Gardening: Get ready for Fall gardening

By Tiffany Selvey, Master Gardener and mama of 1

Given our recent weather patterns it might surprise you to hear that we are not, in fact, in the Autumn season yet. Luckily for us, there is still plenty of time to plant and grow a fall container garden.

I like fall crops because they grow fast, which is great for those of us who love instant gratification. While there’s no real “instant” gratification, radishes mature in just over a month. That’s about as instant as it gets in the garden.

As with all seasons, we must plant the right crops for success in the fall garden. What we are looking for are fast growing, frost-tolerant crops such as:

  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Arugula
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mustard

These veggies and herbs are a collection of easy to grow, nutrient-dense crops that produce a lot of food in a small space. Some of these veggies, like arugula and kale, actually taste better after the first light frost, making them a good option even for ornamental containers. Each of these veggies also grow easily from seed, making them an economical option.

Each of these crops have slightly different requirements, so be sure to read the seed package for seed sowing depth and spacing requirements. However, here are a few things that apply to all of these varieties.

  • Make simple container soil with equal parts organic compost, potting soil and vermiculite. Mix well.
  • Add the appropriate amount of organic fertilizer to the potting mixture before planting (do not over fertilize). I like Winchester Gardens or Jobe’s Organics.
  • Sow seeds according to the seed package instructions and water well. Keep the soil consistently moist until the plants grow their first leaves, then taper back watering.

Fall can be a wonderful season in the garden. We tend to have fewer pest issues, the weather is lovely and fall crops are versatile enough to use for a wide variety of meals. What kind of veggies would you like to try to grow this fall?

Tiffany Selvey, Master GardenerTiffany Selvey is a Master Gardener who writes about her passion for growing, cooking, and living naturally at When she’s not elbow deep in soil, she enjoys raising a very active son, laughing with her husband, and wrangling their pets. Follow Tiffany’s gardening adventures on facebook, instagram and on twitter.