5 Cool Season Things to Grow in 40 Days or Less

We are exactly 40 days away from our first expected frost date. That might seem super close to some but there are still lots of things to grow and harvest in that 40 day time frame. Here are five of my favorites to grow in the cool Fall weather!

Now that the heat has finally broken and those quintessential summer crops are starting to wane, we’ve still got time to plant some crops and harvest them before that first freeze rolls through. This list of cool loving “sow and let go” crops will have you excited for garden harvest long after you’ve cleared out those spring/summer plants.

1. Radishes

THese ever faithful little buddies can be sown and harvested in 20-30 days! They are always my go to instant gratification crop. It doesn’t take much to get them going. Sow your seeds, water, and almost seem overnight youve got little bulbs peeking out of the soil. Try sowing now and then some in 2 weeks for a quick succession harvest before first frost.

2. Lettuce

Lettuce is another crop that can be sown and harvested in 20-30 days! That is if you plan to harvest the leaves young as cut and come again and not head lettuce. Broadcast a packet of seeds in several square feet of the garden and soon you’ll be cutting your own salad lettuce from the garden daily. Be sure to keep the soil moist to ensure germination. But with these cooler Fall temps this shouldn’t be a problem. 

3. Spinach

Spinach takes about 30-40 days to grow big enough to begin harvesting. When the leaves reach about 4-6 inches you can start harvesting them as baby spinach. Cut the outer leaves so you leave the plant intact for continued harvest. Spinach is quite cold hardy, so you’ll thank yourself for sowing these seeds now because you’ll have spinach for days to come! 

4. Arugula

I know this one’s a love it or leave it green for people but I love it because it’s one of those fast growing crops that pack quite a punch! It only takes about 30 days from seed to harvest to enjoy this peppery burst of flavor. Add it to your salad to throw in a hint of spice or have an entire peppery salad! Once the leaves reach 2-3 inches long you can pluck them and continue to do so all throughout winter. Just be aware that the more mature the leaves the pepperier (??? Is that a word?) the flavor gets!  

5. Mustard Greens

Mustards only take about 30 days to harvest grown from seed. They are super versatile and with the wide range of varieties available you are sure to find a look and flavor you love. As of late, I’ve been smitten with the red variety for the beauty and the taste! I’m a sucker for a plant that does double duty. Beauty and edibility always win in my book. They can even grow throughout winter with little to no protection and still thrive. 

So if someone asks you if you are growing this fall, just say yes! Even if you haven’t started yet, you’ve got plenty of time to get a great harvest full of variety and flavor! What are you waiting for? Get out there today! 

Happy Gardening! 

Your NC Gaden Coach T

Are you growing in your garden right now? No!? Don’t miss out on this amazing growing time! Fall is a great time to grow lots of green, lettuce, and root crops. Check out this recent blog post on 5 Cool Season Crops you should be growing in your fall garden!

Then hop on over to the “My Carolina Garden” community and join the conversation on growing in the Fall season.

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