Tag Archives: fall garden

September Planting

Cool crisp September mornings are a pleasant time to spend in the garden. While fall brings cooler temperatures and dwindling sunlight it can still be a productive time in the vegetable patch. Here are a few plants you can sow this September and a few of our favorite fall varieties. In Virginia we’re sowing:

  • Mustards
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Endive
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Austrian Peas
  • Winter Wheat

Always keep in mind that exact planting dates will vary with your location. For those farther south, you’ll still be planting less cold-hardy crops while those in the far north should be preparing to plant garlic and perennial onions. September is also a good time to think about season extension.

Chinese Thick-Stem Mustard

This variety from Even’ Star Farm offers superb cold tolerance and is hardy down to 6°F. It also has excellent flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. Though not quite as cold tolerant, Red Giant Mustard can also be used for fall planting and adds a nice pop of color.

Lacinato Rainbow Mix Kale

This variety offers the delicious flavor of Lacinato kale and gorgeous colors. Created by crossing classic Lacinato with Redbor hybrid kale; this kale is extra-cold-hardy! The 2014 seed crop went through a -6°F freeze and seed was saved from the plants that survived. This OSSI variety was bred by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed.

Even’ Star Winter Arugula

Another Even’ Star Farm variety, this arugula is cold-hardy down to 6°F. It can be grown in open fields or hoop houses and does well with little watering and poor soil fertility. 

Red Salad Bowl

A great fall variety with gorgeous color. Salad Bowl is also a good choice for a green fall lettuce.

Rouge d’Hiver (Red Winter) Romaine Lettuce

Here in Virginia, we’ve had good luck overwintering this variety under row cover. It’s a tasty French heirloom that dates back to 1840. Rouge d’Hiver forms semi-open romaine heads.

Misato Rose Fall Radish

Beautiful and forgiving, this radish deserves a place in your fall garden. Perfect for adding color to autumn salads this radish will bulb properly even when crowded or thinned late.

Winter Bloomsdale Spinach

Adapted for fall planting and overwintering, these slow-bolting plants are resistant to blue mold, blight, and mosaic. They have dark green, well-savoyed leaves.

Nabo Roxo Comprido Turnip

These long white, purple-topped turnips are widely grown in Portugal as a dual-purpose crop. They’re excellent for fall planting and can be used as fodder as well as great eating for the winter table.

Austrian Winter Peas

Hardy to 0°F, Austrian Winter Peas make an excellent edible cover crop. They fix nitrogen in the soil and the tendrils or growing tips can be snipped off for use in salads!

Hard Winter Wheat

Bred in the Southeast, this new variety produces excellent grain for baking or can be used as a cover crop. It provides high yields and has very good wheat rust resistance.

This September, try a couple of SESE fall favorites in your vegetable patch. It’s also an excellent time to plant cover crops which can help improve your soil’s health. This time of year can also be used to add perennials to your landscape.

August Planting

August is generally thought of as harvest season. Many gardeners are busy canning tomatoes, curing winter squash, and trying to figure out exactly how to use all that zucchini. No matter where you live you can also plant in Agust. Exactly what you can plant when varies depending on your climate.

Below you’ll find a few great varieties for August planting. To find out more specific about your climate and when you should plant check out The Farmer’s Almanac First and Last Frost Date Calculator, our post Everything You Need to Know About Plant Hardiness Zones, or this handy Frost Zone Map from The Spruce.

Tatsoi Mustard

Cool Climates

In cool climates, August planting can be a challenge. Your area may still be experiencing hot temperatures but won’t be for very long. You’ll need to select varieties with short seasons and some cold tolerance. If it’s still hot in your area these cool-season crops may need extra care to germinate and get started. Be sure to keep them moist and use shade cloth and/or mulch to keep the soil cool if needed. Those in cool climates may also want to consider some form of season extension which is discussed later in this post. Here are just a few good varieties to plant this August.

American Purple Top Yellow Rutabaga

Warm Climates

Those who live in warmer climates (especially zone 8 and farther south) will be able to plant more heat-loving vegetables in August than you could further north. However, some fall crops like spinach and radishes that are great for cool climates will have trouble germinating in the heat and may need to be planted later. Here are just a few good varieties to plant this August.

Other Plants

There are many other varieties that can be planted in August. Root crops like carrots, beets, turnips and rutabagas are all great choices. You can also look at cold hardy brassicas and greens.

You can also plant or begin planning to add perennials to your garden. Perennials like fruit trees and rhubarb transplants are an excellent way to add to your garden this fall. They should be planted several weeks before the ground freezes so they can get established. Be sure too keep them watered even though it’s cool.

Season Extension

August is also a good time to think about season extension. You’ll be able to grow crops farther into the winter if you can provide them some protection. Depending on your budget you may consider setting up cold frames, low tunnels, or even a hoop house. Cold frames and low tunnels tend to be the quickest and most budget-friendly options. Cold frames can be made from simple materials and like straw bales and old windows and may help you grow cold-hardy greens right through the winter.

Easy Season Extension For Fall

A gardener’s work is never done! Keep planting this August with a few of these awesome varieties.

 

8 Vegetable Varieties You Can Still Plant This Fall

As temperatures begin to cool many people start to think of harvesting long season crops like popcorn, pumpkins, and winter squashes but for the avid gardener it can still be time to plant. Whether you just love fresh food, have been inspired by books like 4 Season Harvest, or just desire more food independence SESE has many varieities that can still be planted.

For the purposes of this post we focused on the USDA Hardiness Zone 7A where Southern Exposure is located. That does not mean these are not still possibilities for your garden even if you live farther north. However your choices may be more limited and you may need to utilize season extenders like cold frames or row cover.

Chioggia (Dolce Di Chioggia) Beets

Beets are relatively cold hardy and quick to maturity. Grow them for fall greens or roots to store through the winter. In zone 7A beets can be sown up to Spetember 15th.

These Chioggia beets are both beautiful and ulitarian. They’re a fast growing, prolific, pre-1840 Italian heirloom with good flavor and storage properties.

Champion Collards

Collards are a beloved southern green that can be added to your fall garden until Spetember first in zone 7A, so it’s time to get some in now!

Champion collards reach maturity in 75 days and have enhanced winter hardiness, making them an excellent choice.

Broad-Leaved Bativian Endive (Full Heart Escarole)

Endive is very sensitive to hot weather so fall is actually a perfect planting time. The plants can be stored for winter use by digging the plant with the root ball intact and keeping in a root cellar or area of your home that stays around 50°F. Endive can be planted until September 15th.

Broad-Leaved Bativian has 12-16 inch creamy white heads with dark green outer leaves. It matures in 90 days.

Premier Kale

Kale is a wonderfully hardy green that can help keep your garden going year round. It can be sown in a zone 7A garden until September 15th.

Premier is a delicious variety with very tender leaves. It’s ready to harvest in just 60 days or can be over-wintered for awesome, early spring growth.

Speckled Bibb Lettuce

Lettuce is an easy choice for most gardens because it’s commonly liked and easy to grow. However in zone 7A much of the summer it can be difficult to grow lettuce because of the hot temperatures. Thankfully lettuce crops can be sown in the fall until Spetember 21st.

Speckled Bibb Lettuce is an excellent because it’s great tasting, gorgeous, and grows quickly in cool weather. You can have a Speckled Bibb harvest in just 43 days.

Red Giant Mustard

Mustards are great cold tolerant greens with a lot of flavor. They can be planted in zone 7A as late as October 1st!

Red Giant Mustard is an insect resistant variety originally from Japan. Its reddish purple leaves are stunning, cold tolerant, and strongly flavored.

Misato Rose Fall Radish

Radishes are a quick crop that can be sown up until November first in Zone 7A. Some radish varieties store especially well making them great for winter use.

The beautiful Misato Rose Fall Radish is an SESE favorite. It’s super easy to grow, matures in about 60 days, and keeps well.

Amber Glob (Yellow Globe) Turnip

Turnips are another hardy root and/or green to add to your fall garden. They can be planted as late as October 1st in the inland plains of the mid-Atlantic.

The Amber Globe Turnip is a fall variety that dates back to before 1840. It has sweet, fine-grained, creamy yellow flesh. Matures in 63 days.

 

If you don’t find favorites among this list be sure to puruse other varieties. Especially if you live in zone 6 or warmer or have season extenders there’s still plenty of varieities to offer a fall and winter bounty.

As autumn continues and the weather cools off more it will also be time to plant other crops like spinach, garlic, and perrennial onions.