Fall Veggie Gardening
Did you know fall is the perfect time get a delicious veggie garden going? In fact, cooler temperatures make this a great time to plant these crops -- many are even tastier and sweeter harvested after a light frost. If you've never grown fall veggies before, we recommend a crop of leaf lettuce, kale, swiss chard and spinach. These easy to grow plants are great for small spaces like a pallet garden and can often be harvested over many weeks.
The secret to having a great fall veggie garden is getting the timing right and that means thinking a little differently because you have to plan backward if starting with seed. To do this, start with your area's average first fall frost date, which for Hampton Roads is October 15. Then look at the number of days to harvest for each vegetable you wish to plant. You should be able to find that number on the seed packet. Use that number to count back from the first frost date. Then add two weeks; many plants grow more slowly as days shorten in fall.
Lettuce is one of those versatile veggies that looks as good in the garden as it does on the table. It does best in cool, sunny weather. Plant a gourmet blend of lettuce from seed or purchase lettuce plants. Snip the lettuce leaves for a tasty salad and more leaves will grow for meals to come.
Spinach is a nutrient powerhouse and is simple to grow. It prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial sun and still produce delicious dark green leaves. Either cook it or use in a salad.
This cold hardy veggie is a member of the cabbage family. It can be grown for eating but also for its texture that it will add to container plantings or the garden. Kale has a unique nutty flavor and has grown in popularity over the past few years. Use kale in fall soups, stews and try making kale chips.
Tasty and diet-friendly, cabbage only has 15 calories per cup. Plant green or red cabbage in the garden for great round bundles of goodness and harvest when the cabbage head is nice and firm.
Broccoli has earned its place as a staple in southern meals. It’s versatile and can be used as a healthy snack, used in soups, salads or even used in pesto. For garden success, keep your broccoli evenly watered.
These are a slow growing vegetable that are frost resistant and provide a good crop over the winter months.
Another leafy green similar to kale, has strong flavored leaves. The leaves contain lots of calcium and potassium and are rich in the Vitamins A and C.
Might be best known for their bright red root that can be pickled. They provide tons of nutrients to a meal and are a southern favorite. The leaves of beets can be cooked or simply tossed in a salad.
Learn more about what to plant now by checking out our planting guide. PLANTING GUIDE >>