Fall Planting of Cool Season Vegetables

It’s never too late to plan! Very soon, if not already for some vegetables, gardeners here in Tennessee need to begin plating for your fall harvests. Fall crops are generally cool season although warm season crops can continue to produce until the first frost, which is a very important date to know! (If you need to find that information check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac). Frost dates in Tennessee vary but I usually plan on mid October then subtract a couple weeks for production so I essentially I plan for the first week of October. Last year our first frost hit us here in Spring Hill, TN at the end of October.

So What Can You Plant for Fall Cool Season Vegetables?

Essentially anything that you grew in the early spring can be grown for a fall harvest. Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach will back in season, as will radishes, beets, onions, cauliflower, and cabbage. There should also be time to get another crop of cucumbers before the killing frost. Short season summer vegetables can still be planted like summer squash and bush beans. This list is not complete but it will give you an idea of what can be done in the fall vegetable garden. For more specific information about varieties in your area check you local State University extension service.

In my garden I will be planting my fall vegetable crop from the following list:

Fall Vegetables When to Plant Days to Maturity
Beets Early August 55-60
Bush Beans Late July – Early August 52-60
Cabbage (plants) Early August 60-75
Lettuce (leaf) July-Mid-September 40-50
Radishes August – Mid September 25-30
Spinach September 40-50
Snap Peas Late July-Early August 52-60
Summer Squash Late July- Early August 40-50

If you factor in a couple weeks of harvest time then add the maturity dates to it then subtract these days from the first frost date you will end up with a good planting date estimate.

(First Frost Date – Harvest Period – Days to Maturity = When to Plant)

I’ve adapted this table of fall planting vegetables from a UT publication written by Professor Sams that is extremely useful. I listed the plants that I will be planting this fall for the table but there are several vegetables and great information in the UT document (free download!). It contains more information including specific frost dates for various cities in Tennessee. It is definitely worth a look if you plan on planting vegetables in the fall.


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Hard to believe it is almost fall already.

  2. By the time October rolls around, I'm just too pooped to plant! The season is pretty much over for me when the first frost hits. Something I don't want to think about right now! ;~)

  3. Tina,

    Not quite yet but you always have to think ahead! Do you have any fall planting plans this year?


    The key is to plant it early then you just have to wait for it to come in! And that whole weeding thing too I guess. Fortunately our season has a long way to go yet but the frost will come sooner than you think!

  4. Very helpful information. I keep thinking I should plant more tomatoes for a fall crop. I wonder if it is too late for them? I've printed out the page you mentioned and I'll look at it.

  5. Hi Dave, this is so useful, thanks! I have waited too long in the past and had terrible results. This year I am armed with better information about when to plant. We have just planted more green beans, and the garlic will go in late September. But sugar snap peas are what we love the most and we will surely be planting those in August. Thanks for the links too.

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