Seeds To Sow TODAY
Planting in the fall may seem like a dumb idea, but there are plenty of fast growing, hardy, perennial plants to put in the ground right now. The one thing that might hold you back from growing any of these plants is the climate in your area. Consult the USDA's Plant Hardiness Zone Map or ask an experienced grower to determine which of these plants will flourish.
For those living in warmer areas, the climate may allow you to grow all of the plants on our list as well as other hardy winter plants like kale, lettuce, and cauliflower.
Spicy little bulbs of garlic do exceptionally well in cool climates, like in the Pacific Northwest, and right now is the time to dig. Make sure to put the hard base of the garlic bulb down a few inches into the ground to yield the largest clusters. Get ready for lots of garlic in spring.
Many varieties of flowering bulbs like tulips can be planted now for beautiful garden in the spring. Make sure to give the bulbs adequate space when planting. 3-4 inches should do. Some bulbs can grow well perennially in areas with cool climates like the Northeast.
Ever been jealous of that neighbor with all of the blueberry bushes? Well now is the time to join the fun. Young blueberry bushes planted now in northern regions of the U.S. will have time to lay roots and yield a good first batch of berries in the spring and then year after year as a well established perennial. Get ready for pie!
Fast growing broccoli varieties like calabrese can be planted right now in the almost any garden. Keep them in sunlight just in case. They should be ready to harvest before winter strikes. This hardy veggie may even be grown throughout the winter in places like California.
Radishes can grow very quickly and if you act fast, you can have radishes for smoothies and salads in under thirty days from planting. Again, make sure to plant them in sunlight to keep them warm and definitely do this in a warmer southern climate.
Spinach is a hardy plant to grow in the fall and if you plant now, you can have a spinach crop that would make Popeye proud. With plenty of care and warm southern climate, a gardener can expect a great harvest. In about 7 weeks the spinach should be ready for a big salad.
--Images by iStockphoto/YuriyS, Kervinen, Hdoggrafix, SergeyZavalnyuk, Thebroker, Oliver Hoffmann, Lepas2004
James Rogers is an editorial intern at Sierra. He graduated from Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment where he studied a combination of environmental studies and journalism. While at Western he was the editor-in-chief of The Planet magazine and has written for Conservation Northwest Quarterly, Public Eye Northwest and The Western Front.
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