Can you believe it’s already time (well, maybe past time… ha) to start thinking about what vegetables to plant in September? Maybe you’re like me and sometimes fall a little behind when it comes to planning your fall garden. Personally, I’ve been working my summer garden for months now, and I’m just so excited about finally getting an abundant harvest. It’s easy to get caught up in all those beautiful tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and forget what month it is.
It can also be tiring to put in all that hard work for the summer garden. By this time, part of me is just ready for a break. But, I’m still determining to push through and plant some gorgeous fall veggies this year. I know that with a little effort, I can have these quick growing vegetables on the table in just a couple of months!
Although we may be late to the game together, I hope you’ll join me in getting some fall crops in the ground during the month of September.
Knowing what vegetables to plant in September
Thankfully there are lots of fall vegetables that are quick growing. Plant them even now, in the middle of September (or later) if you live in a southern climate like me. I am in growing zone 7a, so if you are in that zone or above, you till have plenty of time to plant these lovely fall crops. If you’re new and aren’t sure what growing zone you are in, you can do that here!
Now, let’s talk about what to plant!
Of course, there are LOTS of varieties of lettuce to choose from for your fall garden! Some varieties, like romaine, grow as either leaf or head lettuce depending on your seed spacing. Planting with the intent of harvesting your lettuce in leaf form should give you even quicker yields. Plant the varieties that you love for sandwiches and salads.
Spinach grows beautifully in cool weather and is used both in salads and in cooking. Just keep in mind that your germination rate may go down some if you plant while it’s still hot. Where I am, it’s still pretty hot for mid-September (welcome to the South), so I will be sowing extra seeds and doing a daily deep watering. This should ensure most of my seeds sprouting.
Arugula adds a peppery flair to dishes and is very easy to grow. It has a unique flavor profile and I also love the long, key-like look of the leaves. If you decide to let some flower and go to seed, you’ll appreciate the beauty of their small white or yellow flowers.
Kale is a healthy superfood (not only for us, but for my cow as well!) that grows well in cold weather. Although it takes a little longer to get to maturity, it should be just fine to leave in the garden until the beginning of winter. Most varieties of kale are quite frost-tolerant.
Collards are also frost-resistant, and easy to grow. This year I planted the Vates variety, which produces beautiful blue-green leaves and is supposedly does well in southern climates. This year is my first time growing collards! If you aren’t sure what to do with collard greens, you can probably just ask a southerner. They are really tasty when cooked with ham or bacon. If nothing else, you can dehydrate them and grind them into an easy-to-use greens powder that can go in literally anything!
Swiss chard was one of my favorite crops that I grew this past spring and summer. There are lots of varieties including the beautiful, prolific rainbow chard. It’s one of the easier greens to grow, so if you are a beginner gardener, you definitely want to plant some swiss chard! The stalks can be used like celery, and the leaves cooked down or put in smoothies.
Beets only take 45-65 days to mature and grow well in cool weather, meaning you could plant them after fall begins and still receive a good harvest. They make a great storage crop. And don’t waste the green part: beet greens are wonderful in salads!
Radishes grow super fast, typically within 30 days. They also grow well in containers. I recently learned that radishes are delicious when sliced thin and fried like potatoes. Once I figured that out, I realized I could never grow too many radishes. They are also delicious in salads. And let’s be honest, their purple-pink-red colors make them beautiful to pull from the ground.
Turnips are another great storage crop that I’ll admit, I tend to overlook these days. They are fast growing (40 to 50 days to maturity) and can be prepared many different ways, including the greens. Cook down turnip greens with a bit of beef or ham, cook the root and have mashed turnips, or cut them up for use in soups.
Growing green onions is so simple. This may be the easiest fall crop of them all! Green onions are also known as scallions. You can even grow them in a windowsill! Did you know you can also grow them just from cuttings? Here is a good tutorial if you’d like to learn how!
Fall gardening is worth it
Don’t let the time of year stop you from getting into the garden and planting! There are still so many wonderful vegetables to plant in September. Fall gardening is a rewarding effort. Be brave, work hard, and you may be surprised at how much you can still grow.
If you’d like to read more of my posts on gardening, you can check out: