172-Tips for Growing Cool-Season Vegetables in Fall-Encore Presentation

| Grow, Podcast

Of all the gardening seasons, the fall growing season is my favorite. Arugula, beets, broccoli, carrots, lettuce and more — there are so many cool-season vegetables that you can grow in fall and enjoy on your dinner plate. The trick is to know your first frost date and work backward from there to pick the right time to start growing cool-season vegetables either indoors or direct-sown from seed, or transplanted.

As fall quickly approaches, I wanted to share with you again my tips for fall gardening success and the best vegetables for cool-season growing. I hope you enjoy this timely encore presentation. For the full show notes with details on my top crops for fall gardening, be sure to refer to the original post from episode 122.


Joe Lamp'l in his fall garden

Fall is my favorite season for gardening. There are so many cool-season vegetables that you can grow and enjoy in fall. All 16 of my raised beds are fully utilized for cool-season crops, starting around September 1st in my Atlanta, GA zone 7b garden,


To help you have seed starting success in your fall garden, I also want to share with you the soil temperature range for optimal germination for common vegetable seeds. Click to download this free Online Gardening Academy Seed Temperature Chart, and read all about the importance of soil temperature on the joegardener blog.

When seed-starting, irrigating your growing medium and seedlings adequately but gently can be a challenge. Over on Instagram, I recently shared a short video demonstrating my favorite method for micro-irrigating unsprouted seeds. You can find me there @joegardener.


Cool-season vegetable seedlings for fall gardening

Fall provides an opportunity to start many cool-season vegetables from seed. Yet it’s important to know the optimal soil temperature to successfully germinate these crops, especially if direct sowing outdoors.


If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, you can do that now by clicking the Play button on the green bar above. For a comprehensive recap of the episode, check out the show notes from the original broadcast.

What is your favorite fall crop to grow? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Links & Resources

Episode 022: The Year-round Vegetable Gardener with Niki Jabbour

Episode 045: Succession Planting: Practical Tips For Growing More Food

Episode 048: The Simple Science Behind Great Gardening, with Lee Reich

Episode 106: Livestock Panels: Top 10 Uses in the Garden for This Versatile Material

Episode 110: Why Mulch Matters in Every Garden: What You Need to Know

Episode 122: Fall Vegetable Garden Success: Best Plants and Tips for Cool-Season Growing

joegardener Blog: The Numbers on Fertilizer Labels, What They Mean

joegardener Blog: The Best Soil Temperature for Seed Germination

joegardener Blog: What to Grow in a Fall Vegetable Garden

joegardenerTV YouTube: Easy Edibles for Every Fall Vegetable Garden

joegardenerTV YouTube: How to Amend Raised Bed Garden Soil for Continued Health

joegardenerTV YouTube: Starting Beet Seeds in Containers for Better Results

joegardener IGTV: How to Micro-Irrigate Your Seeds for Better Germination Success

joegardener Online Gardening Academy: Three popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Seed Temperature Chart

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Essential Gardening Fundamentals: The basics on healthy soil, planting, watering techniques, composting, raised bed and other gardening methods, fertilizer, the many benefits of mulch, and more.

joegardenerTV YouTube

joegardener Newsletter

joegardener Facebook

joegardener Facebook Group

joegardener Instagram

joegardener Pinterest

joegardener Twitter

Growing a Greener World® 


GGW Episode 125: Thomas Jefferson: Organic Gardener

GGW Episode 605: Starting Seeds; A to Z

Meg Cowden – Seed to Fork

Bt – Bacillus Thuringiensis

Floating Row Cover

Frost Blanket

Natural Burlap

Rain Bird® Drip Irrigation System

Shade Cloth

Milorganite® – Our podcast episode sponsor and Brand Partner of

Park Seed® – Our podcast episode sponsor and Brand Partner of joegardener.comUse code Joe20 for 20% off your next order!

*Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Park Seed, and Exmark. These companies are either Brand Partners of and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe Lamp’l is the creator and “joe” behind joe gardener®. His lifetime passion and devotion to all things horticulture has led him to a long-time career as one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in organic gardening and sustainability. That is most evident in his role as host and creator of Emmy Award-winning Growing a Greener World®, a national green-living lifestyle series on PBS currently broadcasting in its tenth season. When he’s not working in his large, raised bed vegetable garden, he’s likely planting or digging something up, or spending time with his family on their organic farm just north of Atlanta, GA.

0 Responses to “172-Tips for Growing Cool-Season Vegetables in Fall-Encore Presentation”

  • John Longard says:

    Soil temps have messed me up this year. Arugula was easy this spring. I showed 2 kinds a couple of weeks ago and their no shows. Since we’ve had 2-3 days in the 90’s after I planted them so I’m guessing it’s too warm. We’ve even got some days in the mid-80’s coming next week. I’ve started some things for my fall/winter by direct sowing and some have done well and others haven’t. Unfortunately I used another person’s guide to fall/winter planting and even added 2 weeks to the date of maturity. (Our frost date is Oct.16.)I’m starting indoors my root crops. They are looking good.I’m using hoops made with pvc pipes. I’ve learned to cut a 10 ft. one to 7′ to cover a nearly 4′ bed.Have your roasted radishes? Wonderful!Thanks for the guide!Shalom
    Welcome back!

  • John Longard says:

    Oh I forgot to mention that a pest got under my row cover and ate up my broccoli seedlings (that I started from seed). My row cover laid directly over them with bags of small rocks holding them down. Something ate the leaves on the early collard greens but the later ones looked good. I got holes in my mustard greens, but only one hole is several raddicho plants. I’m wondering what got under the row cover?

  • John Longard says:

    Finally, does shade cloth keep the insects out?

  • Vicky says:

    Spinach if too hot will grow 1-2″ and bolt that is why it would be hard.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Not unless you close off the ends as well. But the weave is typically tight enough to prevent them passing through.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    That’s not good. Just when you think you’ve checked all the boxes. So you never saw the culprit? I’m thinking caterpillar of some sort.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    So far, all my cool season seeds have been sown inside. While some trays have germinated beautifully, an identical tray with seeds from the same pack, had nearly 100% failure to germinate. There is nothing I can think that caused such a difference. One thing is certain: gardening will forever keep us challenged and curious! Glad to hear you’re having success with your indoor root crop sowings, John. I am as well. Hope you have a very successful growing season!

  • JulesMF says:

    Joe! You read my mind! I was planning (last week) to go back and listen to the original podcast of this episode and then it shows up as an encore episode. This really is one of my favorite podcasts and you have inspired me to get my raised beds cleaned up and put down the collard and lettuce seed I ordered but missed out on this past spring. Thanks!

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Happy to help spread some gardening inspiration! You know where to find me if you need more of that! Hope you have an awesome fall garden!

  • Tricia Mae Chua says:

    Hi, Joe! This is my 2nd year of growing vegetables from seed in North America. My vegetable growing experience has been in a tropical climate, so I’ve not had to deal with first or last frost dates! I want to clarify something you mentioned in episode 172. You spoke about giving yourself 6 weeks from starting the seed indoors to the seedling being big enough to put into the ground outside (12:30 minutes into the podcast). But then you go on to mention (on 12:44) that you would “add” these 6 weeks on to the number of days the seed pack would say it would take for the plant to reach maturity. Sounds like these are 2 different things. So should I be adding the 6 weeks to the seed packet days or just sow the seed 6 weeks before I set the seedlings outside? Thanks!

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Hi Tricia. I think I was referencing that if you are stating with a seedling that references days to maturity, if you were starting that that same plant from seed, you would need to add 6 weeks to that time to account for the days needed from germination to planting outside, if you were starting that plant from seed. But if you’re starting from seed, the packet should always provide the information you need to know as to how many weeks before the last frost you need to sow the seeds to give it the time it needs to be hardy enough to plant in the ground. I hope that helps. If I missed the point of your question, let me know and I’ll try to clarify. Thanks.

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