Texas Gardening: What to Plant in Fall

Most people think that summers and springs are the appropriate seasons to begin the vegetable garden in their yards. They tend to take fall as a harbinger of approaching winter and leave their lawn to its own devices.

Planting vegetables in the fall can actually encourage people to nurture their lawns. Fall vegetables have a defined period on which their seeds or sprouts have to be planted. The frame starts from late July and lasts all the way through October.

Plants that are safe to begin in the fall season can withstand the cold and undergo dormancy in winter. They utilize the nutrients and water during the fall and keep some quantities reserve for the dry winter. Therefore, it can be assumed that falls plants are known as low-maintenance plants.

Looking to plant a veggie garden but don’t know where to begin? JC’s Landscaping has the know-how you need to get started! Check out our Landscaping Installation service page.

Let’s explore a few fall-friendly vegetables to add to your garden.

multicolor heads of cabbage and kale in gardenCabbage

Leaf cabbage has many sub-varieties, including kale and the “classic” cabbage you would add to stew or cole slaw. It can be grown easily during the fall.

Fall gardens can begin with either sprouts or seeds, but for the lawns located in north Texas, it is preferable if seedlings of the plants are acquired for beginners.

The seedlings of leafy greens such as cabbage take around sixty days to pass through the juvenile phases and reach maturity. These plants go dormant in winter and are ready for harvest at the end of winter.

After the passage of the initial winter frost, cabbage will have a sweeter and earthy flavor. So, this fall, build a mix of varieties such as red kale, lacinato, curly kale, OS cross, or huron.

red radishes root vegetables
 

Root Vegetables

Radish is one of many root vegetables that are appropriate for fall planting. Radishes grow underground as earthy-sweet edible bulbs that have a kick of spice in their flavor.

Because it is the root itself that’s edible with this plant, rather than the leaves or fruits, the time required for maturation is shorter than many other vegetables. After planting the seedlings or the seeds, radishes will sprout in about three weeks.

When the roots begin to protrude more than one centimeter above the soil, it is an indication for harvest. Take one radish out and taste it to assess the growth of the entire cultivation.

Use crop rotation while planting radishes and plant them in the place of a summer crop to minimize pest and weed infestation. Other root vegetables that fare well in a fall garden include carrots, turnips, parsnips, and beets.

lettuce in garden with hoe in backgroundLettuce

Speaking of leafy greens, there are so many lettuce types that are perfectly happy withstanding the cooler weather of fall and winter. The most fitting plant for a fall vegetable garden, lettuce requires very little sunlight to thrive.

You can sow multiple varieties of lettuce species to get a harvest of many colors and sizes. The baby lettuce leaves sprout after four weeks after being planted, and tend to be a bit sweeter in flavor than larger, more mature leaves.

Depending on the nutrient requirements from one veggie to the next, you may want to look into soil amendments to ensure that the clay-rich soil of North Texas is fortified with the right minerals.

Our friends at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension have some helpful advice about the essential nutrients for plants that are necessary to ensure a healthy harvest.

close-up of fava bean plant in gardenFava Beans

Broad beans, also known as fava beans, are an apt choice for a fall vegetable garden. This plant produces no waste product, as the entire plant is edible. Not only are the beans delicious, but the roots, leaves, and flowers are perfectly tasty and safe to eat as well.

This plant revitalizes the soil in which it grows, making the soil fit for other crops after you’ve harvested your beans. The plant is accustomed to shade and the lower temperatures of fall and winter.

Conclusion

Fall vegetable gardens can provide you delicious vegetables in the chilly fall and cold winters, depending on each vegetable’s germination period. The crops can survive through the frost, incorporating the essence of winter cold into the vegetables. Tolerant to extreme conditions of winter, fall vegetables can keep your garden thriving all year round.

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