Root vegetables are sweetest and juiciest when harvested in cool weather, which means it’s time to extend your garden’s growing season!
Just because it’s the middle of summer and your garden is cranking out the produce for your table doesn’t mean the end of gardening season is near. Several vegetables grow well into the fall—especially root vegetables.
The trick is to start the seeds midsummer. Otherwise they might not mature before freezing weather ends the growing season. Exactly when to start them is a function of how long the crops take to grow and where you live. To calculate, simply work backwards from the average date of first frost in your area, subtracting the “days to maturity” listed on the seed packet to arrive at the planting date.
For a fall harvest, fast-maturing crops are best. Avoid varieties that require more than 75 days to maturity and stay away from heat-lovers that hail from tropical locales (sweet potatoes, jicama, etc.). Most root vegetables in the Brassica family are fair game, as are carrots. Here are some of the most unique and best-tasting root vegetable varieties to plant now for a bountiful fall harvest:
Also known as candy-striped beets, this heirloom variety may be cooked, but is often consumed raw or pickled. 60 days to maturity.
The color alone makes this radish worth growing, but it is also known for being on the sweet side. 60 days to maturity.
Purple Vienna Kohlrabi
This alien spaceship-looking vegetable has a crisp texture kind of like an apple, and a mild peppery bite combined with a subtle sweetness. 60 days to maturity.
Surprisingly sweet and juicy like a melon, oasis turnips are delicious when eaten raw like an apple, or grated and added to salads. 50 days to maturity.
Shorter and plumper than the usual long white varieties, purple daikon are an excellent choice for adding to kimchi and pickled vegetables. 50 days to maturity.
While preparing the garden bed, it’s important to consider the proper nourishment needed for your root vegetables to flourish. H-G Plant Food has the phosphorus and potassium needed to encourage the strong, healthy root system necessary when growing root vegetables.
To apply H-G Plant Food, simply spray on plant foliage and soil media every 7-14 days for optimal growth, making the first application one week after plant emergence or transplanting. With care, patience, and H-G Plant Food, you’ll be well on your way to increased yield, improved quality, improved mass, healthier soil, and increased nutrient content of your root vegetables!