Fresh Vegetables After Summer on the Llano Estacado

While the end of summer does indicate the end for a few things, fresh, homegrown vegetables don’t have to be on that list. Plenty of vegetables and herbs grow well in our colder months on the Llano Estacado.

Out With The Old

You’ll have to do a little prep work to begin, and we want to warn you, you’re going to have to do something difficult; remove all your old plants. Now you can keep okra, cherry tomatoes, and pole beans if they’re healthy, but everything else needs to go.

Location, Location, Location

As you know, gardens do much better in the sun. That’s something that will be limited in the months to come. So if you need to chase the sun in order to get a full day’s worth of light on your garden it’s best to do it now. Even though most of what grows well in the Llano Estacado in cooler weather is seedless produce like kale, even your kale will do better with more daily light. If you’re moving your garden, make sure to completely remove any grass, especially Bermuda; you won’t have good luck if you just till it.

Making the Bed

You’ll want to get about a foot deep with a shovel. Then running a tiller over it is a great way to breakup the soil. Add a couple of inches of sand and a couple more of compost. You should also consider using raised beds, which are great in the wetter season’s like fall and early winter. See our tutorial, here, on raised beds. You’ll also want to fertilize. We recommend 70 pounds of cow or horse manure per 100 square feet.

What To Plant in Fall

Because you have a limited window of grow time compared to summer, transplants work best. Look for short season varieties. The following are plants that do well when temperatures start to drop.

The following list of herbs and vegetables will do well in cooler temperatures. Some will even do great, in fact they’ll taste better, after the first freeze. Make sure you check up on the specifics of each plant listed because some, like broccoli and spinach, don’t do well if daytime temps go into the 80’s.

Brussels SproutsKohlrabiRhubarbCelery
CabbageLettuce & Other Salad GreensScallionsChinese Cabbage
CauliflowerMustard GreensSpinachEndive
TurnipsBeetsCarrotsIrish Potatoes
LettuceRutabagaSalsifySwiss Chard


You can see there’s plenty of growing season left when you choose the right plants for our region. While planting plants should guarantee you some harvest before freezing temps arrive for good, planting seeds is a more precarious decision. However there is still time to plant a variety of vegetables from seed. Here are just a few:

  • Lettuce, Leaf
  • Mustard
  • Parsley
  • Radish
  • Turnip

Hurry To Get Your Fall Garden Going!

Most anything grown from seed is recommended to be planted the first week of September. So if you want to get your fall vegetable garden started, this is the week to do it. Hopefully, we’ll have as much luck in the fall as we had in the spring. Two bumper crops would be something miraculous, but you can’t grow it if you don’t plant it!


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