Time to start thinking about your Fall garden

Fall Garden

The year round gardener never rests!  That’s right.  Despite the fact that it is barley the middle of June if you live in USDA Zones 4, 5, 6 and even 7 it’s time to start thinking about your fall garden!  Yep, if you want a successful fall garden and you grow your own starts now is the time to get started!

So let’s use my zone 5b/6a garden as an example.  We love to grow broccoli, it is especially tasty in the fall around here.  Of course we grow it in both the spring and fall.  So let’s use the spring crop to map out our plan for the fall crop.  We planted our 6 week old Pac Man broccoli starts on April 11th, this year.  Today is June 12th and those broccoli plants are just starting to get heads that are eatable size.  So to make it easy let’s say they were ready to eat 60 days after transplanting.

Fall Garden

Any plant you put into a fall garden will mature about 10 days later in the fall than the same plant would have matured in the spring.  So broccoli will need 70 days from transplant to mature in the fall.  So if I want broccoli to be ready around October 10th (this is about the time we can really depend on consistent nights with frost) then I need to have the seedlings in the ground by August 1st.  And if I need 6 weeks to grow the broccoli starts then guess what?  I need to start broccoli seedlings by June 15th!  That’s this weekend!  Whew, my seed starter never gets a rest.

Fall Garden

So you can apply the same formula to any cool season veggie.  This week I will be starting mainly Cole crops; broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Kohlrabi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts & maybe even a few Pac Choy.  These plants will be ready to go out August 1st, they will struggle a bit in the hot August weather but will be well established by the time September rolls around and the cooler weather arrives.

Other upcoming mile posts to keep in mind include the following:

Peas – Plant between July 15th and July 31st.

Chinese Cabbages – Start indoors July 15th, August 1st, August 15th

Carrots – August 1st to August 15th (ready for harvest in December)

Lettuce – August 1st to September 15th

Spinach – August 1st to August 15th

Beets & Turnips – August 1st

Radishes – September 1st

Fall us a wonderful time to garden, many of the cool seasons plants do better for us in the fall than they do in the spring, lettuce, carrots, spinach, Chinese cabbages and all the Cole crops really do better in the fall here in Utah, and the cooling weather and frosty nights can improve the taste of many of the hardier crops.

Fall Garden

So this year don’t let the end of summer mean the end of your garden, get started now for a fantastic fall garden. (And just wait in only a month I’m going to start talking about your winter garden!!)

Want to learn more about year round gardening?  Buy our Year Round Gardening Video course.  It is over 3.5 hours of advice on how to extend your growing season to 365 days a year!  It’s on sale now for a special price only for our readers!  Just $20.00!

YRG Cover Photo

We will be joining Green Thumb Thursday this week.  We sure to hop on over there for more great garden advice!

What are your favorite fall crops?  Are there any that I didn’t mention here that you grow and need to make the list?


  1. Daphne June 12, 2014 4:34 am Reply

    June 15th is my go to date for starting fall brassicas. Though I start my fall carrots long before your date. If I started them then, they would never size up. Though trial and error I’ve found the middle of July to be the last date to get them seeded if I want a good harvest.


    • Mr. Stoney June 12, 2014 7:21 am Reply

      Daphne, The carrots we start in August really aren’t ready till late November and usually we over winter them in a cold frame and slowly harvest them over the next few months. I’m glad you agree with my Cole crops date. It has taken me several years to fine tune that date for my area but it seems to be working now!!

  2. Margaret June 12, 2014 8:11 am Reply

    It was only last year that I realized that you had to add a week or two to the timeline for fall veggies, just like you mentioned. My fall grown crops never seemed to mature well, and now I know why. I’m still trying to figure out when to start different crops in my area – one of the biggest question marks for me is how long current crops will occupy the bed. I hate having to rip out stuff before it’s fully mature or finished producing.


    • Mr. Stoney June 12, 2014 8:31 am Reply

      Margaret, the trick for me is to plan one section or bed for your fall and winter garden. If you know the fall plantings go there then you can plan shorter season corps for the summer. In my new garden the fall and winter crops will go in the same bed as my spring peas this year. So the rotation will be March to June 20th Peas, when I pull out the peas, some of the space will be planted with some bush beans that only take about 60 days to mature (done about August 20th). The rest of the bed will sit un-planted for about a month and then I will start planting fall and winter crops around August 1st. The section in beans will stay in beans and then be replaced with lettuce and other crops that I will start indoors and move out in September when the Beans are done.

  3. Dave June 14, 2014 6:24 am Reply

    I was just thinking this the other day – it’s almost time to start my fall transplants! I’ll start sowing in about a week. I usually plan on following my bush beans with fall brassicas. In a good year we’ll still be enjoying the spring broccoli even while I set out plants for fall.


    • Mr. Stoney June 14, 2014 11:31 am Reply

      I usually have to squeeze the fall stuff in where ever I can find space. If we don’t have them in the ground by around August 1st then they don’t stand much of a chance and being done by the time the really cold weather arrives!!

  4. Green Bean June 18, 2014 1:16 pm Reply

    Thank you for the reminder about the fall garden! That always slips past me.


  5. tessa Homestead Lady June 18, 2014 11:37 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday! Its amazing how fast the fall garden comes up!


  6. lisa M June 22, 2014 9:13 am Reply

    This is a great reminder! Added bonus…I’m in 5b also and never find anything tailored to my area. Thanks! Pinning now!

    Thanks for joining Green Thumb Thursday, we’d love to have you back again!



  7. Gentle Joy July 10, 2015 9:37 am Reply

    Whew… time to think about the fall garden… and I’m still waiting for summer to really get here!!!!! So much rain and cloudy weather this year has stunted my poor sun starved crops!! 🙂 Thank you for the reminder.


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