Believe it or not, fall is the best vegetable growing season along the Gulf Coast. Snap beans, all the brassica, Swiss Chard, Cucumbers, potatoes, squash (summer and winter), tomatoes and turnips can be put in now or shortly. Others like carrots, beets, garlic, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, radishes, spinach and turnips can wait until November.
Beans: Put in snap beans in the next week or two. Good varieties include Blue Lake, Derby, Roma II, Topcrop, Jade, and Masai (haricot vert). Pintos include Arapaho and Dwarf Horticultural. If you like limas (and who doesn’t), plant Henderson Bush, Jackson Wonder, and King of the Garden. Plant all by seed.
Brassicas: Brocolli (Green Magic, Packman, Premium Crop), Brussels sprouts, cabbage (Bravo, Market Prize, Rio Verde), kohlrabi, and cauliflower can go into the ground around the first of October. The brassicas are cold hardy plants, so you can actually do succession planting for these for a supply well into the spring.
Cucumbers: Sow seeds now until the middle of September for maximum growth. Slicer varieties include Dasher II, Poinsett 76, Sweet Slice and Sweet Success. Pickling include Calypso, Carolina and County Fair 87. Most gardeners find that pickling varieties can be used for slicing and vice versa.
Potatoes: Plant slips around October 1. Suggested red varieties include Norland, Purple Viking, Red LaSoda. Irish recommendation is Kennebec.
Squash: Plant winter squash seeds now. Varieites might include Butternut types, Cushaw and Royal (acorn). Plant summer squash around October 1. Suggested varieities are Burpees Butterstick, Dixie and Multipik.
Tomatoes: Put the plants in the ground now. If you planned to start from seed, it’s too late for a fall garden. It takes at least a month and a half to grow seedlngs from seed, and the plants need to go into the ground now. For larger tomatoes (four ounces and bigger) try old favorities like Celebrity, Early Girl, Better Bush and Amelia. For smaller tomatoes, thy Charry Grande, Gold Nugget and Juliet. If you like to make tomato paste, try the standard Roma, or Viva Italia.
Beets: Beets can be planted from seed and should go in around the first of November. Varieties might include Detroit Dark Red and Ruby Queen. Beets are a cold-tolerant and a great winter crop.
Carrots: Plant seed by November 20. Suggested varieties: Imperator 58, Nantes Half Long, Red Core Chantenay.
Swiss Chard: Plant seed by October 20. Many good varieties to choose from. Some include Bright Lights, Lucullus and Ruby.
Collards: Plant seed by October 20. Many choices.
Garlic: Best time to plant cloves is anytime in November, or even December.
Lettuce: Plant around Dec. 1.
Mustard: Plant seed by December 1. Some varieties include Blue Max, Georgia Southern.
Onions: Plant bulbs in December. Varieites include Candy, Early Grano 502, Granex, and Texas 1015Y.
Parsley: Plant by Nov. 1.
Radish: Plant around December 1. Champion and White Icicle are two good varieties.
Spinach: Plant around December 1. Varieties include Bloomsdale, Early Hybrid and Melody.
Turnips: Plant around December 1. Varieties include Tokyo Cross and White Lady.