The Best Vegetables to Plant in late summer and Fall Garden

Discussion in 'INFO' started by Chairman, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. Chairman

    Chairman Administrator Staff Member

    You can plant beet seeds about eight to 10 weeks before the first expected frost, and harvest them in time for the holidays. The main difference: Beets harvested in fall have stronger colors than spring-planted beets. Since they aren't fond of crowds, plant seeds about 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart, or sow them closer together and use the thinnings later for salad fixings.

    Direct-sow carrots into the garden in rows spaced 6 to 8 inches apart. If your garden has drip irrigation, sow the seeds along the drip lines. Carrot seed is very small and can be hard to sow precisely, so aim for five to eight seeds per inch.

    Depending on where you live, plant onion sets two to four weeks before the average last-frost date. Place the sets in a shallow furrow, space four to six inches apart, and cover with just enough soil to leave their pointed tips at the soil surface.

    Transplant broccoli into the garden, spacing plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Broccoli loves nitrogen, so an additional application of a nitrogen source like blood meal or alfalfa meal will help it thrive.

    Salad Greens
    Obviously salad greens are a category, but most kinds can thrive during fall growing conditions. Greens need a relatively short amount of time to mature, so you can plant them through August and into September.

    Once the temperatures cool down, dig trenches 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep in your garden beds. Soak the asparagus crowns before planting them in the trenches nearly feet apart and then top them with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Winterize these greens to ensure that you'll have a fresh crop come springtime.

    In mid-fall, plant garlic cloves four to six inches apart. Push each clove at least one inch into the ground before covering with soil and six inches of mulch for winter protection. While you may be lucky enough to see some garlic sprout before winter, you're more likely to get a fresh crop in spring.

    Scallions can be directly sown or transplanted into your August garden. If sowing seeds directly, sow four seeds per inch in rows 6 to 8 inches apart. Their tiny "bulbs" come in both white and deep purple and, like purple onions, purple scallions hold their color when cooked.

    Tips for Late-Season Tomatoes
    Many of these late-season varieties are ideal for those gardeners with a long growing season. Gardeners with a short season may end up with frost before they're able to get a harvest from some of these varieties, so keep your first frost date in mind when choosing varieties.

    Late season varieties are planted at the beginning of the gardening season, right along with your main season tomatoes. They need plenty of time to mature.

    Amana Orange
    The large, one-pound deep orange tomatoes ripen about 85 days after planting. The flavor or this American heirloom is full, intense, and perfectly tomatoey. These look beautiful sliced up in a salad and are delicious on sandwiches.

    Big Rainbow
    These red and orange striped beefsteak tomatoes are large—one to two pounds on average. Tomatoes ripen 85 days after planting. The plants are indeterminate and definitely need staking. This is another American heirloom, bred in Minnesota. The flavor tends toward sweet rather than tangy.

    Brandywine (Sudduth Strain)
    The granddaddy of all heirlooms, Brandywine tomatoes are a wonderful choice for newer gardeners. The pink flesh and skin of Brandywine have great flavor, and the sprawling, indeterminate plants produce reliably from late summer until the first frost. The fruits are large, often up to a pound or more.

    Bull's Heart
    These indeterminate tomatoes ripen about 90 days after planting. They are quite large—one to two pounds, with pink flesh and skin. Bull's Heart is an oxheart-shaped Russian variety. If you're a fan of more flesh and fewer seeds in your tomatoes, this would be a good one to try!

    Cherokee Purple
    These beautiful tomatoes are red, but turn purplish-brown at the shoulders when ripe. The flavor is complex and slightly smoky—perfect eaten as-is or sliced into a salad. It's hard to predict exactly when this variety will produce, but it traditionally produces very well from late July through to frost.

    This variety is another gorgeous stripey tomato. The yellow and red streaks are quite striking, and the fruits are huge—often two pounds and sometimes even larger than that. 'Hillbilly' is another American heirloom, hailing from West Virginia. Expect to harvest hillbillies about 85 days after planting.

    If you are a fan of yellow tomatoes, you really should give Hugh's a try. These beefsteak tomatoes have great, robust tomato flavor. The skin is tender and delicate, which is why you'll never find this variety in the grocery store. Hugh's produces a harvest of about 85 days after planting. It is indeterminate.

    Japanese Black Trifele
    If you're looking for something a bit different, you must try Japanese Black Trifele. These mahogany-shouldered fruits boast a complex, smoky flavor on a fairly well-behaved plant. You can even grow this one in containers if you are short on space, though they do better if you can give them a bit of staking.

    Mortgage Lifter
    Mortgage Lifter was so named because the man who developed this variety, so the story goes, was able to pay off his mortgage from selling his huge tomatoes. Whether that's true or not, this is definitely a variety you'll want to try in your garden. Perfect tomato flavor, large fruits, and a great story to go along with them.

    Ponderosa Pink
    Another pink tomato, Ponderosa is such a reliable producer that it's a great addition to your late-season tomato selections. The one-pound fruits are nearly seedless, with lots of delicious tomato flavor. Expect to harvest this variety approximately 80 days after planting.