25 Vegetables to Plant in October (Fall Planting)

As the reinvigorating, crisp, and cool air caresses your face, know it’s time for fall gardening. 

The cool weather is ideal for filling your garden with healthy and scrumptious root vegetables and leafy greens, so I wrote this specific guide for what vegetables to plant in October via seeds. 

Breaking it down, this cold weather guide contains all of my experiences with the following vegetables that are perfect for planting in October: 

  • The finest, most nutritious root vegetables that grow with the best results. 
  • Exceptional cole crops require little work to grow. 
  • The best varieties of vibrant and nutritious salad greens. 
  • And, finally, a little orientation fusion with zesty Asian greens, a great choice if you want to add immense savory flavor to your dishes. 

1. Carrots 

vegetables to plant in october

Growing Tips 

Do yourself a solid by planting carrot seeds this October; you won’t regret it. Carrots are a staple for growing in mild winters, albeit in the heat of summer, too.

Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables because they require little maintenance and can be grown at any time of the year. 

I adore carrots to the point where I grow them twice a year, once during early spring and in late June, as killing frost is a term unknown to the mighty carrots.

Interestingly, cooler temperatures add nothing but a sweet flavor to my carrots. Now, let’s get down to the specifics of growing carrots like a pro.

Since carrots prefer loose soil with minimum debris and proper drainage, I thoroughly rake the soil. After preparing the soil bed, I plant my carrot seeds around half an inch deep.

It’s imperative to always have moist soil to maintain soil temperature. Next, ensure your baby plants receive 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Finally, protect your carrot seedlings from insect pests, carrot flies, and aphids while using a balanced fertilizer. 

Your carrots will be ready after 60 to 80 days, even during the cold spell. I use a fork to loosen the surrounding soil before harvesting. 

Culinary Uses 

Being the most versatile vegetables, carrots can be consumed with anything, you name it. Pasta, casseroles, salads, and much more. I prefer to eat mine raw, dipped in a rich garlic mayo dip that I prepare myself. 

How to Store 

Once my fall harvest is ready, I choose the best carrots, clean them by removing their green parts that attract moisture, and then store them in the refrigerator in perforated plastic bags. 

2. Radishes 

red radish with radish seeds on a table

Growing Tips 

Radishes are incredibly adaptable and are a great option for October planting.

The time of year isn’t a concern for them; you can grow radishes in your spring or summer garden without any hassle since they are ready to harvest in less than a month! 

As for the growing, I sow the seeds in loose soil with proper drainage and fertility, as I grow them in batches year-round. Next, you know the drill: affirm moist soil and 6 hours of direct sunlight. 

Culinary Uses 

Being a fitness enthusiast, radishes serve me well with their abundance in dietary fiber, vitamin C, and a lack of carbs.

I substituted them for potatoes long ago, using radishes for sides and roasts. Also, I love consuming them as a raw snack with sprinkled salt. 

How to Store 

Like my carrots, I store my radish fall harvest in the refrigerator in perforated plastic bags. Although, ensure you consume them in a week before they go bad. 

3. Beets 

harvested beets with green leaves on table

Growing Tips 

Considered a superfood, beets get ready in just a couple of months, so I plant successive batches during the long growing season, which lasts from early spring to late fall.

Effective growing of beets requires proper sunlight exposure— sunlight is crucial for beets if you want their characteristic red color and earthy taste.

After I’ve taken care of the basics— watering, fertilizing, and removing pests, I harvest my beets when they are a golf ball’s size. The sooner you harvest them, the better. 

Culinary Uses 

I go for red beets if I’m craving a nutty, aromatic taste. Otherwise, I satisfy my sweet tooth with golden beets. Specifically, I love adding beets to my freshly made barbeque and vitality smoothies that I regularly make. You can use them in salads, too. 

How to Store 

I relish beets being hardy enough to last 3 to 4 months in the refrigerator. But, I store them properly by placing them in an airtight container with a paper towel bed. 

4. Onions 

onions with onion seeds on a table

Growing Tips 

Like all good things, onions and ogres have layers; I hope you can relate. Anyways, onions are known for their hardiness, being able to grow in the coolest hardiness zone.

The right time to grow onions is during spring planting when the growing season is long and has full sun. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for next spring to plant onions; I’m growing my batch right now, during early winter. What’s your excuse? 

I don’t sow my plant seeds directly into the soil since onion seeds are known for their fragility. Several beginners make this mistake, developing a turbulent relationship with planting onions.

The trick is to plant onion seedlings directly into the soil. How? Plant the seedlings 1 to 2 inches deep in loamy and moist soil, each row 2 to 6 inches apart. Keep the plant under full sun for 6 hours per day.

And most importantly, I pay due diligence to soil moisture because the fall season is chilly and dry. Next, I fertilize my onion fall crop twice: once when the plant develops and when the bulbs form. 

After 100 to 150 days, I harvest these cool-season vegetables when their tops brown out and die. 

Culinary Uses 

Any savory dish without onions is incomplete; their application is vaster than the culinary world itself, as green onions are ideal for varnishing soups and pasta, and red onions for adding their flamboyant taste to savory dishes. 

How to Store 

Simply, I store my onions in a jute bag on my kitchen countertop, which is a relatively cool and dry place. But keep them away from other fruits and vegetables, especially potatoes. 

5. Rutabagas 

harvested rutabagas

Growing Tips 

Growing rutabagas during October is a good idea because the cooler weather enhances their taste and growing patterns. I am fond of their tolerance to cool temperatures and pests.

So, plant their seeds during the fall season in slightly acidic and loose soil and ascertain the availability of consistently moist soil and full sun. 

Culinary Uses 

Just a disclaimer: once, I made the mistake of eating raw rutabagas— they are quite bitter. However, once cooked, they taste caramel sweet, making them excellent for rutabagas pies, one of my signature dishes. 

How to Store 

After removing the tops, I store my rutabagas in my root cellar, which is cold and humid. 

6. Parsnips 

fresh parsnips with green leaves on ground

Growing Tips 

Whether you plant the carrots’ cousin, parsnips, for your spring garden or during early fall, it makes no difference. But, since they require 3 to 4 months to mature, plan the dates accordingly.

In fact, a great time to grow parsnips is during winter months because these hardy root veggies thrive in the frost; it gives parsnips a sweet and earthy taste. 

I directly plant the seeds half an inch deep in moist and loose soil, each row one inch apart. My trick for getting an optimal harvest is adding mulch on each row’s banks to make it easier for the soil to retain moisture and fertility for longer periods. The rest— 6 hours of sunlight, balanced fertilization, and 6 hours of full sun exposure, is to be done by default. 

Culinary Uses 

Their sweet, nutty, and earthy flavor can be enjoyed in many scrumptious ways: I saute them for flavorful sides to my main dish. You can also roast, mash, and eat them raw with a delicious dip, too.  

How to Store 

First, I thoroughly clean them and remove any greens. Then, they are wrapped in paper towels, stored in an airtight container, and placed in the refrigerator. This way, they last me a solid 3 months in storage. 

7. Garlic 

garlic with seeds on white cloth placed on table

Growing Tips 

The main highlight of growing garlic is how ridiculously easy it is to grow. All you need to do is take a few healthy garlic cloves and plant them in nutrient-dense soil during the winter to encourage cold stratification, a fancy term for exposing the seed to cold to encourage germination.

Plant them in October, during winter months, and harvest them in the following spring. The maintenance bit goes without saving. 

Culinary Uses 

I can’t imagine pizza without garlic powder, and neither can most of you, I’m sure. Garlic also makes my all-time favorite dip: garlic mayo sauce. And garlic bread is a solid appetizer. Basically, garlic adds depth to every savory dish with its unique aroma and flavor. 

How to Store 

I clump my garlic in bushels and store them in my root cellar— a homemade, small, and cold frame. It is a dry, cold, and dark storage space. 

8. Horseradish 

Fresh horseradishes in harvest basket in the garden

Growing Tips 

While horseradish is primarily grown in mild climates, during early spring, many gardeners living in colder regions prefer harvesting them during early winters because horseradish, as the name suggests, is built like horses— they are unbelievably hardy. A little frost only adds to their flavor. 

However, since horseradish has perennial roots, the crop grows uncontrollably, dominating other new plants in your garden if its spread is left unchecked. The rest is simple: plant in loose soil rich in nitrogen. 

Potted Exotics Pro Tip: With horseradish, always be weary of plant domination. And, if you want a superior harvest, periodically cut the large leaves to promote the uptake of nutrients to the crop’s main organic matter. 

Culinary Uses 

The matchless, spicy taste of horseradish entices me, so I add them to my sauces, salsas, salads, and creams to give them a spicy uplift. 

How to Store 

After cleaning the greens and other organic matter besides the main root, I store my horseradish in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator. 

9. Sweet Potatoes 

harvested sweet potatoes in the harvest basket in the field

Growing Tips 

Sweet potatoes are highly sought after thanks to their mesmerizing taste and health benefits; they are one of the most nourishing food sources out there.

Essentially, they are summer crops, as they thrive in warm climates. However, you can still grow them in cold regions where the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing. 

I can’t live without them, so I grow these delightful, starchy veggies using row covers to protect them from the harsh cold. First, I put straw around the roots, which is held by netting. After laying the row cover around the roots, I cover the plant with a cloche. 

Now, coming to the growing specifics, sweet potatoes grow distinctively, using slips (tubular shoots) that grow on a healthy, mature sweet potato.

First, prepare the soil bed by loosening the soil 8 to 10 inches deep, removing debris and rocks in the process. Then, plant the slips in rows around 12 to 16 inches apart. Vigilantly, keep the soil moist and fertilize using a balanced fertilizer. 

Culinary Uses 

Mostly, I consume them raw. When not doing so, I bake or boil them to make mouth-watering sides for my main courses. 

How to Store 

I urge you not to make the common mistake of storing your sweet potatoes in the refrigerator since they require ventilation. After harvesting, I store them in a warm and humid place, my kitchen, for 14 days. Then, I shift them to my cold, dry, dark root cellar. 

10. Black Radish 

black radish harvest with green leaves in the garden

Growing Tips 

This hardy, peppery radish is ideal for growing in October by beginners because it grows relatively quickly and is low-maintenance.

I sow their seeds directly into moist, well-drained soil and space each row 4 to 6 inches apart. 6 hours of direct sunlight is necessary for healthy growth. Compared to its red counterpart, black radish takes slightly longer to grow: 55 to 70 days. 

Culinary Uses 

I personally believe black radish is tastier than its red counterpart. Its natural peppery taste makes it a wonderful side to any main dish. And you can mesh, saute, boil, and roast it as per your liking. 

How to Store 

Black radish and normal radish are stored similarly. However, black radish stores longer into winter. 

11. Brussels Sprouts 

harvested brussels sprouts in a glass bowl

Growing Tips 

Belonging to the cabbage family, brussel sprouts were first planted in Brussels, Belgium, during the 16th century. Since they’re a cool-season crop, the perfect time to plant brussel sprouts is in early fall, allowing you to harvest them during the winter months. 

Since we’re dealing with a fall crop, raised beds are highly recommended due to a lack of sunlight. Plant in moderately fertile soil with proper drainage in a spot where 6 to 8 hours of full sun is available. I sow my seeds half an inch deep, with each row being 3 inches apart. 

Also, I’ve had my fair share of trouble with pests, so I highly recommend using a cover crop. After 80 to 100 days, your brussel sprouts will be ready to harvest. 

Culinary Uses 

I serve my brussel sprouts as a delicious, crunchy side with just about anything. They can also be eaten raw with a dip. 

How to Store 

Don’t make the fatal mistake of washing brussel sprouts like I did— it ruins the crop. Instead, simply put them in a perforated plastic bag and store them in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

12. Kale Plants 

kale plants harvest on wooden cutting board

Growing Tips 

There are several species in the vast umbrella of kale plants, each with distinct characteristics. I present to you my personal favorite: Peacock kale.

Classed as a superfood, kale is a superb choice for a fall crop because it’s truly an all-rounder; it is nutrient-dense, has brilliant ornamental value, and can withstand the coldest winters. 

Peacock kale is fluffy and simply stunning while being exceptionally low-maintenance. I sow this beauty around half an inch deep and 6 inches apart in rich, slightly alkaline soil. 6 hours of direct sunlight, along with moist soil and proper drainage, is a must. 

I grow my kale plants with bush beans, which are suitable companions. 

Culinary Uses 

Kale is widely regarded as the heart of a salad, and I don’t disagree. Apart from gracing salads around the world, it is a splendid garnish. 

How to Store 

After harvesting fresh kale, I wrap them in paper towels and put the bundle in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. This helps me avoid excess moisture, increasing my valuable kale’s shelf life for 1 week. 

13. Swiss Chard 

Swiss Chard harvest on table

Growing Tips 

Don’t let the name fool you; Swiss chard is grown in garden centers worldwide. Give your summer garden a leafy head start by planting your Swiss chard in October. I love their low-maintenance nature. 

Start by choosing a spot that receives 6 hours of direct sunlight. Then, sow your seeds around half an inch deep in fertile, well-drained, and moist soil. Requiring little protection, just watch out for pests. 

After about 10 to 12 weeks, you can harvest mature leaves. However, young chard leaves can also be eaten fresh— that’s what I do since they’re bloody delectable. 

Culinary Uses 

I can’t wait for my Swiss chard to mature as I snatch young leaves from the plant to add them to my salads, casseroles, and soups. I have to wait patiently for the leaves to mature, which I saute and add to my favorite cuisines. 

How to Store 

First, I separate the stems and leaves. After cleaning the leaves, I store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. My Swiss chard leaves last me a solid week. 

14. Cabbage 

Cabbage harvest on wooden table in the garden

Growing Tips 

Hot weather is a deal-breaker for growing cabbage, so I only grow mine during the fall season. However, cabbage is grown in different garden zones where temperatures are higher.

Quick disclaimer: cabbage is a nutrient-guzzler, so you’ll have to prepare your soil bed beforehand with aged manure/compost, and fertile and well-draining soil. 

Since we’re opting for a summer harvest by planting during fall, I start the seeds indoors, sowing them around 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost.

When the seedlings have 3 to 4 healthy leaves, transplant them outdoors. You’ll know it’s time to harvest when the cabbage head is firm and round; cut it with a sharp knife. 

Culinary Uses 

Without cabbage, there would be no coleslaw, a popular condiment for barbeques made from mixing cabbage with a creamy sauce. I am big on sauerkraut, made by preserving fermented cabbage with salt. To cut it short, the sky’s the limit regarding cabbage’s use in the kitchen. 

How to Store 

The longevity depends on the way you store cabbage. When I store it in the root cellar, I get 3 months out of it, compared to only 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 

15. Broccoli Rabe  

Broccoli Rabe harvest

Growing Tips 

Broccoli Rabe grows rapidly in the fall since it’s a cool-season vegetable. I sow my broccoli seeds directly into my kitchen garden, on a raised bed, at least 8 weeks before my first frost date – which for me, is in October. If you abide by all the basic requisites, your broccoli rabe will be ready in less than 40 days. 

Culinary Uses 

Broccoli is a crucial piece of the Mediterranean cuisine puzzle. It is served with classic pasta in Italy and as a healthy side with steak in the US. I prefer and cherish both. 

How to Store 

After cleaning and removing any leaves or extra greens, I wrap my broccoli in paper towels and put them in perforated paper bags in the refrigerator. Please do your broccoli justice by consuming it within a week. 

16. Spinach 

harvested spinach leaves in a tray

Growing Tips 

The spinach plant is a gift that keeps on giving, from October to April, to be precise. An early fall planting will make this possible. Spinach comes in quick yields and is not a hassle to grow.

Plant your seeds directly in the ground around half an inch deep 6 weeks before the first frost. Full sun is vital for them, so choose a shiny spot in your garden; it’ll be worth it. 

Culinary Uses 

Spinach is frequently used as a fresh side. It is the MVP of salads and adds another dimension of sharp flavor to pasta. 

How to Store 

After cleaning my spinach, I wrap it up in moist paper towels. The wrapped spinach goes into a resealable plastic bag that goes in the refrigerator. Do this, and you’ll be good for two weeks. 

17. Lettuce 

fresh lettuce leaves on kitchen table

Growing Tips 

Planting lettuce in the fall is advantageous because they enjoy the cooler months. So, fall is the perfect time to plant lettuce. How to plant lettuce?

It’s simple: scatter lettuce seeds on your moist and fertile soil bed. Then, simply press the seeds inwards and cover them up in about a quarter of an inch of soil. Then, you know the drill. 

In 30 days, your lettuce plant will produce baby leaves. Once cut, they will grow back in 30 days, so it’s like planting your own lettuce factory— who doesn’t love second chances? 

Culinary Uses 

Lettuce is a pivotal part of cooking dishes with veggies and meat. It adds an exciting layer of flavor to pasta, burgers, and salads. 

How to Store 

Lettuce and spinach can be stored similarly. 

18. Collard Greens 

young collard green plant in the garden

Growing Tips 

Collard greens are hardy, cool-season-loving fall crops virtually resistant to frost. Grown similarly to kale plants, October is the best time for planting them because the frost does their flavor tremendous favors. 

With a fall planting, your collard greens will provide harvests throughout the winter— after you plant the seeds 6 weeks before the first frost date, you’ll be harvesting the first batch in just 60 days. 

Culinary Uses 

I use my collard greens in a variety of ways: they are a valuable addition to my omelets, egg rolls, and curries. 

How to Store 

These leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, can be stored similarly. The exact way is mentioned in the ‘Lettuce’ and ‘Spinach’ sections. 

19. Fava Beans 

freshly harvested fava beans 

Growing Tips 

Initial disclaimer: don’t make the same mistake as I did by choosing a spring variety of fava beans. Now, fava beans grow great in cold temperatures during fall, so now’s the perfect time to grow them.

Simply choose a sunny spot in your garden and sow the seeds by pushing them into the moist and fertile soil of your garden bed. Soon, they’ll be ready to harvest at the start of next year. 

Culinary Uses 

After shelling them, I add their nutty and earthy flavor to most of my recipes, including soups and fillings, at the top. 

How to Store 

Keep the treasured beans in their pods and store them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. 

20. Bok Choy 

harvested bok choy on wooden table

Growing Tips 

Now, come to our illustrious oriental picks that will leave your taste buds oozing for more. Bok choy, known as Chinese cabbage, has an elongated shape.

It is a cool-season crop, so you can grow it in the fall by planting the seeds about half an inch deep in fertile and moist soil, spacing them 6 inches apart in rows. After the stem measures 6 inches tall, begin harvest by cutting the entire plant about an inch above the soil. 

Culinary Uses 

Bok choy makes an exemplary roasted green. It also goes well with stir-fries. 

How to Store 

You have to prevent access to water and moisture. Wrap an aluminum foil around your bok choy, and store it in the refrigerator without washing it. 

21. Choy Sum (Yu Choy)

Choy Sum leaves with water droplets on them

Growing Tips 

Choy Sum is grown just like bok choy; such is the beauty of Chinese horticulture. Everything is connected. It also tastes similar to bok choy while being a different species.

But, they’re even better, in my opinion, because choy sum plants are also choy sum factories. Growers cut young leaves, which taste better, allowing new ones to grow. 

Culinary Uses 

Whenever I get my hands on choy sum, I steam and dribble garlic or oyster sauce all over them; your taste buds will want more, trust me. 

How to Store 

I keep mine in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator, where it’s nice and humid. 

22. Gai Choy (Chinese Mustard Greens) 

harvested gai choy in boxes in the market

Growing Tips 

Gai choy (Chinese mustard greens) and bok choy grow similarly. They are a hardy fall crop that can grow even in the snow, so October is a great time to plant these seeds. 

Culinary Uses 

A superstar leafy green in Chinese and Indian cooking, Chinese mustard greens go well with fiery aromatics like chilis and garlic. 

How to Store 

Store in the refrigerator after wrapping moist paper towels around your gai choy and placing them in perforated plastic bags. 

23. Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) 

harvested gai lan leaves on the table

Growing Tips 

Gai lan, or Chinese broccoli, is more related to kale plants than broccoli. Although they’re grown identically to broccoli rabe, they are more resistant to the cold, so their taste is slightly sweeter. 

Culinary Uses 

Gai lan can be eaten raw or added to a salad. It can also be lightly cooked and used as an appetizing side to your main dish. 

How to Store 

If you’re looking to store them for long, rinse them in cold water after blanching them. Finally, put them in your refrigerator. 

24. Ong Choy (Water Spinach) 

Ong Choy harvest in the bowl

Growing Tips 

Plant your ong choy seeds about half an inch deep in moist and fertile soil. As the name suggests, consistently moist soil is the goal here. Start harvesting leaves when the plant is 8 inches tall. 

Disclaimer: ong choy is an invasive species, so always keep yours in check for domination. 

Culinary Uses 

Ong choy is regularly served with fermented tofu in South China. It also goes well in salads and as sides. 

How to Store 

Wrap in moist paper towels, and keep the towels in perforated paper bags that will go in the chiller drawer of your refrigerator. 

25. Mung Bean Sprouts 

 Mung Bean Sprouts placed indoors

Growing Tips 

After placing half a cup of mung beans in a clean glass jar, fill the jar with water, covering the beans about an inch. Soak the mung beans overnight for 8 to 12 hours, then drain all the water and clean the beans with fresh water.

The next day, rinse the beans and drain the water again. Repeat this for 5 days or till you see sprouts on the beans. When the sprouts reach 2 to 4 inches, cut them away. 

Culinary Uses 

They are frequently served in stir-fries, curries, and roasts. 

How to Store 

Store your extra mung bean sprouts in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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