Spice up your garden this fall with these 5 unusual crop varieties that grow great in cooler weather…
It’s time to get your fall garden going! Fall-producing crops like greens and root vegetables should be planted early August through mid-September, depending on your location, so they can get some good growth in before the cooling weather slows them way down.
I’ve started some of my crops a little earlier this year, and am planning a bigger fall garden than usual, which we are looking forward to! Crops like cabbages, broccoli, turnips, radishes, kale, collards, and salad greens all do very well for us in the fall here in Ohio.
But in case you’re looking for something a little different for your fall garden this year, Modern Farmer has you covered! Below are 5 unique crop varieties that generally do well in the fall. You may not be able to find seeds for these at your local nursery or garden center, so you may have to look for them online or in a specialty seed catalog, but they will definitely add some visual interest and new flavors to your fall garden!
Speckled Trout Lettuce
This Austrian heirloom goes by various names—Forellenschluss, Flashy Trout Back, Freckles—all of which refer to its spotted appearance. It looks as though someone has dripped Merlot all over the leaves. This is a romaine-type lettuce that matures in about 60 days.
This old-school Southern heirloom, which is often sold under the name Green Glaze, is essential for authentic collards and ham hocks. With ruffly-edged leaves that have a unique glossy sheen (as though they are already coated in grease), these collards are a different animal than those found in the supermarket. Pest- and frost-resistant, this variety often persists through the winter in mild climates.
Also known as a Spanish radish, Noir Gros de Paris or Black Mooli, these dark-skinned beauties grow much larger (nearly softball size) than your standard red skin radish. They also have a more pungent flavor and a tougher texture—that may sound unappealing but don’t knock it ‘til you try it (black radishes have a cult following in the culinary world). If the flavor is too strong for you raw, trying cooking them as you would turnips.
Candy Stripe Beets
Also known as Chioggia beets, these Italian heirlooms are as glamorous looking as the name implies. They are also tender and tasty—even those who turn their nose up at the intense, earthy flavor of most beets often find mild, sweet (one might say, candy-like) Chioggias to their liking.
Red Russian Kale
There is no kale more sweet or tender than this heirloom, which is also known as Ragged Jack because of the zig-zag shape of the leaf edges. It matures in as little as 60 days and is one of the most cold-hardy greens available (along with the closely related Siberian kale). The purple, red and green tones of the foliage grow more vivid as the weather cools. Harvest the baby kale after 30 days for a nutrient-packed—and colorful—addition to salads.