Plant These Veggies Now for an Amazing Fall Harvest!
Wait—summer’s almost over? Our sunburns finally faded into tans, and we already have to trade in our shorts for pants? Wow, rude! Luckily, our veggie gardening season is far from over. You can take away our pool floaties and our limited edition summer Starbucks drinks, but you can’t take away our garden tools, dangit! There are plenty of cool-season veggies that grow much more comfortably in mild fall temperatures, so starting them in mid-to-late summer works perfectly. Plant these veggies now to get your gardening fix before the snow falls.
Enjoy a Late-Fall Harvest with These Cool-Season Veggies to Plant Now
A lot of gardeners ask us: what vegetables will grow in the fall? We always recommend looking for veggies that mature quickly, so they’ll be ready to harvest before winter. Veggies that don’t like high heat and cooler temperatures are also a good option, and there are all sorts of tasty varieties to choose from! Preserve them well, and you’ll enjoy delicious homegrown veggies for the rest of the year. That’s a guaranteed way to help kick the winter blues! Here are our favorite cool-season veggies to grow on Long Island.
These spicy root veggies mature incredibly quickly—usually between 30–45 days. They tend to bolt in the heat, so cool weather is ideal. Succession planting will result in a steady supply of fresh radishes over several months, so if you plant a row every week until the end of September, you won’t have to eat them all up at once.
High in vitamin A, calcium, and folate, spinach is a delicious superfood that you can use in so many creative ways. Plant them in a container and keep them in a shady spot if you’re planting them in summer—they don’t like the heat very much. Once temperatures cool down, bring your pots out into the sunshine! Harvest ⅓ of the plant at a time, so it will keep growing until winter.
If you plant your beets by the first week of September, you’ll have a sizable harvest before the snow falls! These nutrient-rich root veggies need 60–75 days to mature. Toss them with crumbled goat cheese and pecans for a decadent fall side dish, or make some classic borscht stew to enjoy on chilly nights.
This fast-growing leafy green is safe to plant well into September, and you can continually harvest a little bit at a time for topping sandwiches and burgers or tossing into salads. Try to place your lettuce somewhere that gets morning sun and afternoon shade to prevent them from bolting in the heat.
Culinary herbs like cilantro, rosemary, and thyme are perfect additions to the fall veggie garden! At the end of the season, once it’s too cold to continue growing your herbs, you can preserve them by blending them with oil and freezing them into ice cube trays. Pop a cube or two into your next stir fry or marinade, and you can enjoy that garden-fresh flavor long after autumn’s end.
While we usually plant strawberries in early spring for a June harvest, you can also plant them at the end of summer for a fall harvest! Those juicy summer berries are the perfect pick-me-up on a blustery fall day.
It’s a good idea to plant carrots in late summer because their flavor will improve once the temperature drops! An overnight frost will actually help boost the carbohydrates in your carrots, resulting in a sweeter, tastier veggie. They need about 70–90 days to mature, and the soil should be nice and loose so those roots can penetrate deeply.
Make the most of this final leg of the gardening season and enjoy a fall veggie harvest on Long Island by visiting Dees’ Nursery. We have all the necessary starter plants and seeds you need! Feel free to ask our staff for frost protection tips if the cold weather arrives ahead of schedule.