Growing fall vegetables in cold climates is a bit of a gamble but well worth the effort most years. Even if you suffer an early frost, you can still enjoy a long harvest if you plant the right varieties and give them a bit of protection. The two lists below will help you plan a two-tier approach for maximum length of harvest.
All of the vegetables below are suitable for fall gardens. Some, such as beets and carrots, might need to be harvested when very small (but still tasty). When shopping for seeds, select the earliest maturing varieties available.
The varieties listed below will survive below-freezing temperatures if given some protection. During the first spell of cool weather, cover them with a blanket, cardboard box, or plastic tunnel. In Zones 8-9, where temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees F., these vegetables will grow all winter. Dig beets, carrots, rutabagas, and turnips when the roots become plump and crisp; old plants left in the ground might develop unsightly cracks.
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard