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Do you want to plant a fall garden? If you live in the southern United States where it is warm throughout the autumn season, you can plant a successful fall garden.
Many people do not realize that here in Texas and in a lot of other places, we get a second garden season! In fact, here in very hot San Antonio, we get our best garden in the fall. I usually pick fresh green beans from the garden on Thanksgiving morning and again on Christmas Day for the green bean casserole.
What do we grow during the fall? So many things. The key is choosing the right variety of vegetable that you want to grow as the weather begins to get a bit cooler.
Seeds For Your Fall Garden
The list below is what we think should be grown in the Fall in and around San Antonio, Texas. Some of the recommended plants will die or stop producing when the temps drop below 40° Fahrenheit. Others will thrive. The root crops (things growing under the ground) will be protected from the cold. You can overwinter some of them.
Many vegetables on this list will grow well all over Texas and in other warm spots in the United States. Give them a chance. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Bush Bean Blue Lake 274 (Heirloom) 100 seeds
- Bush Bean Royalty (Heirloom) 100 seeds
- Bean Lima Fordhook (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Beet Detroit Dark Red (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Broccoli Calabrese (Heirloom) 50 seeds
- Cabbage Red Express (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Carrot Imperator (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Cauliflower Snowball Y Improved (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Collards Georgia Southern (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Cucumber Spacemaster (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Eggplant Black Beauty (Heirloom) 50 seeds
- Kale Toscano (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Lettuce Loose Leaf Black Seeded Simpson (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Lettuce Loose Leaf - A Red Variety (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Mustard Greens Tendergreen (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Onion Texas 1015Y
- Pepper Cayenne Red (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Pepper Ornamental Little Elf (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Pepper Hot Anaheim Chili (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Pepper Hot Habanero (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Pepper Hot Big Jim (Heirloom) 25 seeds (these are similar to the Hatch Chile peppers in New Mexico)
- Pepper TAM Jalapeno, (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Pepper Serrano (Heirloom) 25 seeds
- Pumpkin New England (Heirloom) 25 seeds (you will need to start these in July for fall.)
- Radish Champion, Cherry Belle, or French Breakfast (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Southern Pea Texas Cream (Heirloom) 100 seeds (as well as other Southern Peas aka Cowpeas)
- Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Squash Summer Crookneck (Heirloom) 50 seeds. Squash Winter Acorn Variety (Heirloom) 25 seeds (start these in July)
- Squash Winter Butternut Variety (Heirloom) 50 seeds (start these in July)
- Squash Winter Spaghetti (Heirloom) 25 seeds (start at the beginning of August)
- Swiss Chard Colorful Variety (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Turnip Purple Top White Globe (Heirloom) 200 seeds
- Zucchini Black Beauty (Heirloom) 50 seeds
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of things you can plant this fall. You don't have to plant just the varieties listed above. Most vegetables and herbs have some varieties that are made to plant in the spring. Other hardy varieties like the cool, crisp temperatures that autumn brings and will do better as the hot weather begins to cool down.
Honestly, any of the bush or pole beans will do well here in Texas in the fall. We get our best beans every fall. As the weather begins to cool off, the bean plants grow quickly and before you know it, they are flowering and then you get your first baby beans. In just a few days, you will begin to pick and pick and pick. Check them every day. You don't want them to grow too long so they are tender. We grow both bush and pole in the fall and we always get our best beans of the year as it cools down. We grow green, purple, and yellow beans. There is nothing like a fresh garden bean in the fall in Texas!
Fordhook lima bean is the standard for lima beans which is why we chose to include this particular variety. Most other varieties don't quite measure up. You will be pleased.
The Detroit Dark Red beet is our number one selling beet with good reason. It has a gorgeous, rich red color and a sweet flavor that makes this the star of your table when you roast it.
Calabrese Broccoli is a large Italian variety with good color and delicious flavor. This is great for making broccoli cheese soup in the fall. You will also enjoy this variety with butter, salt, and pepper.
I have discovered that slicing a head of cabbage into "steaks" is the best way ever to eat cabbage. I lay them out flat on cookie sheets and drizzle them with olive oil and then I add some Lawry's steak seasoning. Bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes and they make a wonderful side for your grilled steak. They are so good. We do this with any cabbage. The Red Express is pretty and tasty and it grows well as the weather cools here in the southern USA.
The Imperator carrot is a full size orange carrot. It is sweet and tasty, good eaten raw or slow cooked with a roast.
The Snowball Y Improved cauliflower is bright white and forms a beautiful, big head that you will enjoy eating. Chop it up and steam it. Add some butter and salt and pepper and it makes a great side with just about everything.
Georgia Southern collards have deliciously flavored blue green leaves that you will love. This variety is the best tasting in my opinion. Try them!
The Spacemaster cucumber is perfect if you just don't have any space left. It is a salad cucumber that doesn't vine all over. It is compact so you can grow it in a pot on the back deck. I guarantee you will want to grow it again next fall.
Black Beauty eggplant is the big, dark purple eggplant you see in the grocery store. My grandmother used to cook it up a number of ways, always Italian style. I make the delicious eggplant parmesan with it. It is so tasty.
Toscano kale is a type of dinosaur kale. The leaves are thick and wrinkly. It is not good for a salad but is perfect for making kale chips and kale smoothies. If you like those things, you will love this. It stands up to a little frost and the cold actually makes it sweeter.
Black Seeded Simpson lettuce makes delicious, light green loose leaf lettuce leaves that are perfect for any salad. You will enjoy this crisp salad on the plate!
If you want to grow the perfect yellow onion, you want to grow the Texas 1015Y. It is not too hot which means you can eat it on a burger without it burning your tongue off. It is wonderful to saute or put in with a roast. The name means to get it in the ground by October 15 and overwinter it. Or you can plant them in the first week of September and pull it up in November.
Cayenne pepper gives you a little heat for your dishes. We have several colors including a blend packet and any of the colors will do well at this time of year but since it is fall, we felt like red is a good color.
Little Elf ornamental peppers produce tiny multiple colored peppers that have a medium hot flavor. They look beautiful and have red, orange, yellow, and purple fruits.
The Anaheim chili pepper is a mild hot pepper that is used in making chile rellenos.
If you need something hotter, grow some habanero peppers. No need for anything hotter than this, right?
Big Jim hot peppers are used to make green chilis. As I mentioned above, Big Jim's are similar to the fabulous New Mexico Hatch Chile Peppers that you can only get in New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas. When we lived in El Paso, we would get them each year. No one can sell the seeds except for the folks in New Mexico. The Big Jims are long and rate 15,000 to 30,000 on the Scoville Scale.
If you love jalapeno flavor but don't care for the heat, the TAM jalapeno is for you. Created by Texas A&M University, they are packed with delicious flavor and don't have heat. So good.
Of course, for all of you hot pepper lovers, one last pepper, the Serrano, is included. It is five times hotter than a jalapeno.
The New England pumpkin is in with our fall seeds but you need to start it in the beginning of July. This is the perfect pumpkin for making your own pumpkin for pies, cakes, and cookies. The walls of the pumpkin are thicker and you will love the taste.
The Champion radish has a mild taste and is good to add in fall salads.
The Texas Cream Pea is one of the most popular Southern peas that we carry. It has a mild flavor and cooks up so creamy. You will love them. The Pink Eye Purple Hull is another popular Southern pea aka Cowpea that people love.
Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach is the number one spinach for fall growing in the cooler weather. It is a beautiful spinach you will enjoy in salads and in cooked dishes.
Crookneck Yellow Summer squash grows quickly and you should get a nice amount before it gets too cold to grow.
Both winter squash varieties, Acorn and Butternut, need to be started at the beginning of July so that you have enough time to grow them before the frost.
You can also add certain types of spinach, kale, broccoli, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, certain leafy greens, and peas.
Regarding any of the hot peppers, you may want to put those in pots that you can take in on an extra cold or freezing night. If you can keep them alive, they will continue to produce peppers indefinitely, for years to come. Bell peppers do not have this ability.
The final of our fall garden seeds in our set include one final winter squash, the Spaghetti squash. Start this at the beginning of August and you can treat it like spaghetti noodles in the kitchen.
Swiss Chard is so pretty in the fall and we have several gorgeous varieties that you will enjoy growing and cooking. Chop the stems and leaves and cook them in olive oil. Let the leaves wilt like you do with spinach leaves.
The Purple Top White Globe turnip can be baked, boiled, mashed, or roasted. We have done all of them. Olive oil makes it taste so good with some seasoning. There are many ways to cook them.
Your favorite zucchini and mine, the Black Beauty is versatile and tasty. I like it roasted or fried best but it is a wonderful vegetable in soups as well as being a side on the dinner plate.
During the final weeks of August and the first week of September, put your seeds in the ground, just one fourth of an inch deep. Unless there is a freak cold snap, you have plenty of time to grow a lot of delicious veggies if you live in a warm climate.
Also June is a good time to start your fall tomatoes. This is according to Bob Webster who is host of "The Gardening Show" on KTSA in San Antonio, Texas.
I hope this information has been helpful to you to grow a fall garden. We are having a 25% off sale on all of our garden seeds exclusively for our Almanac reader friends right now. Go to https://davidsgardenseeds.com and order at least $25 worth of seeds. Use checkout code ALMANAC25 and you will get 25% of your total through September 30, 2023.