Mary Beth Shaddix
October 02, 2014

I love fall. I love everything about it — cooler weather, colorful trees, cocoon-y sweaters, and pumpkins piled everywhere. I also love the long list of groceries I can grow without sweating in the oven-like air of August. Not sure what can replace those tomatoes and beans? Here are 8 suggestions, easy as reciting your ABCs. Whether you garden on a patio or in a plot, try:

Arugula - A year-round essential on the salad plate, this green grows best in cooler temperatures of spring and fall in our Birmingham-based garden. Continually sow seeds every ten days to keep a constant crop of baby greens.

Beets  - C’mon! Try them shaved thinly in raw form, roasted, or pickled. We timed our sowing of beet seeds about 8-10 weeks before expected first frost date (discover your region’s estimated date here), and snack on the seedling leaves when thinning plants to 4-6 inch spacing. In 50-65 days, your beet roots will be ready to pull, either as baby bulbs or full size.

Carrots - If you follow our trials in the Cooking Light garden, you know I’m a huge fan of homegrown “soil candy.” Try the round-root varieties like Paris Market in patio pots, and longer, stout roots of Scarlet Nantes if you have at least 10” of rock-free soil. Sow seeds in fall to overwinter a patch for continuous harvest, mulching with leaves to protect the peekaboo shoulders. Enjoy fall-favored varieties such as Napoli, which sweetens with frosts.

… and more ABCs to consider, if these don’t please your palate: bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and chard. Let us know what’s growing in your fall kitchen garden! Hashtag photo shares on Instagram or Twitter with #CLPickFresh.

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