When you think of home gardening, it’s not wrong to instantly think of spring and summer. Both seasons are rich and beautiful, full of ripe, blooming, illustrious greenery. What is wrong, though, is to assume that fall can’t be the same. Sure spring veggies are easier to come by, but that’s what makes fall backyard farming all the more rewarding. When it comes time to harvest, you’ll know that it’s your own green thumb, not the season, that succeeded. While there are a number of vegetables that can grow from the summer to the fall, it’s best to stack the odds in your favor and focus on those that are tried, true, and bound to flourish.
One of the best parts about fall backyard farming is that it extends an invitation to try out things you never would have tasted otherwise. While your standard greens such as arugula, cabbage, and broccoli are great for this time of year, there’s also a plethora of delightfully bitter, surprisingly sweet, and sometimes spicy greens that can grace your garden this season. These include nutty “swede turnips,” kohlrabi, and green tatsoi, which add beautiful textures and green flavors to the fall table.
These often sweet and always delicious veggies come in many varieties, making them a fall staple. They make delicious and comforting fall dishes that bring warmth to even the coldest of days. Always popular, butternut squash is a hearty base for minestrone and other harvest soups. Kabochas, buttercups and delicatas add a variety of fall flavors to casseroles and pies. All of these “winter squash” varieties need to be planted in the summer but will mature as the days cool down and Indian summer sets in.
Tried and true, these vegetables are hearty in growing and in dining. Now is the time to plant carrots, radishes, turnips, and beets. Because they grow underground (they’re called root vegetables for a reason!), they don’t succumb to the fall chill or the winter frost like other vegetables do when backyard farming.
There’s also something special about vegetables of this type. Unlike leafy greens or any other veggies that grow above ground, you won’t be able to see how big and strong your root crops are getting as they grow. While this may make you a little impatient, it can be one of the loveliest times of the season – getting to see all of that hard work pay off at once when you pull in your root crop harvest!
Spring and summer may seem like the golden seasons when it comes to backyard farming, but give fall crops a try and you’ll likely find a special warmth and purpose to the late season garden, along with a wealth of flavors to add to your autumn table.
Special thanks to a2gemma for the image of the Gourds