Cary, NC – You’d think that Fall vegetables should be planted in the Fall. But, here in the North Carolina Piedmont, July and August are prime months for planting fall garden vegetables.
Days to Maturity
When planting Fall veggies, days to maturity is the key metric. For example, carrots need 85-95 days to mature, so it’s a little late in August for the Fall garden.
On the other hand, August is the perfect time to plant leaf lettuce. Varieties such as Grand Rapids, Salad Bowl, Buttercrunch, Red Sails and Romulus mature in 40-50 days, guaranteeing a bountiful harvest in September and October.
Veggies to Plant in August
Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Collards and Cauliflower can all be planted now, but get them in the ground by the middle of August. Cucumbers also fit into this category.
Turnips and leaf lettuce can be planted now through the end of August. Mustard greens can be planted now through the middle of September.
Head lettuce has a short Fall planting window in the Piedmont. Try to get it in the ground between Wednesday, August 15 and Saturday, September 1. Kale falls into the category as well.
After the middle of the month, you can plant radishes and Daikon radishes. The planting time for radishes here in the Piedmont extends to the middle of September.
After Saturday, September 1, you can safely plant onions and garlic.
Are These Dates Exact?
The planting dates quoted above are average for the Piedmont, according to the NC Cooperative Extension. More info is available there.
Your garden may warmer or cooler than average, or you may have some varieties that perform differently. By all means, go with what you know. Share your experience in the comments if you are so motivated.
Now is the Time for Fall Veggies
If you want a good crop of Fall veggies in your Cary garden, now is the time to get cracking. Don’t wait until September.
Story by Hal Goodtree. Photos from top: Collards by Cat; Leaf Lettuce by Forest & Kim Starr; Turnips by F Delventhal; Head Lettuce by Dwight Sipler; Diakon Radish by Quinn Dombrowski. The Gardening Column on CaryCitizen is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.