15 Fall Crops To Sow After Labor Day
Labor Day weekend signals the passing of Summer's peak. Picking sweet tomatoes, watermelons, and peppers may not be an option in your garden for much longer, but that doesn't mean that your growing season has come to a complete halt. There are many delicious crops to be sown even after Labor Day. These varieties grow quickly, in time to mature before the frost kicks in, they are extra hardy, verdant, and longer-lasting. Spending time in the garden in the Fall can also be one of the most relaxing and temperate times. We're sharing with you 15 crops that you can sow now and enjoy throughout the cool season, as well as tips for what makes a cool season crop most successful.
About Fall Crops
Timing and Temperature
These cool-tolerant crops can germinate in soil with temperature ranging from 50 ° to 68 °F. Because there will be increasingly shorter days , the plants won't be getting as much light as the season progresses. For this reason, fall crops tend to take longer to mature. This is also why we suggest getting started early. The weeks surrounding Labor Day are the perfect time to sow these varieties and give them the time they need to be fruitful. Take note of the seeds' "days to maturity" range and work backwards from your grow zone's frost date to ensure they have enough time to grow before things get too cold.
For example, if your grow zone's frost date is November 15th and the peas you want to plant take 40 days to reach maturity, you would want to sow your seeds before October 6th.
You may also notice that Fall crops are extra hardy and verdant compared the produce you had in the prior months. The lettuce you planted for the Summer may have had a short window of maturity before they started withering away, but you'll notice that fall crops last much longer. Some leafy crops like broccoli raab, kale, and kohlrabi can stay in good condition for months in the garden, even withstanding the frost through the winter! These characteristics make cool season crops all-the-more sustainable and a truly abundant food source to supply your kitchen throughout the coming months.
What To Sow
Cool Season Growing Tips
Though many of these cool season crops are strong enough to withstand varying degrees of frost, you can protect your plants from the more extreme conditions by covering them with outdoor frost protection blankets. These can be found at your local gardening store and are inexpensive.
If you are currently phasing out your Summer crops, you can uproot the retired plants to re-utilize the space for your cool-season sowing. This will help you save space and benefit from the nutrient-rich soil left behind in those active growing spaces. Learn more about Succession Planting