Sure! Well, wait… did you want to grow tomatoes and peppers? Because then, no. Well, wait, again… you can plant those now if you live in zones 9 or 10.

Let’s back up for a minute. How about we assume you want to grow ALL THE THINGS, but you don’t happen to live on the southern tip of Florida, or the coastline of California. You’re basically going to be out of luck when it comes to the majority of ‘warm weather crops,’ which include such favorites as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, corn, melons, squash, etc. No, you cannot start pumpkins in September.

Ultimately you’re going to be left with a bunch of cold weather crops. Womp, womp. BUT that’s OK! You won’t just be stuck eating salads. There’s actually a huge variety of crops included in this category that you can grow quickly, and harvest to enjoy before Thanksgiving. Many of which can be harvested before Halloween.

How do you do it? The first step is to learn your zone’s “First Frost Date.”

The next step is to make sure you’re planting varieties that grow to harvest-sized before that frost-date, or not too long after. Some beets can take up to 4 months before they are ready to harvest, other varieties can be pulled from the ground in as little as 45 days. But also remember that ALL beets can have their leaves trimmed off and added to a salad.

A lot of these plants can also survive a couple of lights frosts, and will continue to grow for you until a really heavy frost. And then some will still survive, only to be covered by snow and pop up early in the spring (I’m looking at you, spinach!).

Harvested fall veggies Here’s what you should be able to plant and harvest before the weather turns sour:

  • Most varieties of lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Leeks
  • Bok Choy

And here are a few that will survive a couple of light frosts, maybe even overwinter:

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Green onions

Aside from growing these vegetables, September is the PERFECT time to work on building a few raised beds. If you build your beds in the fall, line them with cardboard or newspaper, and fill them with a decent soil/compost mix, you’ll have the perfect garden setup for the next growing season. In the spring. When the rest of us start our gardens.