Square Foot Gardening Certified Instructor Amie Hall shares her top ten list of Fall vegetables and why you’ll want to make room in your garden for these easy-to-grow and healthful selections.
1. Garlic — Plant in the fall and harvest the following summer. Wait to plant until temperatures have cooled, usually mid-November before a hard frost in the Northeast.
2. Radishes — A quick-growing root crop with simple heart shaped leaves. Colorful and healthful, you can find radishes in shades of red, purple, pink, white, or even black. Radishes are round or long and skinny like the Daikon radish. Munch on them raw, straight from the garden or cook in Miso Soup or stir fry. The leaves of the radish plant actually contain more Vitamin C, protein, and calcium than their roots. Historically, radishes have been used to treat kidney and skin disorders and to fight cancer.
3. Peas — These are a terrific cool weather vegetable with dainty flowers. High in folic acid, Vitamin A & K, and B-complex vitamins, I like to suggest growing peas for their pea shoots – why wait for the peas? Stir fry the shoots with your other favorite veggies.
4. Broccoli Rabe — You’ll recognize this leafy green vegetable as a staple in Italian cooking. High in Calcium, Vitamin K, folate and anti-oxidants, simply sauté in a little water with garlic and dress with 1st pressed olive oil to enjoy.
5. Arugula — I love this tasty dark leafy green with a nice bite to it. It’s delicious and is delicious to add to salads or to use as a bed of greens for anything baked. Most restaurants will happily serve you arugula tossed with olive oil and fresh lemon, or you can harvest and make a healthy salad at home.
6. Spinach — A no-brainer for the fall garden, spinach is another dark leafy green that can be used in everything from salads to smoothies – raw or cooked. Studies show its benefits include anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as aiding in balancing blood sugar, and eye and skin health.
7. Leaf lettuce blends and mesclun greens — You can fit four plants per square! Lettuce is a quick-growing crop. Select cut-and-come-again varieties for a long-lasting fall harvest.
8. Collard greens — Another member of the cabbage family, collard greens grow in a loose rosette. The taste actually improves when the leaves are kissed by frost. Enjoy them cooked or raw as a leafy wrap filled with your favorite hummus.
9. Kale — Enjoy Kale, another power green and a source of calcium, magnesium, fiber, and more. Young leaves can be tossed with lettuce for a nutrient-packed salad. Larger leaves are yummy when torn apart and massaged with some flavored vinegar.
10. Swiss chard — A vegetable that’s as delicious as it is pretty. ‘Bright Lights’ (or any Swiss chard, for that matter) is a must-have for fall planting. Bright lights is a fun choice because of the mix of beautiful, bright yellows, oranges and reds that the stems add to the garden or your fall flower pots. Much like Kale, the young leaves are great additions to salads, while larger leaves (and stems) can be cut up and added to stir fry dishes.