Cool season vegetables such as lettuces, radishes, beets, and carrots grow well in a fall garden. However, they should be planted in August so they'll be ready to harvest in the fall.

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Planting a Fall Garden

To have a fall garden, you really need to start thinking about it in the middle of summer, and start planting your fall garden in early August. Three simple vegetables that almost any home gardener can grow that are good for a fall garden are: beets, carrots, and lettuces.

Beets are one vegetable that are maybe you're not as familiar with eating.But, they grow very well in Kansas, especially in a fall garden. Beets can be planted starting in early August, and I would probably plant them only once for a fall garden. And, I would expect to start harvesting beets sometime in mid to late September.They'll keep growing until it gets too cold for them in the fall.

Carrots are another crop that can be fairly simple to grow in Kansas. They're a little more challenging if you’ve got a heavy clay soil, but they grow very well in the fall. A lot of vegetables grow better in the fall than the spring in Kansas.And, carrots would be one of those vegetables. Carrots again, I would plant in early August, and let them grow, and they'll be ready to start harvesting in sometime late September.

Lettuces are also extremely easy to grow in Kansas. And they definitely grow better in the fall than the spring. The weather is starting to get cooler. With lettuces, they don't tolerate heat as well, so I wouldn't start planting lettuce in a fall garden until late August, early September. The great part about lettuce is that you can plant them multiple times. You could plant a little bit in mid August, some more in early September, and again mid-September. So you can have three or four plantings of lettuce in the fall, and just have fresh lettuce continually. Rather than having a whole bushel basket full of lettuce during one week, and then having no lettuce for the rest of the fall.

So, that's all there is to it.Planting a fall garden is easy, and you can have lots of great vegetables all through the winter.

This feature story prepared with Rebecca McMahon, Kansas State University Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, Sedgwick County. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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