The Benefits of Gardening and the 10 best crops to plant NOW!

Hey YOU! Did you get your garden in this spring? Are you reaping the benefits by now, filling your family’s dinner plates with tender greens and juicy chunks of kohlrabi and savory sauteed summer squash and heaps of kale cooked with garlic—but . . . no? You say your spring was a nightmare, the dog had a mysterious illness, it rained buckets daily and your mother-in-law came for an extended visit at just the time you were going to plant?

Never despair, Gentle Reader, if you didn’t get your garden in this spring. It’s not too late. IT’S NOT TOO LATE.  I’ll say it one more time, this time in BOLD:  IT’S NOT TOO LATE.

I remember one summer, well after the summer solstice, when my mother put in a whole passle of hills of squash about this time.  Nobody said anything, but it seemed like a silly thing to do.  Winter was just around the corner, after all.  We were splitting wood for the wood stoves and composting spent spring crops.  Our thoughts were turned toward garden clean up, and preparing for winter.  As it turned out, we had a lovely long fall and Mom harvested bushels and bushels and bushels of squash before the first frost.  Acorn. Butternut. Spaghetti.

It didn’t seem like such a silly thing to do then.  I still remember that beautiful squash harvest.  So I’ll repeat myself, one more time (this time in italics!) It’s not too late to plant your garden.

Here’s a fun infographic for you to look at while your mind races with the possibilities of your fall garden.  But do read to the end, because I’ve also (value added!) attached a great Ezine article with a list of some of the best crops to plant in the next few weeks, for YOUR fall garden. Ready, set–garden!!


Now that you are reminded of the benefits of having (and keeping!) a garden, what should you plant at this perfect planting time of year?  Keep reading . . . and know that I’ll be right out there with you.  We’ve been constructing a hoophouse over nearly half of my available garden space, so you know that I’ve been waiting . . . . not very patiently . . . for it to be finished to the point that I can plant it full of squash . . . kale . . . a few tomato plants . . . peppers . . . let’s see . . . eggplants . . . lettuces . . . winter radishes! . . . leeks . . . gosh, I hope I have enough space in there for all this . . .

10 Best Vegetables to Grow in Fall


 Expert Author Matthew Buquoi

Fall vegetables don’t require any special care; in fact, you’ll spend less time caring for your fall crops because of the favorable autumn growing conditions. Generally, plants will grow rapidly at first and gradually slow as the days become shorter and colder. Here are some tips and ideas for learning how to grow fall vegetables and what are the 10 best vegetables to grow in fall.

You’ll be happy to discover that destructive insects won’t be as numerous as the summer months.
You will also struggle less with weed control because the weeds will germinate less frequently and grow slower than they do during the warmer growing seasons. Compared to the hot and dry summers, fall usually brings an increase in the amount of precipitation, eliminating another time consuming garden chore of irrigating the garden.

With just a little attention and effort you may be surprised to find that growing fall vegetables in the backyard garden and planters is even more enjoyable than planting a vegetable garden during the spring and summer seasons. Why? It’s simple. Cooler autumn temperatures make it a delight to spend time outside in the garden and also provide an advantage when it’s time to harvest your fall crops.

Maturing crops including cabbages and root crops will maintain their quality and stand much longer in the garden during the fall season. Leafy greens can be harvested a leaf or two at a time from each plant during the season, leaving the smaller leaves in the center portion of the plant to continue growing and producing new leaves. Or you can harvest all of the leaves at once from the mature plants late in the season.

These lettuce-leaf basil seedlings are waiting patiently for the hoophouse to be finished.

These lettuce-leaf basil seedlings are waiting patiently for the hoophouse to be finished.

Following is a list of fast growing, cold hardy crops that are ideal for fall vegetable gardening. These are our top ten vegetables to grow in fall:
· Kale – Nutritious leafy greens on productive plants that surpass winter easily, even in very cold climates.
· Collards – Another leafy green similar to kale, but with larger, stronger flavored leaves are the collards.
· Lettuce – Plant varieties bred especially for growing during the fall season or in cold frames.
· Turnips – Here’s a quick maturing root crop that’s productive and easy to grow.
· Rutabagas – Larger and sweeter than turnips, plant rutabagas earlier in the summer for a full fall harvest.
· Broccoli – Popular, productive, and much easier to grow than cauliflower. Plus, its high dose of fiber and calcium keeps a body good
· Mustard – Spicy hot leaves; this is a very fast growing vegetable.
· Cabbage – Grow from transplants (like broccoli and cauliflower) or start seeds indoors under lights.
· Arugula – Fast growing leafy greens for salads or gourmet recipes.
· Leeks – One of the hardiest plants in the garden, leeks can even withstand winter freezes.

Hang on, purple cabbage seedlings!

Hang on, purple cabbage seedlings! It’s nearly time to go into the garden!

Matt Buquoi is the owner of Flower Window Boxes, a custom window box and planter company that specializes in affordable no rot window boxes. PVC window boxes and deck planters are great for showing off an array of beautiful plants, flowers, and vegetables from the convenience of your window, deck, or patio. You can visit their website to see more ideas for growing plants and vegetables from porch and deck planters.

Article Source:

There you go, Gentle Readers! The whys and hows and what-fors about planting a fall garden.  Enjoy!


22 thoughts on “The Benefits of Gardening and the 10 best crops to plant NOW!

  1. Stephanie Stevens

    Lovely article! We are enjoying the fruits of our labor (who am I kidding–my labor) but are also getting ready to plant some fall veggies. I sell at the farmer’s market during the summer–our first day was yesterday–so we grow a little bit of everything. I am so happy to have found your blog through the UBC, and look forward to your future posts.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      We sell our extras at farmer’s market, too! I try to grow things that the other growers in our area don’t fuss with–heirloom tomatoes and peppers, lots of varieties of kale, and flowers. It’s fun, isn’t it? I’d love to hear about what you grow for market.

  2. Stacy

    It’s funny, my dad always had a huge garden and we had plenty of veggies for eating, freezing, canning, and giving away…but the one thing he never did was a second planting. I never thought about it before, but for someone who loved to garden so much I’m surprised. I wonder why?

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      It might be that he was ready to till the garden under in the fall, and didn’t want to mess with it any more? Sometimes insects can be a problem in the fall, too, and that can be a discouragement.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Yikes! That’s the hard part for me sometimes, too, Roy, is “reclaiming” the garden space from the weeds! Good luck!

  3. Carolina HeartStrings

    Love the info graphic. They are one of my fave current trends. Well, too late or not isn’t so much the question for me. More like space & time. Am HOPING to use some space at the shop next year and actually get busy IF life allows me…

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I know, right? Infographics are so much fun that I can waste—er, spend–a lot of time browsing them. Wish I had the tech chops to design my own, actually. One thing about gardens—there’s always NEXT YEAR, right??? 😉

  4. Cher

    Gosh Amy, I am definitely struggling this year, our weather has been so bad until now (fingers crossed) my spring planting had to stay under cover because we were still getting frost in May! So I am really busy now trying to keep things going and have lost so much 🙁 Never mind Autumn planting it is 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh my, Cher, that’s too bad. I know how strange the weather has been this year. Hopefully your fall garden will make up for your lack of a springtime one!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      How exciting to be planning your fall garden in Mexico! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures down there! Blessings on your move.

  5. StepmomCoach

    Oh I love this. We might be getting a house this fall and the one we’re interested in has a garden (or what looked like a garden at one time). I love the idea of having a fall harvest. And squashes are one of my favorite veggies.
    Yea for fall plantings.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Fall gardens are lovely to have for so many reasons. I think one of my top reasons is that I feel like I’m getting a second garden out of the summer, and that I’m cheating Jack Frost for just a bit.

  6. Gillie

    As I am only just starting to harvest and will continue to harvest until mid september, autumn planting for me doesn’t even hit my radar before October!

  7. Anita-Clare Field

    How fabulous, more ideas for the garden for Autumn. We are yielding from our herbs and the beets and artichokes are looking very good. I cannot wait with next year when we really get going with sowing and planting out. Excellent post.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      One thing I have learned about gardeners . . . there’s always unlimited enthusiasm and optimism for NEXT YEAR. Cheers!!

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