Once you are up and running with your vegetable garden, you may quickly be disheartened when the growing season comes to an end.
You will be happy to know that is not the end of your vegetable growing. As some of the vegetable garden tips for beginners state, you have many crops to consider after the Summer season – many of these can be ready in a matter of weeks, up to a couple of months. This should be more than long enough to get some crops before any severe drop in temperatures happens.
The question is, what are the best vegetables to plant in Autumn or Fall? Here are five of the top ones, although there are much more than you can choose from. Your only limiting factor is what do you like to eat.
Top Vegetables to Grow
These are grown in the cooler weather of Spring, yet Autumn is a better time for cauliflowers to prosper. Once these start growing, the cooler weather helps the heads to remain tighter together, and they stay sweet and tender without drying out.
You might have noticed some Spring grown cauliflowers have a slightly gritty texture. Although it is later in the year, cabbage worms can still play havoc, so you should consider growing them under row covers.
These are best grown from seed, as it produces a hardier vegetable. When the hotter weather is over, you can plant beets in patches with 2-3 week intervals between planting. These will keep growing until you have the first significant frost.
As beets are a two-for-one crop, you can also harvest the leaves. These can be either red or green. Once the weather begins cooling, your beets get more vibrant in color and also become much sweeter.
This is another crop that prefers the cooler weather of Autumn compared to Spring. Broccoli plants can withstand some frost, yet the tender seedlings get hit early with Spring frosts, as a frost falling on a grown plant in Autumn.
The second reason being, broccoli is a flowering plant, and during the Autumn months, it is more likely to flower much slower than in the Spring. It is a slow crop to harvest and can take a few months, so planting mid to late Summer is advisable. If you are planting broccoli in Autumn, you should turn over the soil with a good amount of compost in the top 2-4 inches of soil.
Although lettuce can be planted almost any time of the season, they grow bitter if the temperature is too hot. As lettuce will be ready for harvest in around fifty days, you can plant in mid to late August and step out your planting. You can then have cropped up until significant frosts set in.
Lettuce grown at this time of year does do so more slowly. On the upside, though, you will find they taste sweeter, and the leaves will be crispier.
One further advantage of lettuce is, they are ideal for growing in containers; this makes it possible to plant in small containers and move them indoors If the weather becomes too harsh. Once you have the ideal variety, you can broadcast these seeds rather than planting them in rows.
Give the seeds a light covering of compost and water. Check daily for signs of shoots. After a couple of days, you can then think of the plants from being too close together.
Beans that grow around poles require a long time before they are ready to harvest. For this reason, they are not suitable for Autumn gardens, compared to beans on bushes. These varieties will start producing in around 45 days or less.
This makes them ideal for a crop of beans in Autumn. If there is the likelihood of frost, you will have to intervene as bean plants are too tender to handle frost.
If there is a chance of frost, you can quickly throw a cover over your bush beans and remove it once the weather has risen. Bush beans come in a wide range of varieties, textures, and flavors, and most of which are best-steamed whole to retain all of their nutrients.
This list is just five of the top veggies you can grow in Autumn. Not only are there lots more vegetables, but even some on this list also have lots of varieties, all of which offer different flavors and growing times.
Autumn is no reason to hang up your tools in your veggie garden. You can make the best use of it to provide veggies for those all-important stews and casseroles you will be making.