Fall Planting for Second Harvest Edibles

Seasoned gardeners break into a smile
when they talk about planting edibles in the fall

By Rita Calvert

For your second harvest: Start late summer and fall months and you can double your yield this year and enjoy homegrown flavor into fall and winter.

When I tracked down Homestead Gardens’ expert Gene Sumi to ask him about THE SECOND VEGGIE PLANTING, he broke out in a huge smile and said, “This is the best time to plant!”

Why? The sun and soil have worked diligently through the summer to prepare for you. The soil is warm enough to burst those seeds to germination. Seeds can be sown into the warm soil or you can simply plop in bedding plants. If you had a spring/summer edible garden, you most probably have already done the major soil amendments and of course, plotted out the garden. Now it’s just the gravy! You can see from Gene’s long list of veggies, below, this can be enough food to see you through most of the winter (given a bit of preserving the harvest).

lettuceTime to Start some Cool-Season Vegetable Seeds for Fall Planting

Fall is the best time to grow cool cool-season vegetables – even better than spring because in spring, the seeds need to be started indoors under artificial lights. In August the temperatures are warm enough to start the seeds outdoors, many sown directly in the soil. Follow the instructions on the packages. Gene encouraged us to at least grow some lettuce (everybody loves lettuce) but you really will appreciate all of those other greens such as kale, Swiss Chard and the Asian Greens! You can easily grow them in containers.

  • Arugula
  • Asian Greens
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Bunching Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Mesclun
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

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