It is that time of the year again. Trees start to shed leaves, leaves change their colors, days are shorter, nights are longer, and outside it’s colder. That chilly feeling is none other than the touch of an autumn breeze. Though only a few parts of the globe experience all four classic seasons, undoubtedly, spring and autumn bring the most beautiful out of nature.
Unlike spring, however, autumn is a season of preparation as most animals start to gather for food, migrate to warmer areas, or prepare themselves for hibernation. It is a time of celebration for bountiful harvests and meaningful joys. In most areas, autumn marks the end of the growing period.
Interestingly, although most fruits and vegetables start to grow dormant during these months, some vegetables adapt well to temperature change and continue to thrive. As the summer comes to an end, you might want to think ahead and prepare your garden for the next season. Below are some of the top vegetables you can plant in the fall:
Believe it or not, kohlrabi is a great fall crop. Often known as German turnip, it is a bulbous vegetable usually colored purple, pale green, or white, with long, leafy stems around it and belongs to the cabbage family. They mature more quickly and would only take about 65 days before they are ready to harvest. The whole plant can be eaten raw, roasted, or sauteed. If you want to know how it tastes like, try to imagine eating broccoli stems and cabbage, only slightly sweeter.
Aside from its taste, it is also rich in nutrients and vitamins. Truly nutritious, delicious, and good for your body!
This vegetable requires a long growing season, taking about 26 to 31 weeks, and is best to plant during the fall or early winter as frost improves the flavor. Grown for their edible buds, they look like mini cabbages and tend to taste bitter when eaten raw. They are usually sauteed, roasted, or baked to bring out their nutty and sweet taste.
You also have to take note of their health benefits. They are rich sources of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help reduce cancer growth.
Belonging to the Brassica family, you must begin planting this cold-hardy vegetable, preferably 6-8 weeks before the first frost. This technique allows the vegetable to enhance its flavor to taste sweeter. When choosing a place, they are best planted where they can be exposed to the sun, or a partial shade will do. They also need to be watered well.
These green (or purple), leafy, cruciferous vegetables, like all the other veggies, offer various health benefits such as managing blood pressure, boosting your digestive system, and protecting against non-infectious diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Radishes are cold-hardy, cool-weather, fast-growing root crops. They mature quickly and are ready to harvest after around four weeks from sowing. They vary from sizes, shapes, and colors ranging from white to red, pink, purple, yellow through green, and even black, but its flesh is usually white.
It is low in calories and is popularly made as salad, and enjoyed raw or sauteed. Its young leaves can also be cooked and eaten.
This root vegetable grows perfectly well in home gardens and is ideal for sowing during early autumn, so you can harvest them before winter when the ground gets wholly frozen. Turnips have leafy, green stems and white or yellow bulbs that turn purple or green when sunlight hits them above the soil as they mature.
Smaller varieties taste sweeter when eaten raw, rather than larger ones, which usually taste pungent and slightly bitter because of the cyanoglucoside, an acrid-tasting substance, it contains. It becomes sweeter and smoother when cooked.
You also might want to try planting collards in the cool season of autumn. This leafy vegetable belongs to the cabbage family and is most prevalent in gardens down South. They have dark green leaves and rigid stems and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
They may be added in stews and braises while some enjoy them in salads and slaws. Nowadays, they are widely used as healthy green wraps for a vegan diet.
Peas do best in temperatures between 55°F to 70°F (13-21°C) and mature quickly for about 60 to 70 days after planting. Yet, the most significant challenge you will encounter when growing them is the sudden changes in weather conditions as too much heat or early frost both damages your pea harvest.
Nonetheless, they are still good autumn crops to plant. Just give them extra care, some shade, and lots of water when unexpected warm weather hits.
When leaves fall and change into the golden color, what is left in that tree is not death but rather the birth of beauty and gains. As the famous quote of Samuel Butler says, “Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits” … or vegetables, in this case. Happy planting!