When to Plant Your Vegetables for Fall and Winter

As summer's heat begins to wane, it's time to plant cool-season veggies in your garden.

Planting Cold Weather Vegetables

While you are enjoying the warm days of summer, it is hard to think of changing leaves and cooler temperatures. But fall isn’t far away, which means it is time to plant cool-season veggies. Check out your plant hardiness zone before you get started. Those of you who live in cold climates need to start planting right away. Gardeners in warmer climates have a broader planting window.

Frost zone mapFamily Handyman

Zones Three and Four

Though the growing season is shortest for northern gardeners, there’s still some time to grow more veggies before a hard freeze, especially with the right garden tools and gear.

  • Vegetables to plant in August: Kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, radishes and spinach.
  • Vegetables to plant in October: Garlic.

Zones Five and Six

Before you plant fall veggies, add some compost to the soil to improve its texture and add nutrients.

  • Vegetables to plant in August: Beets, radishes, spinach and turnips.
  • Vegetables to plant in September: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce (plant in the beginning of the month), onion sets, spinach and turnips.
  • Vegetables to plant in October: Garlic.

Zones Seven and Eight

A later first frost date gives gardeners in these zones more options than their friends up north.

  • Vegetables to plant in August: Bush beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards and kale.
  • Vegetables to plant in September: Beets, cabbage, carrots, collards, leaf lettuce, onion sets, radishes, spinach and turnips (plant before the 15th).
  • Vegetables to plant in October: Garlic, onion sets, radish and spinach (plant before the 15th).
  • Vegetables to plant in November: Asparagus and onion sets.
  • Vegetables to plant in December: Asparagus.

Zones Nine and Ten

Some warm season vegetables can be planted in these southern zones in fall, and cold-hardy crops like broccoli and kale can even be planted in early winter.

  • Vegetables to plant in August: Broccoli, bush beans, pole beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes and turnips.
  • Vegetables to plant in September: Beets, broccoli, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, onions (seed & sets), radishes, summer squash and turnips.
  • Vegetables to plant in October: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, onion (seed & sets), radishes, spinach, strawberries and turnips.
  • Vegetables to plant in November: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collards, kale, kohlrabi, onions (seed & sets), radishes, spinach and strawberries.
  • Vegetables to plant in December: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, onions (seed & sets) and radishes.
  • All of these recommended planting dates are approximate. Check with your local cooperative extension office, which should have a planting calendar for your area.

So, what are you waiting for? Fall will be here before you know it. Get your favorite cool-season vegetables in the ground before time runs out!

Birds & Blooms
Originally Published in Birds & Blooms