Sow Now for Fall Harvests!

Make the most of the growing season.


ere on the seed farm, we try to make the most of the growing season by succession sowing, intercropping, and making sure our fall harvested crops are planted in July and August. Succession sowing isn't just for farmers, however; the secret to a truly lush and verdant garden is to have seeds ready to sow as spring and early-summer sown crops fade.

That gardener you follow on Instagram whose garden looks so perfect? They're most likely succession sowing. Not only will succession sowing ensure steady vegetable harvests into fall, you'll be rewarded with a fabulous-looking garden to boot!

Late Season Planting Guide

Of course, it's too late to sow tomatoes and peppers, but there are still plenty of varieties to start now (for an idea, just hop on over to our collection of Fast-Growing Crops for Fall Harvest). It's important to factor in the waning daylight hours when scheduling your sowings: Following the summer solstice, daylight hours begin to decline, so crops sown for fall harvest will generally need an additional two weeks to mature compared to spring-sown crops. Find helpful seed sowing guidelines below–or use our Late Season Planting Guide Poster as a reference for home.

How to Schedule Your Fall-Harvested Sowings

To schedule your sowings, consult the “days to maturity” information on your seed packs. For fall-harvested crops sown in summer, add two weeks to your days to maturity, then add this number to the time it takes for germination. Now, count backwards from your average first frost date to see if your crop will have time to reach maturity.  To find the average first frost date for your area, try this tool. Performing this calculation ahead of sowing will allow these crops to fully mature by harvest time.

Crops you can sow now for fall harvest are listed below (order garlic and shallots now and we will ship them out in October–when many of these varieties will be ready to pull up).

In our neck of the woods, the first frost usually arrives in mid-October. Use the average first frost date in your area to schedule the crops below.

10-12 Weeks Before the Frost

Arugula, Beans, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Peas, Rutabaga, Scallions, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tatsoi.

8-10 Weeks Before the Frost

Arugula, Beets, Bok Choy, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, KomatsunaLettuce, Mizuna, Mustard GreensSwiss Chard, Tatsoi, Turnips.

6-8 Weeks Before the Frost

ArugulaKomatsunaLettuce, MacheMizuna, Mustard Greens, Radishes, Spinach.

As you can see, there's still time to get some great veggies started! But don't delay if you want to make the most of the season, and don't forget to pre-order your garlic and shallots for October shipping.

One more tip to boost your fall harvests: Care for your soil! When planting second and third crops during the season, add fresh compost to replenish the soil. Compost builds soil structure, so roots can get a healthy start. To produce foliage and fruit, plants make energy from photosynthesis and soil nutrients; to keep the soil healthy and nutrient-rich for your next crop, maintain soil fertility by incorporating cover crops and amendments into your garden maintenance routine. For help scheduling your fall cover crops, read this post.

Now that you know to add the "fall factor" to your sowing calculations, you're sure to bring in bigger harvests. Enjoy the summer weather and happy sowing!