How to Start Your Fall Veggie Garden

As the beginnings of autumn start to replace the scorching heat of summer, it's the perfect time to shift your attention to your very own fall vegetable garden. Fall gardening is a rewarding endeavor that allows you to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce well into the cooler months. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to start your fall veggie garden and ensure a bountiful harvest.

Choose the Right Location

Selecting the right location for your fall vegetable garden is crucial. Look for an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. While fall crops can tolerate cooler temperatures, they still need adequate sunlight to thrive. Additionally, ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot.

Prepare the Soil

Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful garden. Start by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris from the area. Then, incorporate organic matter like compost into the soil. This enriches the soil with essential nutrients and improves its texture, making it more suitable for plant growth.

Choose the Right Veggies

Fall vegetables differ from those planted in the spring and summer. Opt for cold-tolerant varieties that thrive in cooler temperatures. Some excellent choices for a fall garden include:

  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, lettuce, and Swiss chard.
  • Root vegetables: Carrots, beets, radishes, and turnips.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Alliums: Onions, garlic, and leeks.

Planting and Spacing

When planting your fall vegetables, follow the spacing recommendations on the seed packets or plant tags. Proper spacing ensures adequate air circulation between plants, reducing the risk of diseases. Sow seeds at the recommended depth and cover them with a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.


While fall brings cooler temperatures, it's essential to maintain consistent moisture for your vegetables. Water your garden regularly, ensuring that the soil remains evenly moist but not waterlogged. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation to keep the foliage dry, as damp leaves can promote fungal diseases.


Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to your fall garden according to the package instructions. This will provide your plants with the necessary nutrients throughout the growing season. Be mindful not to overfeed, as this can lead to excessive growth at the expense of production.

Pest and Disease Management

Keep an eye out for common garden pests and diseases that can affect your fall vegetables. Consider using natural pest control methods like companion planting and hand-picking pests when necessary. Applying a layer of mulch can also help deter weeds and prevent soil-borne diseases from splashing onto your plants.

Protect from Frost

As fall progresses, the risk of frost increases. Be prepared to protect your delicate crops from frost damage. Use row covers, cold frames, or cloches to shield your plants when frost is forecasted. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecast and harvest any remaining produce before a severe frost arrives.

Starting a fall vegetable garden is a super fun fall activity that allows you to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce long after the summer has passed. By choosing the right location, preparing your soil, selecting the appropriate vegetables, and following good gardening practices, you can ensure a bountiful fall harvest. With a little effort and care, you'll be savoring the flavors of autumn in no time. To learn more about what’s growing on at the garden center, check out Mike, the Garden Guru, and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice. To keep inspired and grow with us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!