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Edible Garden—What to Plant for Fall

Extend your growing season with crops that hit their peak as temperatures drop

Fine Gardening - Issue 188
Keep the bounty coming! If you plan ahead, you can harvest many delicious veggies well into autumn. Photo: Carol Collins

In my northern garden, the arrival of autumn doesn’t signal an end to the growing season. Instead, it’s a shift from the heat-loving vegetables of summer to the cool- and cold-season crops of fall and winter. I see autumn as a second season in which our garden beds, cold frames, and poly tunnels can be filled with a wide variety of root crops, leafy greens, and flavorful herbs.

The trick is to know when—and how—to plan for an autumn harvest. The when is easy to figure out. Take the “days to maturity” listed on the seed packet, and count backward from your first expected fall frost date. That’s when fall crops should go into the ground. As for the how, there are two main ways to plant: direct sowing and starting seeds indoors to be transplanted into garden beds or into a cold frame. My general rule is…

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