This planting guide for Zone 9 gives you fifteen (yes, 15!) vegetables you can plant in September for a great harvest this fall. Not sure what planting zone you’re in? No problem. This interactive map will tell you.
No more canned spinach! (Sorry, Popeye.) Once you've grown your own spinach, you'll never settle for frozen or canned again.
Varieties: Anna Spinach is a new variety that's specifically developed to eat as a baby green. It's perfect for spinach salad, stir-fry, omelettes, or even adding to your morning smoothie.
Planting: Spinach is happiest in cool weather, so a garden spot with afternoon shade is ideal. Sprinkle some seeds on the ground, cover with a thin layer of soil, and you'll start harvesting in just 28 days. Learn more about how to plant and grow spinach.
Recipes: I love to make spinach salad with strawberries and a splash of poppyseed dressing.
My goodness, who knew there are so many different kinds of carrots?!? Different colors, different shapes, and yes--slightly different flavors with each. You’ll probably want to try several different kinds.
Chard is great for new gardeners. It grows vigorously, provides a continuous harvest, and can even survive the winter in mild climates. Ideal, right? Except that if you’re the only person in your family who likes to eat Swiss chard, you will quickly be overrun with it. Ask me how I know.
Varieties: Warnings aside, I like Bright Lights Chardand Five Color Chardbecause they’re both beautiful and colorful. You could even plant these as ornamentals in your front yard!
Going out to the garden to pick a salad for dinner is the best! And, of course, the foundation for a delicious salad is great lettuce.
Varieties:Little Gem Romaine is a petite heirloom variety that has a crisp texture and nutty flavor.
Planting: Lettuce is a cool-weather crop, so plant it later in September or in a shady area. Space your seeds or seedlings about 1 foot apart and ¼” deep. Keep the soil moist and watch for garden pests. Learn more about growing romaine lettuce.
Recipe: When you've picked all the vegetables for your salad, top it off with some homemade croutons.
If you never can seem to use up an entire head of celery from the store, you might think that growing it doesn’t make sense. Au contraire! If you grow celery in your garden, you can harvest individual stalks as needed for amazing flavor and no more wasted heads of celery.
Varieties: My favorite variety is Utah Organic, which is an heirloom celery.
Planting: Direct seed in the garden in September, and start harvesting the outer stalks in December or January.
If you haven’t grown Brussels sprouts before, you are in for a treat. These “baby cabbages” grow on a single stalk like a tiny palm tree.
Varieties:Long Island Improved is my favorite variety. It's been a reliable producer since it was developed in the 1890s...yep, 130 years ago!
Planting: This month, start seeds indoors using DIY Seed Starting Mix, and transfer out to the garden in late October. Don’t worry if you get a cold snap before you harvest in January or February—a light frost actually improves their flavor.
Fresh beets are so much better than those awful canned things we had as kids. And did you know that beets are full of fiber, potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C?
Varieties: I like this Gourmet Blendbecause it includes 3 different types of beets: Detroit Dark Red with deep red roots and delicious dark green tops, Chioggia with interior rings of bright pink and white, and Golden with bright yellow flesh.
Planting: Plant seeds directly in the garden in September and harvest in November, when roots are between 1-3 inches in diameter.
Recipe: Instead of roasting or pickling your beets, try this delicious beet kvass.
Lots of folks make fun of kale because it’s in everything. Kale chips, kale smoothies, kale salad...the list goes on and on. There’s a reason for this, though. One cup of kale contains more than your recommended daily value of vitamins K, A, and C. It also has lots of trace minerals, like copper, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium.
Varieties: I like Red Russian Kale, which you grow as a baby green. Cut the leaves after about 25 days and you’ll have tender, tasty kale. Then the plant will regrow for another harvest. Cool, right?
Planting: Plant seeds directly in the garden in September and you’ll be harvesting your first crop of baby greens in October.
Don’t be afraid of collard greens! Collards are full of fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamins K and A. The large leaves are delicious when steamed, and they also make fantastic wraps (a low-calorie substitute for tortillas).
Varieties: I get my collard seeds from the good folks at Redwood Seeds.
Planting: Sow directly in the garden and allow 2 feet between plants. Collards are a cabbage that doesn’t form a head, so they need room to spread out.
Recipe: Pick the young leaves to add to your green smoothies, and let some leaves grow to add to hearty winter soups.
The biggest danger to cabbage (in my garden, anyway) is from critters like slugs and cabbage worms. Here's a neat trick I use to keep the bugs away from my precious crop.
Varieties:Copenhagen Marketis my favorite cabbage to grow. It was developed in 1909 and is the standard for many varieties that were developed after it. It’s great for small gardens and container gardens.
Planting: Direct seed in September with 1-2 feet between plants, and start harvesting in late November.
Recipe: My favorite cabbage dish is so easy, you don’t need a recipe. Fry up diced bacon and onions in a pan. Then add chopped cabbage and stir-fry until the cabbage is just softened. Yum!