool weather, providing a peppery kick to salads and sandwiches.

Plant successively for a continuous harvest.

Arugula prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to promote healthy growth.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest arugula leaves when they are young and tender for the best flavor.

20. Bok Choy

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Bok choy is a fall favorite, thriving in cooler temperatures.

Its crisp, tender stalks and leaves are perfect for stir-fries and soups.

Bok choy prefers well-drained soil and partial shade to full sun.

Sow seeds directly in the garden or start transplants indoors and move them outside.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest bok choy leaves and stalks as needed, or wait for the entire plant to mature.

21. Onions

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Plant onion sets in the fall for an early summer harvest.

They require a long growing season and store well for winter use.

Onions prefer well-drained soil and full sun.

Plant sets about one inch deep and six inches apart. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest onions when the tops begin to yellow and fall over.

Cure the bulbs in a warm, dry place for a few weeks before storing.

22. Scallions

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Scallions, or green onions, are quick-growing and perfect for adding a fresh, mild onion flavor to dishes.

They’re easy to grow and can be harvested throughout the fall.

Scallions prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to promote healthy growth.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest scallions when they reach the desired size, typically around three to four weeks after planting.

23. Asian Greens

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Asian greens, like mizuna and tatsoi, thrive in cool weather.

They’re versatile and can be used in salads, stir-fries, and soups.

Asian greens prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to promote healthy growth.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant as needed, allowing the central bud to continue producing new leaves.

24. Potatoes

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Plant late-season potatoes in early fall for a fall harvest.

They store well and are a staple in many hearty dishes.

Potatoes prefer well-drained soil and full sun.

Plant seed potatoes about four inches deep and twelve inches apart.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist. Harvest potatoes when the plants begin to die back and the skins are firm.

Cure the tubers in a cool, dry place for a few weeks before storing.

25. Parsnip

Fresh parsnip vegetables after being harvested in a fall garden.YayImages

Parsnips require a long growing season and taste best after a frost.

They’re perfect for roasting, mashing, and adding to soups and stews.

Parsnips prefer well-drained, fertile soil and full sun to partial shade.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to allow space for root development.

Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

Harvest parsnips after a few frosts for the best flavor and texture.

26. Zucchini

Close up fresh new green and yellow zucchini on retail display of farmers market, high angle view.YayImages

Plant zucchini in early fall for a late harvest.

They’re prolific producers and versatile in the kitchen.

Zucchini prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

Sow seeds directly in the garden and thin seedlings to promote healthy growth.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest zucchini when they are young and tender for the best flavor.

Enjoy them fresh, grilled, or in baked goods.

27. Leeks

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Leeks are frost-tolerant and grow well into the winter.

They add a delicate, onion-like flavor to soups, stews, and casseroles.

Leeks prefer well-drained soil and full sun.

Plant transplants in the garden and water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Harvest leeks when they reach the desired size, typically around three to four months after planting.

28. Fennel

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Fennel bulbs thrive in the cool weather of fall.

They add a unique flavor to dishes and can be roasted, grilled, or used raw in salads.

Fennel prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

Sow seeds directly in the garden or start transplants indoors and move them outside.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvest fennel bulbs when they reach the desired size, typically around three to four months after planting.

A collection of root vegetables from a fall garden.

Conclusion

Planting fall garden vegetables is a rewarding way to extend your gardening season and enjoy fresh, homegrown produce throughout the cooler months.

From the sweetness of carrots and parsnips to the robust flavors of kale and brussels sprouts, there’s a fall garden vegetable to suit every palate.

Start planning your fall garden today and experience the joy of harvesting bountiful crops of vegetables as the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp.

28 must-grow fall garden vegetables for an amazing harvest.

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