Plant a Fall Garden and Harvest Through the Holidays

fall vegetables in garden bed

A fall garden bed in October, lots of greens ready to be harvested!

Ok, my fellow northern climate gardeners, brace yourselves, I have an announcement…

Winter is coming!

I know it’s hard to wrap your head around that fact right now. It’s hot and sunny outside and you can cut the air with a knife. My sister sent me a text the other weekend sharing how she was watching a movie with a big snowstorm scene and was actually feeling envious.

We’re in the thick of it right now…summer.

But, this week I was doing some garden planning and I counted out how many weeks we are from our first frost in Madison – 10. And I’ve noticed that I’ve been coming in from the garden each evening a touch earlier. The days of working outside until 9pm are over in my yard. (The weather woman on the radio said we’re losing 2.5 minutes of light a day. Ack!!)

We’re definitely on the downward slope heading towards our first frosts. But, the good news is that your garden season doesn’t have to end with that first dip in temperature. If you take the time to plant a fall garden now you could be harvesting from your garden until Thanksgiving and possibly even until Christmas.

vegetable garden harvest from planting a fall garden

My harvest on November 20 to bring to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner.

Digging out your seeds and making the effort to plant in your garden might not sound that great to you right now. You’re starting to get tired of gardening.

It’s too hot to work outside, the bugs swarm you when you do attempt to venture out, and you’re cursing the squash bugs/cucumber beetles/cabbage worms/fill in the blank here that are annihilating your crops. Gardening in the summer ain’t easy!

But, don’t give up just yet!

You know the feeling of being out on a hot and humid day and your energy is just drained? You’re ready to climb into bed for a nap. And then you walk back into your air conditioning and it’s like someone granted you a whole new life. Suddenly, you have the energy to throw on an extra load of laundry and make dinner from the veggies you just harvested.

That’s exactly what the fall gardening season feels like!

Once the days get cooler and the bugs disappear you’re going to be so excited about gardening again. You’ll be ready to tackle some of the yard projects you didn’t get to this summer, you’ll be in the mood to try out some new recipes for fall soups and casseroles, and you’ll be thrilled to return to your vegetable garden.

The fall garden season gives you the chance to make up for all that may have gone wrong this summer! And, there is less insect pressure, weeds grow slower, and most vegetables can hang out in the garden for awhile instead of needing to be harvested all at once.

It might just be my favorite time of year in my own garden.


woman harvesting spinach from garden bed

The above photo is me harvesting my favorite vegetable to grow in the fall garden – spinach. This photo was from October 31  and by this time we were eating spinach salads every night for dinner.

woman harvesting vegetables in snow

This is me harvesting tatsoi from my garden on November 20. It was right before Thanksgiving and I was thinking a lot about what I wanted to bring to dinner at my in-laws. A salad fresh from my garden was at the top of the list. Who can resist the bragging rights involved in serving up a freshly harvested salad in November?

bowl of garden spinach

This spinach harvest photo is from this March. I was harvesting the same spinach you saw in the first photo. That’s right – spinach can survive the winter in Wisconsin (without a fancy greenhouse or anything special.)

It’s an incredible amount of fun to be harvesting from your garden throughout the fall and early winter. It really makes you feel like you’re getting the most food possible from your garden, and that you’re even cheating the season!

And it’s really not that difficult to execute. The trick? You can’t wait until fall to plant your fall vegetables. It’ll be too late. 

Timing is everything when you plant a fall garden.

Why? Because as we lose daylight plant growth slows down. So, you need to make sure you plant each vegetable with enough time for it to mature so you can actually get a harvest.

The timing of your fall garden plantings need to be just right, which can be tricky to figure out.

And, guess what? I’ve mapped it all out for you. I’ve been experimenting with fall and early winter gardening for many years and have been thrilled with my results.

I spent several weeks shooting videos, creating plant lists and calendars, and distilling the whole process down for you so you don’t have to waste a lot of time trying to figure it all out yourself.

Introducing…Harvesting Fresh Veggies in the Snow: Extend Your Gardening Season with a Cold Weather Garden

Here’s what the class includes:
  • Instructional videos (filmed in my own garden!) that walk you through the entire process of planting your fall garden and a late winter/early spring garden. You’ll learn about the 20+ vegetables you can plant at this time of year, which varieties I recommend, where to buy seeds if you need them, how to figure out your own planting timeline based on your average first and last frosts, how to grow spinach all year round, and plenty of tips for growing a successful cold weather garden.
  • Bonus videos to help you protect your plants in fall to extend the harvest even further: Which Vegetables Survive a Frost, How to Protect Your Plants with Row Cover, and How to Build a Low Tunnel.
  • Handouts for each video with plant lists, variety recommendations, calendar templates, and summaries of the main points.

Get started on your fall garden right away!

The class is hosted in a virtual classroom where you’ll have your own login and password. You can view the lessons at any time and work at your own pace.

If you want to grow more food in your garden and plant a fall garden, and you want the support to help you do it successfully, this is the class for you. I’ll walk you through the process and get you harvesting more food by the end of September.

Click here to get immediate access to the videos and plant a fall garden.




Leave a Comment

Learn how to get better results.

Let's starting with talking about the top 5 mistakes most gardeners are making.
Thank you for subscribing!
[email protected]
© 2023 All Rights Reserved. | Design by Rebecca Pollock + Development by Brandi Bernoskie