9 Fall Crops That Brighten Up the Seasonal Garden and Dinner Table

9 Fall Crops That Brighten Up the Seasonal Garden and Dinner Table

Gardening
Outdoor and Gardening
By Alex Mikayelyan October 25, 2021

f your kids have trouble finishing their veggies, it’s not necessarily because the chicken nuggets ruined their appetite. Vegetables are very tasty, but unfortunately, the ones that come from the store are not always the most flavorful or nutritious. So, why not grow your own? If you love spending time outside, have a gorgeous garden or in your outdoor living space, then put it to good use.

Growing your own fruits and veggies may seem more complicated than simply going to the grocery store and buying, but it is infinitely times more rewarding. There are many benefits to gardening, both physical to mental, but one of the biggest advantages is having access to your own fresh produce. Cultivating it yourself also means you can have fresh and very tasty fall fruits and vegetables that your family will enjoy much more than the inorganic produce you purchase at the grocery store.

But, as one would imagine, cultivating and growing crops is a lot of work and knowing which ones to plant is the difference between a hardy harvest and a failed gardening project. You have many fall vegetables to plant which is good since you have the freedom to choose what you’re going to have on the dinner table this season. Pick a few of the best fall crops to grow and watch as your dinner table comes to life with the excitement of getting to eat the fruits of your labor (or vegetables of your labor, but that’s not how the idiom goes). 

1. Carrots

How Are Carrots So Convenient to Grow?

How Are Carrots So Convenient to Grow?

Among the fall vegetables that are a must, carrots are a great crop to grow in your garden. They may take some time to grow and require full sunlight, but they do pay off with how nutritious and flavorful they are. You may even be interested to hear that some variants of carrots can grow pretty fast, in around 50 days, as opposed to the 70 to 80 that the standard Imperator or Danvers carrots require. Plant in properly irrigated, loose soil during the late summer or early fall to have your carrots ready in time for the Thanksgiving table. 

2. Cabbage

Cabbages Are Extremely Versatile in the Kitchen

Cabbages Are Extremely Versatile in the Kitchen

While not as popular as its cruciferous cousin lettuce, cabbage is a fantastic crop to plant in your fall garden. Cabbages are easy autumn plants to grow thanks to their ability to withstand the fall weather. Even in chilly 30 degrees Fahrenheit, cabbage can grow to its full size and retain its flesh beautifully, making it a great crop even in areas with unpredictable weather. Cabbage takes three to four months to grow, so you should plan to cultivate them ahead of time so that you have them ripe and ready for the table by late fall or early winter. Coleslaw, salads, cabbage rolls, and plenty more await, as even a single head of cabbage can make for a filling meal. 

3. Bok Choy

A Cruciferous With a Long History

A Cruciferous With a Long History

Another cruciferous that people can’t get enough of is bok choy. Farmers in China have been cultivating the vegetable for around 5,000 years and to this day it remains a staple in Chinese cuisine. Brought over to the US by Chinese immigrants in the 1800s, bok choy is also an important vegetable in American diets and is very healthy. Perfect in stews and soups, bok choy is a great crop to have in your roster as it adds a tender texture to your meals. Bok choy also grows quickly, with an average of 45 days after planting it in the late summer. The soil should be kept cold and regularly watered, as growing bok choy in hot weather may damage the leaves or give parasites and pests the opportunity to infest the crops. 

4. Kale

Why Has Kale Gotten So Popular?

Why Has Kale Gotten So Popular?

Kale is currently one of the most beloved fall garden plants you can grow yourself. With the rise of healthier lifestyles, more and more substitutes are being made for unhealthy eating habits. Kale, for example, is an amazing substitute for traditional potato chips. Bake it to make it as crispy as a potato chip, flavor it with your choice of spices, and you have yourself a much healthier option over the stuff that comes in bags with artificial flavorings. Kale is also rich in all kinds of vitamins, calcium, and potassium, all of which you will need to stay healthy in the winter. Kale also likes cooler weather, which means you should use mulchy soil and remember to water the crops regularly if there is no regular rain in your area. This way you can keep it cooled off, protecting it from heat damage.  

5. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi Can Be Used in All Sorts of Culinary Dishes

Kohlrabi Can Be Used in All Sorts of Culinary Dishes

Full of vitamins and nutrients, kohlrabi is a crunchy German turnip. While not the most popular of fall veggies in the US, they are quite fun to cultivate and reward you with vibrant seasonal flavors. Kohlrabi has a mild and slightly sweet taste that can be used in all kinds of dishes, from soups and stews to stir-fries and even pasta. Plant kohlrabi in areas of the garden where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Keep the soil hydrated and ensure the soil is rich with plenty of organic matter. Cultivate and plant kohlrabi late in the summer and it will grow for 50 up to 70 days through the fall. This way, it will be ready for harvest mid to late fall, perfect for the holiday feasts.

6. Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes Are an All-Time Favorite Fall Vegetable

Sweet Potatoes Are an All-Time Favorite Fall Vegetable

The sweet potato is another crop that reminds us of the warmth and fuzzies of the fall season and holidays. Be it the sweet potato pie, roasted sweet potatoes, or baked sweet potato casserole, the savory and lightly sweet flavor of these fall garden vegetables is a seasonal mainstay. Growing sweet potatoes is quite simple and it is one of the best fall garden crops to grow as you dip your toes into horticulture. It will take anywhere from three to five months for the sweet potatoes to be ready for harvest and you can usually gauge this by the color of the leaves, which should turn yellow once they’re ripe. Be very careful to plant them in the middle of the summer, since sweet potatoes are quite sensitive to frost. So plant away and wake up to the sweet smell of roasted fall vegetables and more specifically, the savory scent of sweet potatoes in the morning.

7. Green Beans

The Subtle Nuances of Growing Green Beans in Your Fall Garden

The Subtle Nuances of Growing Green Beans in Your Fall Garden

Legumes have been in our diets for a very long time. They are certainly a staple side dish for many big meals, especially during Thanksgiving. One of the most important rules to keep in mind when growing green beans is to give them plenty of sunlight. They require six to eight hours of sunlight on a daily basis and any less will result in them growing at a much slower pace or simply dying out before they can ripen. In total, it will take around 45 days for you to grow them, making them great vegetables to plant in September.

8. Arugula

Arugula, Also Known as Rocket Leaves, Are Full of Fresh and Tart Flavors

Arugula, Also Known as Rocket Leaves, Are Full of Fresh and Tart Flavors

Stepping into the huge world of herbs, arugula is extremely popular with those looking for a bit of an earthy, peppery kick in their salad, on their pizza, or in their sandwich. Arugula goes great with all kinds of dishes and growing it will give you a regular supply of the herb to include in your cooking. You can grow them indoors in your kitchen so they can be close by when you need to tear off a few leaves and throw them into the pot. But if you grow arugula in bigger batches outside, they are relatively easy to cultivate. They don’t require much sunlight so they can grow and ripen in the shade under bigger plants. Also, they have small roots, which means arugula can grow in big batches within a relatively small area be it in the ground or in the raised garden bed.

9. Butternut Squash

Growing Fall Squash That We All Know and Love

Growing Fall Squash That We All Know and Love

It’s fall and you know we had to include some kind of squash or gourd on this list. And the butternut squash just so happens to be as fall as you can get. Plant them in August so that there are at least 2 months between the initial planting and the ensuing winter frost. Fall planting a butternut squash would be too late and risks damaging the crop once winter arrives. Also, planting the butternut squash in the winter gives it plenty of time to germinate in the summer heat before the weather starts getting cold.

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan