Fall Planting In The Garden – Fall is the perfect time for planting a variety of flowers and vegetables that will bloom in the spring. You can plant into November, or up until the ground freezes. In many ways fall is a much better planting season than spring. The earth is still warm, soft and easy to work. Roots will settle into the ground a lot faster and begin feasting on the nutrients that are still plentiful. As your friends snuggle up by the fire side, you’ll gingerly work up a light sweat, clad in your hoodie, jeans and work gloves. Is there any more blissful way to get your daily exercise?
Your choice of crops will of course depend on where you live so check with your local nursery for the crops best suited to your area. Before you plant anything, find out the number of days or weeks until maturity then count back from the average first frost. In milder climates, this could be well into December, or early January.
Here are 6 vegetables well suited to fall planting. These are plants that will tolerate a light frost and thrive in short daylight hours and mild temperatures.
Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, is often called a superfood. It is an excellent source of vitamin D, A, C and K and many other essential vitamins and minerals.
Recently broccoli has been found to be a particularly rich source of kaempferol, a flavonoid which has been shown to play an important role in counteracting the impact of a variety of allergens on the body.
Many health specialists advocate eating broccoli every day for optimum health.
My five year old loves to eat her ‘little trees’. They are mild in flavor and can be eaten raw or lightly steamed to retain the most nutrients.
Broccoli matures in 70 days so you’ll want to plant them 10 weeks before the first real frost.
Another nutrient rich member of the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts are an ideal vegetable for fall planting as their flavor is enhanced when the plant matures in cooler temperatures.
This is an important vegetable in the fight against cancer due to its high content of glucosinolates. These are important phytonutrients that have shown great ability to stabilize and protect our DNA.
Brussels sprouts are delicious steamed or roasted in the oven drizzled with olive oil and generous amounts of garlic.
This plant takes about 90 days to maturity so plant about three months before the first frost.
Spinach is perfectly suited for fall planting. Once established it will last well into winter and can survive temperatures in the low 20’s. You’ll be able to enjoy multiple harvest of this superfood all winter long.
Spinach is widely recognized as one of the world’s healthiest vegetables, It is dense with vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients known to promote good health and ward illness. It is extremely rich in vitamin K and A, as well as manganese, folate and magnesium.
Toss into a salad or sauté lightly with plenty of garlic for a delicious side dish.
Spinach matures in 45 days and prefers very fertile soil to encourage rapid growth and tender leaves.
Cauliflower can be a bit tricky to grow as it requires frequent watering and a rich soil, but it is a wonderful food to have in abundance for those on a gluten free diet.
Cauliflower is another member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that is loaded with nutrients. It has a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor that makes it a versatile food.
Cauliflower works wonderfully as a substitute for pizza crust. And if you’re craving pasta with Alfredo sauce but don’t want the heavy calories, spaghetti squash with a cauliflower sauce will fool the pickiest of eaters. With about a tenth of the calories and a generous amount of porting you can gobble it up completely guilt free! Cauliflowers takes about 4 months to maturity.
Cabbage comes in many varieties, each with its special benefits, and the best way to reap the rewards of this delicious vegetables is to eat a little bit of each. White cabbage has a mild and subtle flavor and is most commonly used in coleslaw or the cabbage soup diet.
It is best to eat raw, steamed or sauté to preserve the nutrients.
Cabbage matures in 70 days. It requires lots of moisture and fertile soil.
There are many varieties of lettuce to enjoy, each with it’s unique flavor but all abundant in vitamins and minerals.
My girls love to run out to my father’s garden and pluck the delicate winter salads from the ground. It somehow always feels like a special treat to enjoy these tasty crunchy bundles of goodness!
Seedlings require constant moisture and do best shielded from the sun. Plants mature in 45 to 60 days, depending on the variety planted.
There are many more delicious vegetables that you can plant in the fall. You can grow all sorts of dark leafy greens like mustards and collars, as well as turnips, radishes or rutabaga. And onions and garlic are great for keeping unwanted pest away from your tender greens.