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Jul 11, 2009 12:58 PM

When and what to plant for Fall

We live in USDA Zone 6 (Northern Virginia) and have never successfully planted for Fall crops. What can I plant for picking after the summer harvest is over and when should I put the seeds in the ground?

We have several large raised beds (5' x 20') with a drip irrirgation system so we have space for just about anything.


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  1. We live in Zone 3 (Prairie Province, Southern Canada)
    Have had much Luck with Fall planting of shallots, garlic and most recently ..carrots
    We put them in in Late Oct/early Nov.
    We get snow usually for the season by mid to late Nov and this provides an insulation for the bulbs/seeds...come early spring we have an early start on things. Not sure of specifics for your area.

    1. After having lived in Zone 6 (southern IN) I now live in Zone 5 (upstate NY). From what I understand most cool weather crops can be planted in fall to harvest before freezing. My limited experience is with root crops, turnips, beets...plant in August to harvest before hard freeze.

      1. I sent my friend this last year, she just moved from FL to VA, she has had luck, but she needed to watch out for early freezes. Accordingly to some years, some are great and some not so much depending on the weather that summer and fall. Wish I could tell you where I found it, maybe a brochure, but I don't have many of my links so sorry about that.

        Peas - July 7 - August 15
        Kale - July 7 - September 1
        Broccoli - July 15 - August 15
        Spinach - July 21 - August 21
        Beets - July 21 - August 21
        Carrots - July 21 - August 21
        Leaf Lettuce - August 7 - September 15
        Radishes - August 15 - September 15
        Mustard Greens - August 15 - September 15
        Garlic (bulbs) - August 21 - October 21
        Shallots (bulbs) - August 21 - October 21

        Lettuce, cool weather types: April 15 through May 15, Sept 1 through Sept 20
        Lettuce, warm weather types: May 31 through Aug 15
        Bush beans: May 10 through July 31
        Pole beans: May 10 through July 31
        Soybeans: May 10 through June 20

        Here is another link I have, not sure if it will help

        1 Reply
        1. re: kchurchill5

          Thanks kchuchill5! This is exactly the information I was looking for.

        2. We're zone 6a-b depending on which map you look at (near Blacksburg, in the mountains). We extend the harvest in our 4' x 12' raised beds (and harvest some things like greens, radishes, carrots, beets, bush peas and beans right through the winter) by driving 4' rebar into the ground at each corner and middle sides of the beds and then bending 1/2" electrical conduit on to the bars to create hoops. Over this we fasten greenhouse plastic. The temps inside have gotten high enough in Jan-Feb to require a bit of occasional venting during the day (lift a corner front and back).

          We plant pretty much everything in kchurchill's list and around the dates listed with great success and have picked bush cherry tomatoes and bell peppers into the end of November. We also search out cold hardy varieties of seeds for our late plantings to help insure success. We use no added heat sources. Unfortunately, the connecting hose to our soakers does freeze up in the coldest months and we have to hand water but the water requirements are much less during that period and it's not too much of a chore.

          1. Mother Earth News has a great resource for what to planb now. See I've just put in my last new late summer planting (north Zone 7, Middle Tennessee), haricot verts and cucmbers, and the the first for fall -- parsnips. About to start cabbage and brussel sprouts from seed, to be transplanted in late August. Will soon start direct seeding lettuce, carrots (great success last fall), leeks, beets, arugula, collards, kale, and cold season Asian greens. Salad greens in particular can do well here, even through a hard frost if covered. I've had cilantro survive the winter. Yes, and garlic planted in September.