What Can I Plant In September?

What Can I Plant In September?

Although the gardening season is winding down, you might be wondering “what can I plant in September?”

 

As long as you have a south-facing cold frame set up (or a hot bed would be better), you have options for crops you can grow through the winter.

 

(For directions to build a cold frame and a hot bed, check out my bestselling book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening)

 

Without a cold frame, unless you live in a warm area (zones 8-11), you’ll not have much success. Even in our area, we can over winter spinach without a cold frame, but not much else.

 

In this article, I’m going to show you 11 crops you can still grow in September, even though the days are getting shorter and cooler!

 

Lettuce

Direct sow your lettuce when temperatures inside your cold frame are between 45 F and 65 F. You can sow either individual seeds in rows or broadcast. After sowing, cover the seeds lightly with ¼ inch of soil.

 

When seedlings are 4” tall, thin to 4 – 16 inches apart depending on the lettuce you’re planting. It’s best to avoid firm headed lettuces and shoot for leaf types.

 

Radishes

We love growing radishes because they’re as close as you can get to instant gratification in a garden. They’re ready to harvest in about 30 days.

 

Direct sow radishes by planting seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Rows should be 12 inches apart and in full sun.

 

A week after seedlings emerge, thin radishes to about an inch apart. When crowded, radishes will sprawl and not form round roots. They will be woody and bitter.

 

Plant consecutively every two weeks for a continuous harvest of radishes.

 

Beets

Beets are perfect to grow in a cold frame because they can survive frost and temperatures down to 32 degrees (although soil temp needs to be at least 50 degrees for the seeds to germinate).

 

Before planting, select a sunny site, and incorporate compost into the soil. Test the soil because a pH higher than 6 and lower than 5 makes it difficult for the seeds to sprout.

 

Soak the seeds for 24 hours before direct sowing them to speed up germination.

 

Plant seeds ½ inch deep and thin to 2 inches apart when the seedlings are 4 inches tall. Snip the seedlings you’re removing (instead of pulling them out of the soil) so you don’t disturb the soil.

 

Cabbages

Cabbage prefers to only grow in cold temperatures, and as soon as heat hits our farm, cabbage season is as good as over.

 

Kale

Kale is an incredibly resilient plant and thrives in colder temperatures, and the funny thing about kale, is it tastes better if it’s been through a frost!  

 

We broadcast kale seeds because they’re so tiny, and the plants thrive well in close quarters as long as you fertilize and water regularly. Cover lightly with dirt and mist regularly. In 3-4 weeks, you should see seedlings.

 

Be sure to harvest the outer leaves of kale before they get too big to ensure they’re still tender and not bitter.

 

Leeks

These green treats resemble giant scallions, and are excellent for sub-freezing temperatures – they have proven to be cold-hardy down to approximately 5° Fahrenheit!

 

Spinach

Spinach needs 6 weeks of cool weather to grow to harvest size properly, so as soon as the soil is workable, sow spinach in a cold frame. Soil temperature should not exceed 70 degrees to ensure your spinach germinates.

 

Sow spinach ½ inch deep. We broadcast our spinach seeds since they’re so small. To ensure a consistent harvest, plant spinach successively every 2-3 weeks.

 

Onions

This robust crop can easily withstand freezes and frosts, making them perfect for a cold frame. You can grow onions from seeds or sets; starting with sets is a bit easier.

 

When planting onions, it’s important to remember that they need full sun in order to grow healthy, so make sure your cold frame is in a sunny location.  

 

Plant in rows 12 inches apart, and about 1 inch deep for sets

 

Swiss Chard

This crop is quite cold-hardy. Plant seeds ½ inch deep. It’s simplest to broadcast the seeds, then cover lightly with dirt. Succession plant seeds every 2 weeks for a continued harvest.

 

Cover crops

Cover crops such as clover. This time of year is a good time to think about direct sowing cover crops – they’ll prevent your topsoil from getting blown away and lower the amount of weeds come spring. They’ll also fix nitrogen so your spring crops will get a kickstart thanks to all the nutrients in the soil.

 

Garlic

Don’t forget to plant your garlic bulbs! You’ll want to plant them now for a summer harvest next June. Start before it gets too cold, and be sure to cover with straw if frost threatens.

 

11 Vegetables You Can Start In August For A Full Fall Harvest

11 Vegetables You Can Start In August For A Full Fall Harvest

It’s August, which means it’s time to start thinking about cool weather vegetables!

 

(Y’all were thinking about pumpkin spice, weren’t you?)

[brid autoplay=”true” video=”453683″ player=”19074″ title=”Save tomato seeds with this tutorial!” description=”Save tomato seeds with this tutorial!” duration=”36″ uploaddate=”2019-08-21 17:23:10″ thumbnailurl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/14575/thumb/453683_t_1566408185.png”]

 

(This article is an excerpt from my #1 Amazon Best Selling book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. You can grab it on sale on by clicking here!)

 

Even though it’s still hot in most of the US, the reality is that soon it will be chilly and crisp and ready to break out the Halloween candy.

 

But not quite yet – there’s still plenty you can plant to harvest before frost hits….AND plenty you can plant and overwinter.

 

Here’s 11 vegetables and herbs you can start right now, even if you’re a little late to the game!

 

11 Vegetables You Can Start In August For A Full Fall Harvest

 

Beans

Beans, beans, the magical fruit….Right now you can plant both pole beans and bush beans.

 

We’ve planted bush beans because it’s very hot and humid into October, and I’ve noticed vining plants don’t do so well in the super hot months (we’re in Zone 7). Bush-type plants also help conserve water.

 

You can either plant a lot of beans at once (and then you’ll have to preserve large batches – just be aware of it) or succession plant every 7 days from now until August 15.  

 

Give them a Southern exposure so they get as much light as possible.

 

Cabbage

If you haven’t gotten your sauerkraut quota for the year yet, there’s still time to plant some cabbage. In our area (Zone 7), cabbage planted in March doesn’t do so well in the heat of June, so a late summer planting (with a maturity date in October) fairs better – cabbage loves cool weather.

 

If your cabbage hasn’t fully matured by the time frost hits (it can survive in low temps down to about 25 degrees), harvest the large leaves for wraps – super yummy!

 

Cover Crops

Cover crops, such as clover, buckwheat, alfalfa, and any other member of the Little Rascal’s gang, can help preserve your top soil and add nutrients that’ll feed your plants the following spring.

 

Another option is winter wheat (and that’s probably what I’ll go with because it’s readily available here).

 

The type of cover crop you should plant will depend on your zone, so do a bit of research to make sure you pick one that can withstand your local climate. Start now so they’re established before frost sets in.

 

Garlic

It’s not just to ward off vampires and bad dates. Garlic is best planted in late August and over wintered for harvest in June the following year. You can read here exactly how to do that.

 

Just be sure to over winter with lots of straw on top to prevent freezing. Try elephant varieties for milder taste or for using in herbal remedies.

 

Kale

Who doesn’t love kale? If you don’t want kale chips or kale salad, you can always add it smoothies. Plant by mid-august, and wait until after a mild frost to harvest – the leaves will be sweeter!

 

If you’re cool with cold frames, you might even be able to overwinter if you place your kale in a southern-facing exposure.

Lettuce

Lettuce is super boring…until it’s the only thing growing in your garden. Then it’s better than Betty White, like little green bits of spent summers.

 

Start sowing your lettuce now, and it should be well-established by fall. Choose early-maturing varieties for best results (and abundant late-fall salads).

 

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens aren’t the sexiest leafy greens, but they have their place. Plant them now, and harvest after a light frost. They’ll taste sweeter and add a little bit of spice to your salads.

 

Water consistently during the hot days of August, and don’t use them for wraps after harvest – WAY too much spice (unless you like that sort of thing. Then totally go for it).

 

Peas

I’m not a huge fan of peas, but even I get into them when it’s time to plant a fall garden. Choose early-maturing varieties, and consider green peas or sugar peas because they taste oh-so-sweet.

 

If you have too many to preserve all at once, then you can easily freeze them in small batches for winter soups and stews.

 

Radishes

Radishes are probably the most overlooked, instant-gratification vegetable out there. But plant some now, and you’ll be rolling in them within 30 days.

 

Succession plant every week until 30 days before the last frost date. Radishes can withstand a light frost, but a hard frost will do them in.

 

Spinach

Spinach is so cool you might even be able to overwinter it. At least, in Zone 7, we can! (No cold frame needed…..)

 

Start it now, add it to breakfast smoothies come October. Loves cold weather, less than 12 hours of sunlight, and long walks on the beach.

 

Turnips

You can grow turnips for the leaves and the roots. It’s like two veggies for the price of one, and if for some reason the roots don’t grow into purple and white globes, you still have SOMETHING to harvest.

 

Broadcast turnip seeds then thin to at least 4 inches apart. Harvest when the roots are about the size of golf balls so they’re tender and not woody.

 

The leaves are sublime lightly cooked in olive oil, but please – don’t do what my mother-in-law does and slop them so full of oil they’re like looking at a heart attack – be gentle with the oil. Mix with mustard greens for a tasty side dish.

20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest

20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest

It might be July, and you might be thinking your gardening window has slammed shut, but don’t despair: There’s still PLENTY you can plant for a full fall harvest.

 

(This article is an excerpt from my #1 Amazon Best Selling book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. You can grab it on sale on Amazon by clicking here!)

 

We’ve finished harvesting the cool weather crops we planted in March, so there’s lots of space opening up in our garden for a fall garden full of leafy greens, root crops, and more.

 

Our planting season lasts longer than other areas of the country because we can harvest veggies well into November (the temperatures don’t get really freezing until January).

 

Even if you haven’t started a garden at ALL this year, there’s still plenty of options that you can start right now – and they’ll be ready in less than 90 days.

 

In this article, I show you 20 vegetables you can still start in July for a full fall harvest, PLUS which veggies are hardy down to 25 degrees.


Remember: Even if your area has early frosts, you can use a cold frame to keep them growing. In this article, I show you which vegetables do well in cold frames.

 

Not sure what crops to grow in May? Here's a guide!

 

20 Vegetables You Can Plant Right Now

 

You have options for leafy greens, root veggies, and vegetables you can ferment for a healthy snack all winter long (great for kid’s lunches too!)

 

Each vegetable listed takes between 60 to 90 days to mature, so you can expect a reasonably large harvest (depending on how much you plant) by the time frost hits.

 

Here’s what you can plant in July for a full fall harvest:

 

  • Herbs in pots
  • Beets
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens
  • Green Onions
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

 

What Vegetables Will Survive Down To 25 Degrees

 

While some of the veggies listed will survive in colder temperatures than 25 degrees (we’ve successfully overwintered spinach without a cold frame), they probably won’t grow too much when the temperatures really dip low and the ground freezes.

 

With the root vegetables, such as radishes, it’s important to make sure you harvest them before the ground completely freezes. You also don’t want the ground freezing and then thawing – that can cause rot.

 

And Remember: You can continue to grow these veggies in a South-facing cold frame well into winter in some areas! Make sure your cold frame gets plenty of light.

 

(In Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide to Backyard Gardening, I share full plans to create your own cold frame out of scrap wood as well as directions to build a hot bed with manure).

 

Vegetables that will survive down to 20 degrees are:

  • Beets
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Spinach

 

Vegetables That Will Survive a Light Frost (30 degrees or higher)

 

While not all vegetables can survive below 30, there are some that CAN survive a light frost, and are even enhanced by it.

 

Mustard and kale are two leafy greens that actually benefit from a light frost – it enhances their flavor. You can keep them in the garden longer than other vegetables, but once the temperatures will consistently be below 32 degrees, you will want to pull them out of the ground or take your chances in a South-facing cold frame.

 

All the veggies listed in the previous section can survive a light frost. Other vegetables that do well when frost hits are:

 

  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Turnips

 

It’s June…Here’s 17 Vegetables You Can Still Plant For a Full Fall Harvest!

It’s June…Here’s 17 Vegetables You Can Still Plant For a Full Fall Harvest!

It maybe June (can you believe we’re halfway through the year?), but there’s still plenty you can plant for a late summer/fall harvest!

 

(This is an excerpt from my #1 Amazon Bestselling book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. If you want a great resource to help you grow everything listed below, grab it on Amazon right here!)

 

Believe me when I say that there’s veggies on this list I’ll be planting myself – I just cleaned out the greenhouses, spread rabbit manure to add nutrients to the soil, and I’ll be planting some beans, beets, and greens I hope to overwinter!

 

Even if you haven’t started your garden, don’t despair – there’s still plenty of time!

 

Here’s 17 plants you can still start this month!

 

Beans

Lots of varieties love the warmer weather! You can harvest some varieties in as little as 45 days. In hotter areas, stick with bush varieties to conserve water. Direct sow every two weeks for a continued harvest well into fall. Plant 10-15 plants per person in your family.

 

Beets

You can grow beets for either the roots or the greens. Direct sow in the soil now, and they’ll be ready to harvest in 45-60 days. Pickle them to preserve them!

 

Bok Choy

I love bok choy because it’s mild (aka not bitter), you can harvest it when it’s still young for a super nutritious addition to any sandwich or salad.

 

Broccoli

While you might not connect broccoli with something you should grow in June, especially in climates with a shorter growing season, you can start it now so it’s ready to harvest when the nights start to dip below 50 degrees.

 

Cabbage

If you plant cabbage now, you can harvest well into cooler weather (cabbage loves lower temperatures!) It takes a bit of time to grow big enough for harvest, so make sure it has a dedicated space you won’t need for anything else.

 

Calendula (C. officinalis)

This medicinal herb/flower can be used for so many purposes, from giving chickens golden egg yolks to creating healing salves for your family. Direct sow, and seeds will germinate in about 2 weeks.

 

Carrots

If you start your carrots now, you can still get an early fall crop – and they can hang out in the garden well into late fall.

 

Corn

Corn grows fairly quickly, but it needs full sun and lots of water. You can harvest it in as little as 70 days if you choose a fast-maturing variety. If you want to harvest enough for your whole family, plan on 12 – 15 ears per person.

 

Cucumbers

Consider bush cucumbers to save space and water. You can harvest them when they’re small for sweet pickles.

 

Eggplant

Eggplant loves heat, and you can see purple eggplants starting to form in as little as 60 days. Choose a fast-growing variety. If your family loves eggplant, you should plan on 3 plants per person.

 

Herbs

There’s plenty of herbs you can start right now, including:

 

  • Basil (grow several plants for a winter full of pesto)
  • Oregano (Greek oregano has great, large leaves)
  • Thyme
  • Sage (grow 7-10 plants for smudge sticks)
  • Dill (grow 3-4 plants for leaves, 10 or more for dill seed for pickling)
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender

 

You can plant herbs outside or in pots so you can bring them in at the end of season. Remember you will need time to dry them – so don’t plant too many and get overwhelmed.

 

Melons

Now is a great time to start watermelons and cantaloupe! Plan on 3 – 4 plants per person in your family.

 

Peas

Count on 20 plants per person.

 

Squash

Squash loves heat, and will grow quickly in the higher temperatures. Yellow summer squash is a great variety, as are gourd varieties.

 

Sunflowers

You can let them go to seed for a healthy snack or harvest them for cut flowers.

 

Swiss Chard

Perfect if you have a shady spot in your garden, which will help the leaves from bolting and becoming bitter.

 

Turnips

Plant for greens and/or the roots. You will be able to harvest them long into the fall.

 

I’d like to hear from you!

What are you planting right now? Leave a comment below!

6 Companion Planting Mistakes to Avoid

6 Companion Planting Mistakes to Avoid

Are you ready for spring? I can’t hear you. Are you ready for spring?!

 

I know I am. To beat these chilly blues, I’ve been planning my garden. Right now I’m deciding what to plant where. Last year, I made a few companion planting mistakes I’ll be sure to avoid this year.

 

We’ve built our raised beds, and I’ll be doing more square foot gardening this year.

 

(This article is an excerpt from my book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. In that book, you’ll find an encyclopedia of how to grow vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, lettuce, and more. You can buy it on Amazon or off this website to save 20% and get the digital version free.

Buy now right here to save 20% and get the digital version FREE!)

 

If you’re new to square foot gardening, then here’s my beginner’s guide to square foot gardening – it’s super easy to implement, but you have to make sure you get the companion planting right.

 

If your spacing is poor or your vegetable plants don’t “get along well,” then you’ll probably not have the harvest you’re expecting.

 

I think a salsa garden and an all-tomato garden are definitely on the list!

 

This year, my garden will be awesome. 

 

I’ve picked out a place for the radishes, near the house where the soil is loose but rich with the compost from plants of yesteryear. (I’m not the biggest fan of radishes, but they’re about as instant gratification as gardening gets, and this year I want to try to pickle them!)

 

The kale will line the walkway that leads to our front door, since kale, which doesn’t grow too tall, makes an attractive border, adding texture to our front lawn.

 

The cabbage will go in the front of the house, where I’ve been composting manure, and where they will be easily accessed.

 

It’s also far away from my radishes, since radishes and cabbage don’t grow well together. That was companion planting mistake #1 last fall. I planted my cabbages near my radishes, and neither did too great!

 

 

In fact, just like some foods just don’t like each other, some veggies don’t make good companion plants. Using a companion planting chart when planning your garden can help prevent costly mistakes.

 

As you plan your spring garden, use this easy companion planting guide to avoid 6 common companion planting mistakes:

Companion Planting No-Nos

 

Now, you do need to pay attention to zones (you can find out your USDA zone right here

 

Your season also will dictate what you’ll plant. Here’s guides for each month of the growing season:

January    February    March    April    May    June     July    August    September

 

Itching to start gardening RIGHT NOW?

Here’s 12 crops you can start in cold frames – including lettuce, spinach, radishes and more!

 

You can also learn how to heat your green house right here.

 

What will you plant in your garden this spring? Will you try companion planting? How will you avoid these 6 common companion planting mistakes?

square foot gardening plant spacing