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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Plant Vegetable Seeds Now for Fall Harvest

LettuceMany vegetable gardeners are reaping the benefits of their tomatoes, peppers and basil right now in delicious summer meals. Who wouldn’t want to extend their summer vegetable garden for delicious, home grown veggies into the fall months? There are several varieties of vegetables that can be started indoors now, or directly sown outdoors in a few weeks for fall harvest.

Starting Seeds Indoors Now

Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower should be started indoors as soon as possible for transplanting in late July. Read our guide on how to start seeds indoors and try using our Windowsill Greenhouse or Peat Pots for an easy way to start your seeds. The plants may be a bit smaller when transplanting, but make sure to add some organic vegetable fertilizer when you plant them in the ground and give them plenty of water and care.

Sowing Seeds Outdoors in Early August

BroccoliCool crop vegetables can be directly sown into the ground in early August for fall harvest. Temperatures tend to start to drop in the nighttime and vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, carrots, beets, and spinach prefer cooler temperatures. Try interplanting vegetables in your existing garden to get the most out of your space. If you have beans or peas that have already grown tall, try planting your lettuce in their shade. Remember to add organic vegetable fertilizer once a month to give your vegetables a nice meal of nutrients and promote healthier, more prolific crops.

Carrots & BeetsWhat are your experiences with planting in the summer for fall crops? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Note: All pictures featured in this blog are from our employee vegetable garden at American Meadows - Yummy!

Happy Gardening!

One thought on “Plant Vegetable Seeds Now for Fall Harvest”

  • Mike the Gardener

    Fall is a great time for lettuce, spinach, kale, radish, carrots and beets to name a few. I am always surprised by how many gardeners neglect fall gardening once their summer crops have finished.

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