Fall is here. Football season is going strong. Not too much longer until we prepare for the holidays. And I bet you don’t have vegetable gardening on your list of fall activities.

However, it’s a great time to plant some wonderful vegetables that we normally don’t grow in East Texas.

We have an abundance of produce that can be grown in the vegetable garden by seed or transplant that will yield an abundance as we advance into winter.

Not too far away is our first frost: mid-November historically. Frost does end the growing season for our normal spring and summer vegetables, but below are some cool season vegetables that you ought to consider.

The following will tolerate frosts, but not hard freezes (as low as 30 F).

  • Arugula — A trendy green found in many salad combinations. From seed to first harvest is 30-40 days.
  • Beets — Ready as early as 55 days after seeding.
  • Broccoli — Ready in 60-80 days.
  • Carrots — 70-100 days to get a large carrot, although they can be harvested much sooner while the root is smaller.
  • Cilantro — One of my favorite herbs. It much prefers cool weather.
  • English peas — 60-70 days to harvest.
  • Kale — 45-60 days from seed or much quicker if from a transplant.
  • Lettuce — Several varieties are available from seed. Usually as early as 45 days from seed, with continued harvest of lower leaves until hot weather returns.
  • Mustard greens — A Southern staple. Leaves can be harvested as early as 35 days from seed.
  • Onions — Don’t wait until January to plant them. Get some in the ground as soon as they are available for transplanting and use the tops/greens as they progress through the winter.
  • Radishes — A quickly available root vegetable, less than a month. And don’t forget to add the tops to your salad.
  • Snow peas — These are almost like candy to me. Fall is the best time to try and grow this tricky vegetable.
  • Spinach — 7-10 weeks from seed or much shorter from transplants.
  • Turnips — Another one that many forget the tops are completely edible, as well. Leaves can be harvested just over one month from seed and about two months for the root.
  • These will tolerate even colder temperatures (less than 28 F).
  • Cabbage — 65-125 days from transplants (depending on the variety).
  • Garlic — Plant cloves in the fall, and you should be ready to harvest in early summer. One trick is to plant the entire bulb and harvest the tops as greens all through the winter.
  • Rosemary — A cold hardy, perennial herb. Once established, feel free to pinch a sprig off at any time of the year.