Plant These Speedy Fall Vegetables for a Last Hurrah!

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Yes! You can still plant fall vegetables to harvest and eat this year! There is still time in the late summer and early fall to plant fast-growing edible plants in your vegetable garden and have them on your plate in just 15-30 days. No, not just sprouts (but are good too). These super nutritious garden growers are speedy enough to make something healthy and delicious for dinner in just a few weeks, even when planted from seed.


Flavorful greens like spinach, arugula, , and mustards grow so fast that you can have the baby greens ready for harvest in just three to four weeks. Root veggies like radishes are known for their zip in spice as well as in growing speed, but baby carrots, turnips, and beets also make it from soil to table pretty fast. Tender young turnip and beet greens are delightful in salads as well.

Speedy Fall Vegetables

Swiss Chard

Baby Carrots: 30 Days

For fall baby carrots, plant the seeds more densely than the instructions on the seed packet say. Harvest when the root is no more than three to four inches long, which is when baby carrots are at their sweetest and most tender.

Beets: 45 Days for Baby Greens, 60 Days for Baby Roots

Pick baby beet greens when they are about four inches long (you can go smaller if you want to eat them fresh in salads, or pick larger leaves for cooking). If you want to grow baby beet roots as well, only harvest one leaf from each plant as you wait for the roots to plump up underground. When the beets reach one inch in diameter, they are ready to eat. Pickle or roast them whole, or slice them small and add to salads fresh.

Radishes: 21 Days

Radishes are fabulously fast-growing root vegetables. Just three weeks in the ground and they are ready to harvest and eat. Try them raw in salads and thinly-sliced in sandwiches, , or roast them in butter for a real treat.

Turnips: 40 Days for Baby Greens, 80 Days for Baby Roots

Harvest baby greens when they are young and tender. The roots are ready to eat when they reach a one-inch diameter. Turnip baby greens are delicious in salads or pesto. Eat the roots fresh, steamed, or roasted.

fast-growing vegetables to start late in the season

Swiss Chard: 30 Days

Harvest the leaves when they are three inches long to eat fresh in salads, wraps, and sandwiches, or wait about 60 days until the leaves are ten inches long and steam them in garlic and butter for a delicious side dish.

Spinach: 30 Days

Spinach won?t grow well in the heat of the summer, so it is a flavor that I always look forward to in the fall when temperatures are low enough to produce tasty, tender leaves. Sow densely and harvest the leaves when they fan out. Eat fresh, or steamed with a little butter and salt. Yum!

Kale: 30 Days

Kale can overwinter and becomes sweeter after the frost, so plant it in the fall for winter and harvest the tender baby leaves to eat before the temperature drops. Add kale to , wraps, sandwiches, and soups, or saut? it with a squirt of lemon or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Mustard Greens: 20 Days

Mustard greens are as ornamental as they are tasty with their frilly foliage in shades of green and red. Plant densely and harvest the young, tender leaves. These spicy greens will add a punch to fresh dishes.

Leafy lettuce

Lettuce: 20 Days

Sow a mix of lettuce seeds densely for a cut-and-come again salad garden. Snip micro greens as soon as true leaves have formed if you like, and about a week after that you?ll have baby lettuce leaves to eat up.

Arugula: 28 Days

Plant and harvest baby arugula the same way you do lettuce. Its spicy, nutty flavor pairs perfectly with warm roasted veggies topped with Parmesan and olive oil, or add it to a tomato-heavy salad for a fresh kick.

With these fast-growing fall veggies, you can still feast on garden-fresh produce for months to come. Hey, but you can still too if you want!

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Fall is the best time of year for planning and planting your perennial garden. The plants are grown in or overgrown and you can easily see how they are working in your current design. It will be easy to see which perennials need to be divided and see the empty spaces where new plants are needed. Autumn is a great time to take design notes and evaluate which plants aren?t in the right spots or those which need to be removed altogether.

Fall Perennial Gardening Planning and Planting for Budget-Friendly Design

The best part, however, is that fall garden planning can save you big bucks! Plants are either inexpensive or free (yup, free!) and when planted in the fall, you will be well on your way to a beautifully designed and low-maintenance garden next year!

Fall Perennial container with rudbeckia in an orange pot

Fall Perennial Gardening Step 1: Planning

Fall is the time of year to take stock in your perennial plantings and note what?s working and what?s not. Grab a notepad and pen and head out to the garden. Have a look at how the perennials are performing. Did they bloom? Did they get too tall and flop over? Did they die back too soon? Write down notes on what you see and jot down some notes about how they performed during the spring and summer as well.

Start with those plants that bloomed, looked healthy, survived and thrived. From these, you learned what works in your garden and your gardening habits. Habits? Yes, some plants might be perfectly suited for your space, but need more or less attention than you are able to give them. That?s nothing to feel guilty about; it?s an important lesson in designing the perfect garden for you!


Sea holly seed heads

Fall Perennial Gardening Step 2: Right Plant Right Place

Since you have noted the thriving perennials, you now know a bit more about the various microclimates that exist in your garden. Now take a look at the plants that could be in the wrong places: Sun-loving perennials in shady spots will get tall, leggy, and flop over as they hunt for the sun. Shade lovers with too much sun will show sunburned tipped leaves.

Plants that are dying or dead could have root rot from poor drainage or they could have died of thirst in soils with too much drainage. Soil that is too acidic or alkaline could be the culprit (). Taking stock of those plants that didn?t perform well and researching their basic needs can help you determine if a move to a better spot in the garden will do them some good.


A garden bed full of blooming red and white echinacea flowers

Take a Closer Look: CSI Horticulture

Now take a look at the discoloured, diseased, bug-chewed, non-blooming plants. What happened? Some have naturally died back for the year and that?s normal. In general, however, perennials that look a bit sickly need a little

Once you determine the cause, you can decide if want to try to treat the problem and try to improve its health, or if you should remove it all together. Personally, I?m not a big fan of large efforts fix plants with pests or disease. Instead, and then replace the plant if that doesn?t take care of it.

prolific blooming

Fall Perennial Gardening Step 3: Divide and Conquer

The least expensive way to build a lush perennial garden is to divide plants in your garden that do well. This, of course, costs you nothing except time. Budget-wise, dividing perennials is a free source of quality plants that you should absolutely take advantage of. And I don?t just mean the plants in your garden. Friends, family, and neighbors may also have plants that need dividing and they could be more than happy to send you home with a clump or two.

You can also check online sources such as Craigslist or local Facebook communities and post a wish list of perennials you want, or list what you have to give away. Garden clubs and community gardens may also have plenty of extra perennials floating around so don?t be afraid to ask around.

A note about free plants that should be mentioned: plants may come with weeds, pests, and/or disease as an unwanted bonus gift. Inspect all plants thoroughly and wash off the soil from the roots. Plant the division in your garden soil to reduce the chance that anything will be transferred to your garden. Some pests that hitch a ride are simply annoying, while others (like fire ants) can be down-right devastating. It?s important to not only trust the source but do the work to make sure you aren?t getting more than you bargained for.


Fall Perennial Gardening Step 4: Now Go Shopping!

The beauty of the fall (besides the turning leaves and abundance of fresh food) is that perennials go on sale. I mean markdowns-that-make-you-question-if-you-are-stealing-plants kind of sales. The garden centers and nurseries are likely closing for the year soon, and even if they are not, it makes a lot more sense to markdown plants and send them to new homes than tend to them in pots for another year.

They are usually past blooming so look for healthy-looking leaves, evidence of past blooms, overall root health, and no signs of pests. Read the plant labels to make sure they will thrive in the spots you have available and pack your shopping cart with bargains. These may not look like much planted in the garden now, but next year you will have a strong, established plant that will fill in faster than their spring-planted counterparts.

More Fall Gardening Tips and Ideas

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This rose face cream recipe is made specifically to penetrate deeply and hydrate the delicate and sensitive skin on your face. It?s made with all natural ingredients at a fraction of the price of designer night creams. It?s a rich cream but it absorbs quickly and is non-greasy. It works beautifully for my dry, sensitive skin when used in the evening after a deep cleanse.

Homemade Rose Face lotion

Plants are wonderful at letting us know just what they are best used for. Rose petals may not have the colour of skin, but the velvety smooth feeling of a rose petal is what healthy skin feels like. Roses are wonderful for skin, but even more perfect when used front and center for the sensitive and delicate skin on your face. For more on roses and skin care, read all about the

Why Timing is Important When Applying Face Cream

Just as the best quality ingredients are essential in skin care products, it?s equally important to apply the right type of product at the right time of day. Throughout each day, our skin is going through different functions as directed by our circadian rhythms.

In the morning, our skin is least likely to absorb rich ingredients and it is more likely to have a reaction. Was with a gentle cleanser and apply a light moisturizer in the morning to set your skin up for the day. In the evening, skin is ready to drink in the herbal properties of healing plants. At this time of day, it?s a good idea to do a deep cleanse with a gentle soap and a sea sponge to scrub away any dry skin and dirt. Then, give your whole face a quick spritz with rose water and witch hazel toner. Finally, apply this silky rose face cream and your skin will feel like a rose petal.

Rose Face Cream Recipe


Makes 200g

Aqueous Phase Ingredients

  • 70 g distilled water
  • 40 g
  • 7 g

Oil Phase Ingredients

  • 20 g
  • 20 g
  • 10 g
  • 8 g
  • 8 g

Cool Phase Ingredients

  • 8 g
  • 4 g (Vitamin B5)
  • 3 g
  • 10 drops (optional as this is a very expensive ingredient)
  • 2 g

Make it!

Before you start, please make sure that all of your equipment and workspace are sterilized using alcohol. It may be tempting to skip this step, but I strongly encourage you to do this and do it well.

Use a kitchen scale to measure the oil ingredients in a heatproof container like a beaker.

weighing ingredients in a beaker

Next, measure all of the water ingredients in another heatproof container. In this case, I used a Turkish coffee pot.

weighing ingredients in a Turkish coffee pot

Create a double boiler and heat both the oil ingredients and the water ingredients to 160 degrees.

Keep both the water ingredients and oil ingredients at 160 degrees for 20 minutes. Similar to canning, this helps to kill off any bacteria.

keeping the water ingredients and oil ingredients hot

In a mixing bowl, add the oil ingredients first and then pour in the water ingredients.

Use an electric mixer to combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, they should thicken up quickly and cool down.

Combining ingredients with an electric mixer

Once the ingredients have reached 80 degrees, you can add the cool phase ingredients. Remember, these ingredients are heat-sensitive and will break down at higher temperatures, which is why they?re added at this time.

adding ingredients to a larger container for mixing

Continue mixing your lotion until it?s thick and fluffy.

Now you can add it into a sterilized container.

More Plant-Based Beauty Recipes to Try:

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