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It’s not too late to start your fall garden. It’s always sad seeing the end of a summer garden. But have no fear! Fall gardening is upon us! Here are some good fall plants to keep your garden alive.

Spinach is a great fall garden plant. The shorter days and cool weather are better for spinach than spring. Plus, some spinach varieties can last well into winter, surviving in cold down to 20 degrees. Spinach likes fertile soil, so if your putting some in a former growing spot, make sure the soil is not totally tapped of nutrients. It takes about 45 to 50 days until mature meaning you’ll have fresh greens just in time for winter.  

Many varieties of lettuce are great for the colder season. Lettuce is a cool season crop, meaning it too thrives in fall. Lots of leaf lettuces are ready for harvest after about 40 to 50 days. They actually taste better if you harvest after the temperature drops as well! Butterhead varieties form in little rosettes with cup shaped leaves. They can take a little longer than the leaf varieties, about 55 to 70 days.  Crisphead lettuce, like Iceberg, should only be grown in fall. They grow into heads, leaves layer on top one another forming a ball. They take the longest at a rate of 80 to 100 day until fully mature. 

Radishes are one of the most popular fall veggies. They are quick and easy to grow and require little feedings. In fertile and well drained soil, seed your radishes evenly so you won’t have to thin them later.  They are quick to mature and can be harvested as soon as they are of edible size. The smaller varieties can take around 25 day to mature, but they don’t keep as well as some larger radishes. Some larger varieties can take up to 50 or 60 days to mature, but they keep better than smaller ones. 

Cauliflower is another favorite fall crop. It can be kind of trick to grow however. Consistent watering and rich soil are the basics, but cauliflower can be affected by temperature fluctuations. This can cause the heads to develop small and undersized.  A common recommendation is to tie the leaves over the heads when they reach about 2 or 3 inches across. This prevents the heads from turning green, bitter and nasty. 

Fall plantings can be hit or miss. One unexpected frost can wipe out a lot if not all of your hard work in a single day. Cold frames and plastic coverings can prevent losses. Now is the time to not only consider your fall plants, but your frost defenses as well.

 – Happy Planting!