What can you plant in September?? There are many vegetables to plant in September. This vegetable plant guide includes a list of vegetables to plant in the fall in all garden zones. This post is meant mainly for those of us living in Zones 5 to 10, in the northern hemisphere.
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Let me start out by giving you a quick link. This post is meant for those of you living mainly in Garden Zones 4 to 6. If you don’t know what your garden zone is, follow this link to find out!
There are 5 crops you can still plant in September. I recommend planting either by seed or with starts (if you can find them). The key to planting the 5 crops you can still plant in September is your first frost date. Use this frost date calculator to determine when your first frost is expected. You can then countback for two weeks. This date becomes your “drop dead date” for your final fall plantings.
The second thing to keep in mind is that most of the vegetables to plant in the Fall will need protection. Vegetables to plant in September will be grown for overwintering and will be used for late winter harvests or early spring harvests. So you need to plan on a hoop house, cold frame or at a bare minimum some Heavy Fabric Row Cover to protect these late plantings. So what can you still plant?
The first of the 5 Crops you can still plant in September is Mache. This is one of our favorite greens. Machè, also known as corn salad or sometimes lambs lettuce, is a super hardy leafy green that grows very well in the wintertime. Machè is one of those rare plants that continue to grow during the winter when day length drops below 10 hours.
This salad crop can be planted starting 2 weeks before your last frost. And seeds can be put in the ground for a good part of the fall. Wait for things to start to cool off a bit before you plant. Machè actually prefers temperatures to be cooler (ideal is 65) before it will germinate, so don’t bother planting now if you are still experiencing days in the ’90s.
Machè has a delicious nutty flavor and makes a wonderful salad in the wintertime. It is used as a salad green, not as a cooked green. Plant a lot of it, they are small plants so it takes quite a few to make a decent salad. They are harvested by cutting the entire plant off at the base. Mache is a one time plant, not a cut and come again plant like lettuce.
It can be hard to find seeds locally, your best chance of finding them is with some of the online growers like this one.
You can plant spinach up until around 2 weeks before your first frost. Plantings this late in the year will not provide a harvest this fall or winter. Instead, you are planting for the spring. These late plantings will get up and growing before the cold weather sets in but expect them to only have a few small leaves.
You will need to offer them some type of protection over the winter (a Mini hoop house or cold frame would be best). Once the weather starts to warm up in February these plants will take off and give you your earliest spring harvest ever!
Here too you are planting mostly for the spring now. Lettuce plantings in September will grow slowly all winter. Those small lettuce plants are surprisingly cold hardy and just like spinach, they will take off in the spring for a delicious early harvest.
Choose mostly leaf lettuces for these plantings. I have found those small leaf lettuce plants survive very well in a cold frame. Also look for extra hardy varieties like winter density, that are meant to do well in the winter. These hardy varieties can be found online here.
Kale is one of the hardiest plants out there. I have found the crinkly leaf varieties like Vates or Winterbore to be particularly hardy. Kale planted in September will grow slowly and will still be small when winter sets in. But it will provide a good harvest of small leaves all winter. Then the plants will take off in the spring.
Because kale is so hardy it will grow unprotected in your garden until early winter (think December). In all but the coldest areas, the only winter protection they will need is a piece of heavy fabric row cover. And you will love the improved taste the cold weather imparts to your kale, it’s like a different veggie this time of year.
Also known as miners lettuce, Claytonia is actually a weed that grows in California. This little beauty is another plant that isn’t deterred from growing when there are less than 10 hours of sun. Plant this one to add some variety to your winter salads.
The leaves on claytonia are small so you should use it as an addition to salads, based on other crops. Try tucking a few seeds of this fun plant into a corner of your cold frame or hoop house this year!
Other Vegetables to Plant in the Fall
It’s not too late to think about planting a few other leafy greens. These greens will be overwintered and gardeners will harvest them in the late winter after the 10 hour days return. You can even plant things like turnips or beets. BUT you will be growing them only for the small tender tops, not the roots. Other greens include arugula, chard, chicory, endive, mizuna, sorrel, and tatsoi.
Remember all of the 5 Crops you can still plant in September require protection if you live in a cold winter area. Mini hoop houses or cold frames are a great addition to your garden! And will extend your harvest all winter long!
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Vegetables to Plant in September Zones 7 & 8
Most of the crops on this list are the same for both zones 7 & 8. However, if you live in zone 7 you will want to get these crops planted in early September! If you live in zone 8 you can get away with planting these crops later in the month.
Beets are so good for you! They are packed with nutrients and I personally think they are delicious. If you want to learn more about growing beets you can check out this article: Complete Guide to Growing Beets
We love eating broccoli grown from our garden! We actually freeze any extra harvest, so that we can have garden grown broccoli year-round!
Having cabbage from your own garden is one of the great things about planting in September! Remember that you need to plant transplants NOT seeds for any crops on this list that are in the cabbage family!
Kale is so hardy, it will grow unprotected in your garden until early winter. Even then, in all but the coldest areas, the only winter protection kale will need is a piece of heavy fabric row cover. Kale tastes great in the winter and there are several different types of kale you can plant. You can learn more about the different types of kale you can grow in your garden in this article.
September is a great time to get lettuce started in your garden! As the weather starts to get cooler it makes great conditions for growing lettuce!
Peas (Zone 8)
If you live in zone 8 you can plant peas this month for a fall harvest! Planting peas in the fall requires a little bit more work, but it is definitely worth the effort. If you want to learn more about planting peas this month you can check out my article here: Planting Peas in the Fall
Spinach is another hardy crop that you can get started this month! We actually grow spinach in our garden all winter long!
I love growing carrots in the winter and fall. The cooler temperatures make the carrots much sweeter! They’re like eating candy! If you want to learn more about growing carrots in the winter you can read this article: Growing Carrots in the Fall & Winter
I love slicing up some radishes to add to my fall salads. Give them a try in your garden this month!
Other vegetables to plant in the fall
- Swiss Chard
Planting in September is a great way to extend your harvest into the fall and early winter. What will you be planting in your garden this month? Is there anything that I missed?
Fall Vegetable Gardening tips Zones 7 & 8
There are a couple of things to remember with vegetables to plant in the fall. It’s important to keep your first frost date in mind when you are planting in the fall. You’ll want to make sure that you aren’t planting anything too late!
Use this frost date calculator to determine when your first frost is expected. You can then count back for two weeks. This date becomes your “drop dead date” for your final fall plantings. Keep in mind if you are planting that close to your first frost you should plan on protecting your harvest with a hoop house, cold frame or some Heavy Fabric Row Cover.
If you live in zone 7 a lot of the vegetables to plant in the fall will need some protection with one of the methods I listed above. Also, in both zones 7 & 8, you need to plant transplants NOT seeds for any crops on this list that are in the cabbage family!
Vegetable Plant Guide: Zone 9
If you live in zone 9 there are a few different crops that you can plant this month! Similar to zone 10 you will need to plant any of the cabbage family crops on this list as transplants, NOT seeds.
We love growing our own fresh beans around here! You can get some planted this month for a fall harvest.
Beets are packed full of nutrients and they’re delicious! You can check out my complete guide to growing beets in this article.
Garden grown carrots are the best!!! We actually grow carrots in the winter in our area because we love them so much! You can learn more about how we do that here: Growing Carrots for Winter Harvest
Cauliflower is an amazing side for dinners or it’s perfect for adding to a fall soup! Try planting some this month!
Ahh Kale. It’s hardy, yummy, and nutritious. No wonder it’s on so many of my planting guides! You can start some kale this month in your garden! As the temperatures get cooler, kale tastes better (in my opinion) so it’s a great crop to plant in the fall.
Other crops you can plant in zone 9:
- Swiss Chard
What do you think? Will you be planting any of the crops on this September Planting Guide in your garden? Did I miss anything? Let me know!
Vegetables to plant in the fall Zone 10
There are quite a few crops that you can get started in your garden in September if you live in zone 10. All of the crops that are in the cabbage family should be planted as transplants, everything else you can start as seeds. This vegetable plant guide below will help you see exactly what you can plant this month.
September is a great time to get lettuce started in zone 10. You can learn more about growing lettuce in the fall and winter in this article: Growing Lettuce in the Fall & Early Winter
We love Brussels Sprouts, but our kids definitely don’t! They’re a great crop to plant this month!
Cabbage is another crop that you can get started this month! Remember, any of the crops on this list that are in the cabbage family should be planted as transplants NOT seeds!
We love broccoli grown from our garden! It tastes so good! We freeze it every year so that we can have home-grown broccoli year-round!
Spinach is a very hardy crop. In fact, we harvest spinach all winter long from our garden! While you don’t have to worry about cold temperatures yet in zone 10, you can learn more about growing spinach in the winter in this article.
If you haven’t given swiss chard a try before I definitely recommend it! It’s a yummy addition to any garden!
You can start a fall crop of peas in zone 10 this month. Remember that fall peas aren’t as productive as a spring planting, so you can expect roughly half the harvest from a fall planting as you would get in the spring. It’s well worth it though and just takes a little bit of patience and planning! You can read more about planting peas in the fall here: Growing Peas in the Fall
Yum! September is a great month to plant some winter squash if you live in zone 10!
You can still plant beans this month! Remember to make sure you find a sunny spot for them in your garden! Beans thrive when they have 10-12 hours of sun during the day.