Inside: This post shares all the details about how to plant a fall square foot garden. It even includes a free fall square foot garden plan.
Just because it’s super hot outside doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on gardening. Now is the perfect time to start planning a fall garden. With cooler weather and fewer bugs, there are many vegetables that actually do better in the fall.
Lettuce, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts all fare much better without the intense heat of summer. A few of these vegetables will even last through some light frosts.
I’ve had kale survive all winter in my zone 7 garden. (Well, it lasted until March when my favorite chicken discovered it!)
Bugs tend to lessen during the cooler days of fall too. Fall gardening is oftentimes a much more pleasant experience than gardening during the heat of summer.
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Fall Can Mean Saving Money on Gardening
If you’ve never planted a fall garden, (or even if you’ve never planted a garden at all) this is the perfect time to try out the square foot gardening concept. (If you don’t know what the square foot gardening method is, check out this article.)
You can plant a 4′ x 4′ raised bed to try it out. Planting a small area means you aren’t out a lot of time or money if you don’t enjoy it.
Since fall gardening doesn’t seem to be as popular, it can be cheaper too. If you can check out your garden center before they put away their seeds and garden tools, you can probably snag some seriously good deals. And many garden centers will have fall transplants in their stores soon too.
What Can I Plant in My Fall Garden?
It is amazing the variety of produce you can grow in a fall garden. While heat-loving crops such as peppers and tomatoes won’t survive, many crops such as Brussels sprouts and kale actually taste better after a light frost.
This list shows you just how many kinds of vegetables you can grow during the fall.
- Chinese (napa) cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
- mustard greens
- sweet peas
- snow peas
- snap peas
That’s a lot of vegetables you can grow! And I’m sure there are more vegetables that I forgot to mention.
What To Buy As Transplants
If this is your first year growing a garden, I recommend buying some vegetables from transplants or “starts.” Without a grow light you may have a difficult time getting the plants off to a healthy start.
While you can start them outdoors in containers, they will need to be watered multiple times a day. And the bugs that are still roaming about may find them and ruin them quickly.
You are better off purchasing transplants for:
- Brussels sprouts
What To Buy As Seed
Other vegetables, however, do well direct seeded in the garden. Some even do better. Peas and most root crops don’t take well to being transplanted. It is actually almost impossible to start carrots indoors because of this.
These vegetables do best if started from seed:
Some vegetables can go either way. You can often find lettuce, kale, and chard transplants in the store, but they are equally easy to start directly in the garden as long as you keep the garden watered while they germinate. (I have much better luck direct seeding lettuce. My transplants always get leggy even with a grow light!)
How to Use This Fall Square Foot Garden Plan
I have developed a free fall garden plan to help you grow a successful fall garden. By including easy to grow vegetables that are mild in flavor, hopefully if you have children, they will enjoy helping (and eating what you grow). If you like the stronger flavored vegetables such as arugula or collards, feel free to swap out a square of lettuce or chard for one or both of those.
Obviously, this fall garden plan doesn’t include every vegetable. I chose to leave off some of the vegetables that take up more room, such as broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
Each one of these vegetables needs a full square devoted to one plant. I designed this plan to give you the most bang for you buck when growing your fall square foot garden.
And to help you save money, it can be grown entirely from seeds if you choose.
You can grab all 5 of my Square Foot Gardening plans by clicking the button below. It includes a fall garden plan as well as a spring plan and 3 summer plans.
This garden is also using the companion planting technique to give you more vegetables is less room. We will be planting our carrots and radishes in the same spaces.
The radishes will be ready in a little over a month, while the carrots will take much longer to mature. You can plant both at the same time, but you will pull the radishes and that will allow the carrots more room to grow.
For More Information
If you want some more information on how to grow some of these vegetables, I’ve got posts on some of them below.
How to Grow Peas– This post explains the difference between the three types of peas: snow, snap, and shelling peas (sugar peas)
How to Start a Square Foot Garden-This post tells you how to start your square foot garden and is especially helpful if you are a beginning gardener.
You can check out this post to determine when to start your fall garden.
If you need to purchase a raised bed and don’t want to build one yourself, this kit looks beautiful and doesn’t require any tools to assemble it.
I’m a farm girl born and bred in North Carolina. I’ve been growing a vegetable garden for over 20 years (and helping my Mom grow hers even longer). I’ve been raising chickens in my bathtub and backyard for 12+ years. I believe that homegrown food can be made simple. Let’s get started.