14 Crops You Can Still Plant in SeptemberOn September 2, 2020 by Vlad5 min read
Today I want to share with you a list of 14 crops that you can still plant in your garden in September. Just because summer is over it doesn’t mean you can’t plant anything in your garden. As your summer crops ripen and you finish harvesting them, you will start having a lot of empty spaces in your garden, that you can use to grow some fall crops.
Not all plants need a full year to reach maturity, by taking advantage of this, more and more gardeners choose to plant crops in succession, extending their growing season and thus getting more food from their gardens. You can do this by planting these crops as early as February to get an early start, but also by planting late fall crops in September.
Choosing what crops you can still grow does depend on your last frost date. For us, here at the Valhalla Homestead, our first frost date is the first week of November. So we’re looking at a growing window of 60 days left (give or take a few days). So we can plant any crops that can reach maturity within this time.
Finally, let’s not forget to add brassicas and other cold-hardy crops to the list of plants that you can still start in September. If you live in a warmer climate you will even be able to over-winter most of these. Otherwise, you can use plastic covers or plant them in your greenhouse to help them survive the first cold snaps.
Here’s a list of crops that you can still plant in September:
You can still plant carrots in early September if you live in a warmer climate, they grow relatively fast and the roots can usually withstand a light frost. Radishes enjoy the cold rainy weather so I recommend that you plant a few of these every week of September so you can have a constant supply of fresh radishes going into fall. Turnips and beets are also fast-growing root vegetables that have enough time to mature until it gets too cold outside.
Garden tip: When planting beets, dig out little pockets about 25cm apart and put 4 seeds in the same hole. Cover them lightly and harvest as they mature, leaving the old smaller beets space to grow bigger.
Beans and peas
Some bush beans varieties are ready to harvest in just 48 days after planting. Planting a few of those will give you a nice fall harvest of beans, just check the day-to-maturity date for the seeds you buy. The same goes for peas, some varieties will have enough time to reach maturity before the temperatures drop too much.
If you don’t live in a warm climate you’re pushing your luck with these ones. But you might still be able to harvest a few especially if you have a greenhouse. We started ours as seedlings in mid-August and we’re moving them inside the greenhouse towards the beginning of September.
Kale is the most frost-resistant crop I’ve ever seen. We’ve had kale plants survive throughout the whole winter covered under snow in -17C weather. So planting Kale in September won’t be an issue, just keep it well watered to allow the plant to grow fast and stop watering once the cold sets in. You can also cover kale with a light horticulture fabric to keep it safer during the winter and it will continue to grow next season.
Brassicas are cool-weather crops, some of them actually prefer early spring or late fall as their growing season. Some cabbage varieties have a short time to maturity so those can be planted now. Brocolli and cauliflower are notorious for bolding in warm weather, so planting them in September is a great idea since they will be protected by the heat of early summer.
Salad greens are another popular choice among gardeners for fall crops. Crops such as lettuce, spinach, and arugula can be sown in rows and harvested continuously by cutting the tops with a pair of scissors until the weather gets too cold and the plants wither.
Some general tips for your fall crops
The seeds you sow now, during the last few hot days of summer, will require daily watering to make sure they survive the mid-day heat. So make sure you water your seedling every morning for the following couple of weeks until the plants’ roots get a chance to dig deeper.
If the weather forecast predicts a short cold snap, like overnight below freezing temperatures, you could cover your plants with horticultural fleece or a plastic sheet to maybe protect them overnight and keep them going for a few more days or weeks.
Some of the late fall crops on this list will taste better after a cold snap. Kale and beets are just two examples of this. Experiment and see what you like.
You can sow seeds under big summer crops that are almost ready to harvest, so they get a head-start and sprout before you remove the big plant from that space.
Now that you know what vegetables and root crops are suited for starting in September, it’s up to you to decide what fall crops you want to grow this season.
Hello and welcome!
We (Vlad & Greti) are building a home on a homestead in a rural area of Romania in Western Europe and sharing our story as two passionate gardeners who ditched the city for a simpler, better life.