What to Plant in September Vegetable Garden

Learn what to plant in September with Homesteaders of America Vegetable Garden Growing Guides!

The traditional gardening season is beginning to draw to a close for folks in the northern most reaches of America. Unless you have row cover, a hoophouse, or a greenhouse, frost will begin to threaten your garden in just a few short weeks. The good news is many season extension options are readily available and affordable so you can get another month or two of garden-fresh veggies for your family’s table before taking a break for the winter. Meanwhile in other parts of the country, the gardening season is still going strong! If you’re down south you can even start growing a second round of summer vegetables!

What to Plant in September: Vegetable Garden Growing Guide

How to Use the Growing Guides

In the Growing Guides, you will learn what to plant each month according to when your last frost date. 

The Growing Guides will be targeted for the continental United States, which also includes some of the warmer areas of our country such as southern extremes Texas and Florida. Their growing season is vastly different from folks living in the northernmost states.

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What to Plant in September Vegetable Garden Growing Guide

Last Frost Date in January

Keep thinking about that fall garden while you’re bringing in the summer harvest. Now is a great time to start some of the crops that will appreciate cooler fall temperatures in a few months. If you are getting a late start, check out some summer vegetables you can still direct seed in the garden this month.

Start Indoors

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Celery
  • Eggplant

Transplant

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant

Direct Seed

  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Melons
  • Corn

Last Frost Date in February

Since your daytime temperatures will begin moderating in a few months, you can keep starting many types of seeds indoors that you will transplant into the garden this fall.

Start Indoors

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Slow Growing Herbs

Direct Seed

  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Beans

Last Frost Date in March

If your last frost date is in March here is what to plant in September! Though your summer garden is still doing well, pop a few seeds in the soil so you can add the variety to your diet that the cooler season will bring. If you’re not ready to say good-bye to the goodness the summer garden has brought, it’s not too late to do another round of some vegetables such as summer squash, cucumber, and beans!

Start Indoors

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce

Direct Seed

  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Chard
  • Kale

Last Frost Date in April

If you want your summer crops to keep churning out the produce, make sure you stay on top of the harvest. Your plants job is to make seed and if you skip harvesting for a week and the fruit over matures it will signal to the plant that its job is done and will begin to die.

You can start planting your fall garden now, but there are even a few summer crops you might be able to get a small harvest from if you plant now. Some bean & summer squash varieties will be ready to harvest in just 40 days!

Indoors

  • Lettuce
  • Greens
  • Pak Choi

Direct Seed or Transplant

  • Beans
  • Summer Squash
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Radishes
  • Cabbage (Transplant)
  • Broccoli (Transplant)
  • Kohlrabi (Transplant)
  • Peas

Last Frost Date in May

Want to know what to plant in September if your last frost was in May? The good news is you can still get your greens in the ground and get a harvest before Jack Frost starts nipping. Make plans for season extension and you’ll be able to make the harvest roll in for even longer!

As some of your main crops begin to to die off, be sure to sow cover crop seeds to support your soil life, maintain topsoil, add fertility, and build organic matter. Winter rye is a good choice for overwintering. It can be tilled under in the spring or you can use a solarization tarp to kill it off. Other choices would be a combination of oats & peas or daikon radishes and turnips if you’d like to break up soil compaction. All of those will be killed off over the winter, leaving your garden ready to plant in the spring.

Also, if you didn’t save garlic seed from your harvest this year, make sure you’ve got seed ordered!

Start Indoors and/or Outdoors

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Radish (Outdoors only)
  • Peas (Outdoors only)

Cover Crops

  • Winter Rye
  • Oats & Peas
  • Radishes or Turnips
  • Buckwheat (Double check your last frost date… you’ll need about a 4-5 weeks before frost to get the most out of buckwheat)

Last Frost Date in June

If you’d like to keep your garden going you’ll need to be thinking about which solution you’ll need to extend your season. Remember that every layer of protection will effectively bump you one growing zone south. Some northern gardeners can keep their garden growing almost year-round. Check out Eliot Coleman’s book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, for the best information about how to achieve this.

Indoors

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Claytonia
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Miners Lettuce

Direct Seed

  • Garlic
  • Cover Crops (winter rye may overwinter; radishes & turnips are good for breaking soil compaction)
Make sure you start your garden on time! Learn what to plant in September with Homesteaders of America Vegetable Garden Growing Guides!