Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration for Your Fall Vegetable Garden

Photos (from left to right): Howard Rice/; Carol Collins; Janet Jemmott

As tomato and squash leaves begin to crinkle and brown, it’s nearing time to pick the last ripe produce and pull out wilted plants for the compost pile. But that doesn’t mean the vegetable gardening season is over. From brassicas like broccoli and brussels sprouts, to leafy greens like lettuce and arugula, to root veggies like radishes and carrots, there is a luscious bounty to be had in fall harvests. Read on for recommendations on the best varieties of cool-season vegetables as well as tips and tricks for the highest yields and healthiest plants.

First, if you haven’t already prepared your veggie garden for fall, read how to make the transition from summer to fall. Then enjoy in-depth articles and videos written by and starring our experts on growing specific vegetables. They cover choosing varieties, siting plants, amending soil, watering, pruning, treating pests and diseases, when and how to harvest, and preserving your produce. The vegetables covered in this collection include carrots, beets, garlic, peas, asparagus, onions, leeks, lettuce, arugula, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and brussels sprouts, among others.

For those gardening in warmer regions, you may be able to grow these cool-season veggies well into winter or even until spring if the worst winter weather you face is light frost. For those gardening in colder regions, you will need to watch the forecast carefully to anticipate any hard frosts that could wipe out your crops. However, you may be able to push your veggie garden later into the year by utilizing tools to insulate plants from cold and harsh weather such as cold frames, frost cloth, and hoop tunnels, as described here. Whatever your schedule, enjoy your abundant yields until it’s finally time to toss these plants on the compost pile as well.