Can you believe it’s time to plant fall vegetables already?
This summer has certainly flown by. With less than three months to go before our average first frost (October 26 in Salt Lake City), it’s time to take a final pass at planting for a bountiful fall vegetable harvest.
Let’s take a look at what you can plant now, to enjoy as the first nip of autumn comes to call.
Enjoy the Colors of Fresh Fall Vegetables
You still have time to grow some of the most vividly colored and healthy vegetable options.
Beets have a short growing cycle and, in our area, are safe well into October. Carrots are another great choice that you can still plant now. In fact, most root vegetables will hold up well into the fall, some until the first hard freeze.
Beets, carrots, peas and some of the green vegetables we will talk about next can all be planted twice each summer, for two full growth cycles. These plants are hardy enough to start early in the spring and replant in late summer for a second round.
Grow the Fall’s Best Greens
In addition to beets, carrots and peas, this is a great time to plant some of the healthiest leafy greens.
Kale and spinach are both fast growing and a little nip of cold doesn’t scare them. You can also plant a variety of different lettuces. Romaine, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce and chard are all fast-maturing. And your leafy greens will taste better in the fall than those grown for summer harvest, as the high temperatures tend to turn them bitter.
You can also plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi now, as a light frost won’t damage them either.
Cheat Mother Nature for Even More Fall Vegetables
In Northern Utah and along the Wasatch Front, anything you plant now must have a fairly short growing cycle. But you can fudge a little to extend your late summer and early fall growing season.
Rather than start your fall vegetables from seed, purchase seedlings from the nursery. This will give you a two- to four-week head-start.
Now consider where you want to plant your seedlings. Place them in a location that will maximize the angle of the autumn sun, but be sure they will be protected as much as possible from any early cold snaps. In fact, you may want to be prepared with cloches or coldframes, just in case.
Or, if you have the capacity, plant your fall vegetables in pots or other containers. Use planters with wheels or place yours on a furniture dolly. This way, you can follow the sun and move the plants to safety if the weather turns cold.
At Millcreek Gardens, we know you want to squeeze out every last drop of summer. We have trees, shrubs, plants and gardening supplies that, with the right advice and approach, can keep you growing through the fall and well into winter. Stop by and see us today and let’s get you growing those yummy fall vegetables.