Prepping for the Fall Garden

prepping garden collage Prepping for the Fall Garden

 Many gardeners do not even consider fall gardening because of the winter frosts that might make an early appearance.

On the contrary, fall gardening will result in excellent vegetables and will extend crops long after spring planted plants are finished. Vegetables produced from fall gardening are sometimes sweeter and milder than those grow in the summer and offer a brand new taste to the same old veggies.

What you choose to grow during you fall gardening will depend on your available space and what you like to eat, just like spring plants. Even the crops that enjoy the heat, such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, and peppers, will produce until frosts hit, which can be pretty late in the year in southern areas. However, there are some plants that will quit towards the end of summer like snap-beans, summer squash, and cucumbers. If these vegetables are planted around the middle of the summer they can be harvested until the first frosts as well. Hardy, tough vegetables will grow until the temperature is as low as 20 degrees, but those that aren’t as strong will only be able to grow through light frosts. Remember that if you have root and tuber plants and the tops are killed by a freeze the edible part can be saved if a large amount of mulch is used.

When fall gardening, make sure and pick the vegetables with the shortest growing season so they can be full grown and harvested before the frost arrives. Most seed packages will be labeled “early season”, or you can find the seeds boasting the fewest days to maturity. You may want to go after your seeds for fall gardening in spring or early summer; they are usually not kept in stock towards the end of summer. If they are stored in a cool and dry location they will keep until you are ready to plant.


In order to know exactly when the best time to start fall gardening, you must know about when the first hard frost will hit your area. One of the best ways to tell this is by a Farmer’s Almanac. I always check the Farmers Almanac for the frost dates…you can too...go HERE!  They will give you exact dates and are rarely wrong. You will also need to know exactly how long it is going to take your plants to mature.



Here is the Gardening Calendar for August and September:


5th-7th Cut winter wood, do clearing and plowing, but no planting.
8th-9th Good time to plant aboveground crops.
10th-11th Barren days.
12th-13th Favorable days for planting root crops, fine for vine crops. Good days for transplanting.
14th-15th Barren days. Do no planting.
16th-17th Root crops that can be planted now will yield well. Good days for transplanting.
18th-19th Any seeds planted now will tend to rot. Best days for killing plant pests and weeds.
20th-22nd Most favorable day for planting beets, onions, turnips, and other root crops. Plant seedbeds and flower gardens. Good day for transplanting.
23rd-27th A barren time. First two days best for killing weeds, briars, poison ivy, and other plant pests. Clear woodlots and fencerows.
28th-29th Good days for planting aboveground crops. Excellent for sowing grains, winter wheat, oats, and rye. Plant flowers.
30th-31st Plant peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and other aboveground crops in southern Florida, California, and Texas. Extra good for leafy vegetables. Plant seedbeds now.


1st An excellent time for planting aboveground crops including leafy vegetables, which will do well. Start seedbeds.
2nd-3rd Good days to clear fencerows, woodlots, and fields, but do no planting.
4th-5th Any aboveground crops that can be planted now will do very well.
6th-7th These are poor planting days.
8th-9th These are good days for planting root crops. Fine for vine crops. Good days for transplanting.
10th-11th Seeds planted now will tend to grow poorly and yield little.
12th-13th Good for planting root crops. Good days for transplanting.
14th-16th Seeds planted now tend to rot in the ground. Last two days good for killing plant pests, cultivating, or taking a short vacation. Also plant seedbeds and flower gardens. Good days for transplanting.
19th-23rd A most barren period, best for killing plant pests, or doing other chores.
24th-26th Good days for planting peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and other aboveground crops in southern Florida, Texas, and California. Excellent for sowing grains, hay, and forage crops. Plant flowers.
27th-28th Excellent time for planting aboveground crops that can be planted now, including leafy vegetables, which will do well. Start seedbeds.
29th-30th Clear fencerows, woodlots and fields, but do no planting.

  garden digging 2 Prepping for the Fall Garden

To get your soil ready for fall gardening you must first remove any leftover spring/summer crops and weeds. Crops leftover from the last season can end up spreading bacteria and disease if left in the garden. Spread a couple of inches of compost or mulch over the garden area to increase the nutrients, however, if spring plants were fertilized heavily it may not need much, if any. Till the top layer of soil, wet it down, and let it set for about 12-24 hours. Once this has been done, you are ready to start planting.

garden bags 199x300 Prepping for the Fall Garden

What to Plant?

Well, it really depends on where you live, and what your lifestyle has room and energy for and what you like to eat!!  The following is a general over view and I have highlighted what I will be planting in my garden this fall:


garden 1 300x224 Prepping for the Fall Garden


  • Many leafy green vegetables are frost resistant and grow well in the fall. These include mustard, collard and turnip greens, spinach, kale, lettuce and other salad greens, and parsley. Some people consider greens, such as mustard and collard greens, to taste sweeter and less bitter after they have been affected by frost. These vegetables mature relatively quickly in 30 to 60 days.

Root Crops

  • Root crop vegetables, such as beets, turnips, parsnips, radishes and carrots also work well for fall gardens. The roots of these vegetables are frost tolerant and continue to grow into the colder months of the season. Some of these plants, including beets, turnips and radishes, are harvestable in 30 to 60 days. Others, such as carrots, may take up to 80 days to mature.

Cruciform Vegetables

  • Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are among the cruciform vegetables that are frost tolerant. These vegetables are typically planted as early in the season as possible, as they frequently require more than 80 days to mature. While larger leaves of these vegetables may be adversely affected by hard freezes, the heads of the plants usually remain fresh and edible well after this time.


  • Many bulbs also grow well in the fall and can handle cold temperatures below freezing. Plant onions, garlic, leeks and shallots early in the season, usually 60 to 90 days before the predicted time of the first frost. These plants grow through the fall and can be left in the ground well after the first freeze occurs.

Many gardeners will run from fall gardening so they don’t have to deal with frosts, but if tough, sturdy vegetables are planted they can withstand a few frosts and give you some wonderful tasting produce. Fall gardening gives you the chance to enjoy your vegetable garden for at least a little bit more time.

What are your favorite vegetables to grow in the fall?

Ornamental Rule Lines in Different Design 2 150x44 Prepping for the Fall Garden

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Medical Disclaimer:

Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me & my family. If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials or essential oils before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advise for your particular medical situation; please ask your Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Naturopath for further guidance.  The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.

Ornamental Rule Lines in Different Design 2 150x44 Prepping for the Fall Garden

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About Simply Living Simply

I am a "red-neck country wife" to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way!
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