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Unique Eats: Fall Garden Favorites

If you’re new to veggie gardening and live in a more mild climate where you can continue to garden into the cooler months, fall is prime time for planting those edible plants that simply don’t do well in the hot months. Your local garden center or County Extension Office can guide you as to what you can grow and when you should plant in your area, but here’s a quick rundown by plant type Which ones do you want to grow?

Kale in the garden

Salad Crops

Each year in the fall, my fingers start itching to get my salad crops in the ground. There are so many, and they provide ample and endless combinations for winter salads, green smoothies, stir-frys, and juicing.

Look for:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Asian Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Arugula
  • A variety of lettuces

Be sure to read the accompanying plant tag for specific information on spacing and days to harvest — with some, you can harvest just weeks after planting!

Common Salad Crop Pests & Diseases:

  • Aphids
  • Leaf Miners
  • Beetles
  • Cutworms
  • Hornworms
  • Downy Mildew
  • Damping Off

Employ good gardening practices like proper watering techniques and plant spacing, but be sure to have some organic controls (neem, Bt, etc.) on hand if the need arises.

Salad in the Fall Garden

Root Crops

Root veggies are the basis of every delectable soup or stew that I make during the fall and winter.

But be sure that your soil is deep enough for these root veggies to develop. If you have shallow or rocky soil, plan to create raised beds to give them adequate room to grow down.

Look Out For Root Veggie Pests

Root veggies are targets for both soil insect pests as well as foliar (leaf) pests like:

  • Carrot Weevil
  • Grubs
  • Nematodes
  • Flea Beetles
  • Mites
  • Aphids

Root Veggie Diseases to Watch Out For

  • Leaf Blight
  • Damping Off
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Southern Blight

Consider crop rotation and attention to proper watering as well as judicious use of row covers to prevent these problems.


Brassicas. This is a large group of plants that are also called cruciferous plants or cole crops, and they include:

    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Cabbage
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Turnips
    • Mustard
    • Kale

Brassicas can be susceptible to a number of pests and diseases like

      • Cabbage Worms
      • Cabbage Aphids
      • Cabbage Looper Moth Larvae
      • Black Rot
      • Blackleg
      • Fusarium Wilt

Crop rotation helps, but because many of these pest and disease issues attack young plants, be prepared to become a Helicopter Plant Parent in the first couple of weeks.

Share The Garden Love

Box of vegetables with text, "18 veggies for fall cooking. Fall garden favorites"


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  1. What planting mix do you recommend for broccoli seeds? Should I start them indoors? The temps in Southern California are still in the 90’s where I live.

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