Fall Planting Guide for West Texas

Fall Planting Guide - cabbages

Fall Planting Guide

Fall planting time is here and many of you are asking for help or a guide to planting a late-season or fall garden.  We have never done a Fall Planting Guide, so we decided maybe it was time we did. 

This short guide does not contain any variety of recommendations.  Check on our forum in the plant section for varieties that we and others have grown in West Texas with success.

As usual, if you have any questions, please contact us through our webpage here or on our Facebook page.

Fall Vegetable Plant Guide

PlantDays to HarvestPlanting Notes
Brussels Sprouts90 – 100May need protection from killing freezes in late fall and winter.  Cold frames may extend your season
Carrots85 – 95Plant now
Rutabagas70 – 80 daysPlant now
Beets55 – 60 daysPlant now.  Beets winter over very well
Broccoli70 – 80 daysPlant now.  Row covers can extend your season
Collard Greens60 – 100 daysChoose a shorter date to harvest to make sure that you can get your greens out before a hard killing freeze ruins them.
Cabbage Plant now
Turnips Plant now
Mustard Plant now
Spinach Plant now
Kale Plant after August 15
Radishes Plant after August 15
Onions60 – 80 daysPlant now
Swiss Chard Plant now
Garlic Garlic should not be planted until mid-November for a spring harvest.

NOTES:

When planting fall crops, I always suggest trying to choose the varieties with the shortest days to harvest.  In West Texas, we can have very mild falls and winters punctuated with extreme cold events that include several days in the teens.  Only the hardiest of below-ground plants can survive these events, so plan with that in mind.

Some of these plants will require some protection during hard frost events.  Mulch, burlap, or frost cloth can work.  If you have cold frames, consider putting these plants in your cold frames. 

When to Plant your Winter Garden

Fall Planting Guide - Fall Garden

I suggest that you plan on planting your fall garden 10 to 12 weeks before the first killing frost date.  The Average First Frost Date for Lubbock is October 17.  You can check with the NOAA website for the average first frost date for your area here.

Always follow the package recommendations on planting and harvesting your seeds or plants 

Extending your garden into a second season in the fall can be rewarding in many ways.  The obvious is the beautiful vegetables that you harvest well into the fall months.  The unseen and often overlooked benefits to the soil are immensely important. 

Maintaining Soil Health Through the Winter

Good soil health is dependent on having living roots in the soil as much of the time as possible.  The plants feed the microscopic soil life that is the heart of a healthy soil biome.  Keeping those roots in place during the fall and winter months is critical. 

If you aren’t planning on a fall garden, consider planting cover crops that will keep the soil healthy and feed nitrogen back as well.   Clover and legumes are some of the best.  We are planting Austrian Peas in several of our beds this fall as a winter cover crop.

Links and Resources

For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.

If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.

Lasagna Garden Recipe

Building Healthy Soil

Winter Soil Building

If you have more specific questions or problems, you can contact us using the contact form on our website. You can also post your question to our community forum at this page; West Texas Organic Gardening Community Forum.

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