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Fall Vegetable Gardens

Most schools are not ready to plant their fall vegetable gardens until mid-September, a month or two past the ideal time to start long days to maturity vegetables like broccoli, carrots and even some lettuce and beet varieties.  These vegetables do most of their growing in the warm months of July-October. As the temperatures cool, growth slows and the cool air acts as a refrigerator to preserve the plant.

When you start your fall vegetable garden in September, we recommend choosing fast days to maturity vegetables and varieties. 

Additional Resources: UC Davis Vegetable Tips

Click here to request a school garden consultation. Contact: MMG School Gardeners


  • Harvest summer vegetables except corn and pumpkins (save corn & pumpkins for a Halloween party).
  • Provide seed saving lessons and save seed for next year.
  • Amend soil with compost.
  • Plant fall favorites.


  • Halloween Harvest – corn (make popcorn or cornbread depending on variety) & pumpkins.
  • Chard, Mizuna and Tatsoi may have some harvestable leaves.
  • Amend harvested bed and plant from fall planting list including edible fava beans.


  • Thanksgiving Harvest – Harvest fast maturing fall planted vegetables, leave some open pollinated plants in place to develop seeds for collection.


Vegetable Cooked? Days to Maturity Comments
Beets Yes 55-90 Slow winter growth
Broccoli Optional 40-110 Slow winter growth, yellow flowers taste sweet
Carrots Optional 120-150 Slow winter growth
Chard Yes 40+ Provides multiple harvest opportunities
Lettuce No 40-90 Provides multiple harvest opportunities
Mizuna Optional 20-40+ Japanese Mustard Green for salads or cooking
Peas Optional 55+ Trellis to support
Radishes Optional 20-80  
Spinach Optional 40+  
Tatsoi Optional 21-60 Mild mustard greens flavor for salad or stir-fry