Time To Plant These 5 Yummy, Leafy Fall Edibles

There is a wide range of vegetables that you can plant in the late summer to harvest later in the season.  A large number of these vegetables are for cooking or preserving, while some are great for eating fresh. We are going to focus on some vegetables with cold-tolerant leaves, which are great options for harvesting in the fall. These include spinach, kale, and chard.

Growing vegetables in the fall is a great way to make use of your garden and ensures you have fresh produce. You can grow them from seeds or buy them from a garden store. It’s always good to do some research before you get started with planting vegetables because different plants need different amounts of sun, water, and space. You also might want to check with your neighbors to see if they have any suggestions for what might work well in your garden.

Here's a list of 5 leafy edibles you can plant in mid to late summer for a fall harvest:

Arugula – Arugula is a fast-growing edible that can be planted in the spring and late summer.  It is also known as rocket or roquette.  It adds a peppery taste to your salads or sandwiches.  It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and a relative of broccoli and kale.  It is native to Italy and the warmer Mediterranean geographies, Turkey, and western Asia.  After planting it can be harvested in 6 to 8 weeks.  Arugula does best in rich, well-drained soil.  It performs best in full sun. 

Kale – Kale – Kale can be planted in the spring, with an additional opportunity for a second harvest when the weather gets cooler in the fall.  Fall is an especially great time to plant Kale if you live in a region where winter temperatures do not drop below the teens because the plant actually tastes sweeter when it develops in cooler weather.   Kale can be used in smoothies and stir-fry and as a substitute for spinach.  Kale grows best in full sun but will tolerate some shade.  There are many different varieties of kale so try out Tuscan Kale, Curly/Scots Kale, Red Russian Kale, or Purple Kale.

Lettuce - This popular vegetable can be grown just about anywhere. Not only is it grown in a vegetable garden, but it is easily grown in a container on a deck or even hydroponically on a kitchen countertop. Lettuce grows quickly and its leaves can taste sweet or even bitter depending on the variety.   It does best in cool temperatures and prefers sun to partly shady conditions. There are numerous varieties of lettuce available, and many can be harvested within 45 days of planting. If the leaves are picked regularly the plants will continue to grow and you’ll have salads for weeks to come! Get more tips & tricks on growing lettuce.

Swiss Chard – Swiss Chard is known for its bright colorful stems. It is a leafy green in the amaranth family and a close relative of beets.  This vegetable is frequently used as a substitute for spinach during the summer because it can tolerate warmer temperatures.  It performs best in rich, well-drained soil when planted in full sun or light shade. The plant is easy to grow in the ground or in containers. It is one of the few vegetables that tolerates both cool and warm weather.  Swiss Chard takes 50-70 days to mature. Read more about growing Swiss Chard.

Spinach – Spinach is relatively, easy to grow from seed. It is a superfood because of the health benefits it provides. Spinach has so many uses, try it raw, in a salad, stuffed in chicken, or use it in your favorite omelet. It is an annual crop which means it will grow for only one season and then dies off. This cool-weather plant can be grown indoors or hydroponically. If you grow it in a container, you will have a smaller yield. Spinach prefers full sun but if you live in a warmer region, it will do alright with some shade.

Let us know what leafy vegetables you grow in the late summer and fall.

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