17 Fall Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden

A pile of different vegetables in a wooden box

Morinka / Shutterstock

As temperatures begin to wind down, you can begin to plant the types of vegetables that grow well in the cooler weather of autumn. Some of these vegetables continue growing even after the first frost, so be prepared to enjoy food from your garden during the cold weather months. Depending on your local climate, fall vegetables may be planted directly in the soil or started indoors and transplanted to the garden.

Here are 17 fall vegetables to grow in your garden.

Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database.

1
of 17

Beets (Beta vulgaris)

overhead shot of a bunch of beets with greens attached placed on a picnic table

natalia bulatova / Shutterstock

A wonderful fall crop, beets are inexpensive, non-temperamental, and you can use both the root and the leaves. In addition, they are a wonderful source of vitamins A and C. Each beet seed actually contains a cluster of seeds. Once the seedlings begin to sprout, thin the plants so that there is just one plant every two to three inches.

To prevent the beets from becoming tough and woody, don't let the roots get longer than three inches before harvesting.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Well-drained, sandy soils rich in organic matter.
2
of 17

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)

broccoli plant

poppet with a camera / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for home gardens. It is less susceptible to pests, is rich in vitamins and minerals, and can flourish equally well in the fall and spring. The plants can be started indoors or outside in July or August.

The ideal temperature to grow broccoli is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For the best crop, protect plants from extreme high or low temperatures.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-drained, moist, and slightly acidic soils; avoid sandy soils.
3
of 17

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)

three rows of cabbage plants

thanom / Shutterstock

As far as fall crops go, cabbage is heartier than most and actually thrives in cooler regions. It can grow to maturity in late fall or early spring. Cabbage should be planted in moist soil and watered regularly, but don’t let the soil get too saturated. The crop takes two to three months before it’s ready to be harvested. The result is full, beautiful heads that can be stored for a few months at a time.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained soil; pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
4
of 17

Carrots (Daucus carota subsp. sativus)

bunch of fresh carrots with greens attached on a wood table

Ekaterina Kondratova / Shutterstock

Since they are one of the most popular vegetables in the world, it's no surprise that carrots are a favorite autumn crop. Carrots can be stored for up to nine months, making it much easier to eat year-round than other homegrown vegetables. Carrots can also be picked whenever they reach a usable size, making them perfect for the impatient gardener.

In hot summer climates, such as the southeastern United States, plant carrots in September or October for a late winter harvest.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Rich, loose, well-drained soils.
5
of 17

Collards (Brassica oleracea subsp. acephala)

four bunches of collards standing vertically

praerieternal / Shutterstock

Collards are one of the few vegetables that actually become tastier with frost. Both cold-tolerant and heat-tolerant, collards are an understated, easygoing crop. The ideal conditions for collards is in a cool, moist atmosphere. One fall variety is Champion, which has a reputation for cold tolerance and can be harvested 60 days after planting.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, rich, loamy, well-drained soils.  
6
of 17

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group)

Two Kohlrabi next to a knife on a brown dish towel

Secha / Shutterstock

A cold-tolerant member of the cabbage family, kohlrabi requires similar planting methods. With a six-week development period, it is much quicker and easier to plant and harvest than other cabbages. Keep kohlrabi plants mulched to protect the shallow root system.

The entire kohlrabi plant is edible, including the leaves, stems, and bulbs.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, loamy, slightly acidic soils.
7
of 17

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum)

overhead shot of four leeks with roots attached o a brown picnic table

corners74 / Shutterstock

In contrast to most of the rest of the onion family, leeks are cultivated for their stems, not their bulbs. Therefore, harvesting leeks in the fall is a much more delicate process. Pack dirt around the base of the stem to keep the leeks upright and full of nutrients. Make sure the plants get plenty of sunlight and water, and harvested leeks will be the ideal ingredient for soup or a topping for a homemade vegetable salad.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained, loamy soils with high organic matter.
8
of 17

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

hand holding fresh head of lettuce above a pasture

Squirrel Nation / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

There's a reason that lettuce is often a base for salads, snacking, and displaying: It is affordable, easy to grow, and delicious. Lettuce is a favorite in the garden, too. It is one of the first crops that can be planted, and lettuce can bloom a few weeks into the frost season. Lettuce has a shallow root system and doesn’t take a lot of room to grow.

Popular varieties for fall include: Marvel of Four Seasons (butterhead), Romance (romaine), and Canary Tongue (looseleaf).

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained, neutral soils with high organic matter.
9
of 17

Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea)

rows of mustard greens planted in the ground

Ovu0ng / Shutterstock

Most of us think of mustard as a bright yellow condiment, sprucing up sandwiches or slathered over pretzels. The truth is, we all eat varieties of mustard often in the form of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. For fall gardens, the best time to plant this cool-weather plant is late summer or early fall.

Mustard greens are healthy and delicious. Young greens can be used in salads and older leaves can be cooked and then eaten. If the plant is allowed to flower, you'll be rewarded with seeds you can use to make your own ground mustard.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun or partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained, neutral soils with high organic matter.
10
of 17

Onions (Allium cepa)

white, yellow, and red onions on a natural wood cutting board

Mariola Anna S / Shutterstock

Onions are a fall and spring vegetable that comes in many popular and delicious varieties. Red onion, white onion, Vidalias, scallions, shallots — each variety has its own distinct taste.

Onions have shallow roots, and should be grown in a well-weeded area. Keep plants consistently moist until the bulbs begin to swell. Onions thrive in the presence of other vegetables, like carrots, lettuce, and cabbage.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy soils.
11
of 17

Peas (Pisum sativum)

two peapod plants in a garden

LesiChkalll27 / Shutterstock

An easy to grow, productive vegetable, peas are a fun addition to the garden. Pea plants come in vine and bush varieties. Some varieties — like snow peas and sugar snaps — have edible pods. 

Peas are a cool weather crop that thrives in the cooler fall temperatures. If late summer and early fall temperatures are too high, start pea plants indoors.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained, loamy, sandy soils with high organic matter.
12
of 17

Radishes (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus)

a bunch of fresh radishes just harvested from the ground

Kingarion / Shutterstock

A rewarding addition to a fall garden, radishes have a short growing season and take up little space. Besides tasting delicious in salads and casseroles, or just sliced up with some salt, radishes are the ideal fall vegetable due to their vibrant, colorful skin.  

Radishes germinate quickly — in as few as three to four days — and mature within three to seven weeks, depending on temperature.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs:  Light, sandy, loamy soils with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0.
13
of 17

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

stainless steel bowl filled with freshly washed spinach

Nillerdk / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Spinach can be started indoors in containers and transplanted to the garden when the heat of summer has subsided. Plants grow best in cool weather, and will bolt when temperatures begin to increase. Leaves can be harvested at any time; the plant will continue to produce new leaves. 

The popular leafy green is not only loaded with iron, but is also a wonderful source of vitamins A and C, and lutein. Whether it’s steamed or tossed in a salad, spinach can be enjoyed from the beginning of fall until late into the season.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soils; high in organic matter with a neutral pH.
14
of 17

Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

large quantity of fresh green beans

Mike Mozart / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Beans make a good fall garden vegetable if you have at least two months before the first frost. Of the two bean types — pole beans and bush beans — bush bean varieties often mature more quickly, making them ideal for a fall garden.

An easy to grow plant with a high yield, beans can’t take the heat of summer either  — so make sure to plant when the daytime temperature has started to cool.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-drained, high organic content soils.
15
of 17

Chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla)

Red and green chard plants planted in a garden

Kanjanee Chaisin / Shutterstock

Chard, another vegetable that can be planted in either fall or spring, is tolerant of both heat and frost. Chard seed capsules often have two seeds in them; if both bloom, be sure to remove one so the other plant can reach maturity. 

Harvest leaves as desired to eat and to encourage new growth.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun or partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained, high organic matter soils with a neutral pH.
16
of 17

Turnips (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa)

fresh turnips placed on a grille

Abingdon Farmers Market / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Turnips are a relatively easy to grow and delicious fall and spring crop. The plants yield tasty bulbs and they give gardens some of the first harvest greens. Fall turnips are larger and sweeter than those grown in the spring.

Plants can be grown in 10 day succession to have a continuous crop of turnip roots and greens.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs:  Fertile, moist, well-drained soils. 
17
of 17

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica)

bunch of fresh curly leaf kale

wjarek / Shutterstock

Kale thrives in cold weather, making it a perfect fall vegetable. Its seeds can be planted directly in the garden, and it grows quickly. In warmer regions, kale should be planted in a slightly shady area to prevent it from overheating. 

Harvest nutritious kale leaves as desired; the plant will continue to produce new leaves. For a sweeter taste, harvest kale after the first frost.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Rich, loamy, well-drained soils.

To check if a plant is considered invasive in your area, go to the National Invasive Species Information Center or speak with your regional extension office or local gardening center.