We typically associate September with harvest season here in Edmonton, but you can still sneak in one last round of crops before winter! While most crops need a bit more time to grow, some cool-weather crops mature quickly and thrive in the mild temperatures of September and October. However, the weather is always a bit unpredictable in our neck of the woods, and it’s typical to experience a few frosty nights during these months. You’ll need a game plan ready when the forecast calls for frost overnight.
Getting Prepared for Growing Fall Crops in Edmonton
The sunny daytime is usually warm enough for your fall crops, but nighttime is when frost becomes a risk. Crop covers like burlap, landscape fabric, or old bedsheets are awesome for frost protection. Just gently spread the cover across your plants and use stakes or weights to secure the corners so the material doesn’t blow away. In the morning, remove the covers so your plants can get some sunshine.
Growing fall crops in containers is a great idea. That way, you can move the containers indoors overnight, then bring them back out in the morning. If we get a freak snowstorm ahead of schedule, you can try placing the containers near a bright window or use a grow light to help them keep developing until they’re ready for harvest. We recommend keeping your potted outdoor crops separate from your houseplants to prevent hidden pests from spreading.
The Best Fall Crops to Plant Now
Ready for one last harvest of fresh veggies to tide you over as winter approaches? Plant these six cool-season vegetables and herbs in early September so they’ll be ready before the winter freeze.
When the outer leaves measure 6 inches long, your spinach is ready for harvest; this typically takes about six weeks. Try not to pick more than 1/3 of the plant at a time so your plant can keep growing harvestable leaves until it’s too cold to continue.
These fast-growing root veggies can mature as quickly as one month! Some varieties take a little longer””around 45 days””but they’re by far one of the best crops for a late-season harvest. Try succession planting by planting rows of seeds one week apart, 3″“4 times in September. That way, you can extend your harvest instead of getting a huge amount of radishes all at once.
These tasty, crunchy, snackable veggies mature surprisingly quickly, which is why they’re such a popular choice for first-time gardening projects for kids. Peas are usually ready to harvest in 60 days, and they’ll need a stake or trellis to keep them upright.
We love this spicy leafy green! If you have any pickled beets from your summer garden harvest, they’ll pair perfectly with arugula and goat cheese in a salad. It’s also delicious sprinkled on top of a pizza fresh out of the oven. Your arugula will be ready to harvest in 45″“60 days.
Lettuce can be ready to harvest anywhere between 30″“75 days, depending on your chosen variety. Oakleaf and butter lettuce are two popular varieties that mature more quickly. It’s also one of the best vegetables to grow indoors hydroponically, in case you totally miss your window for planting outside.
This popular herb is used in a wide variety of flavourful global cuisines””Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian, and so many more! It grows much better in cool temperatures, as high heat tends to cause it to bolt, resulting in fewer leaves and a bitter flavour. Cilantro is usually ready around 45″“70 days after planting.
Visit us now to snag some great last-minute deals on fall seeds for sale! If you need any crop covers and frost protection for your plants, feel free to ask us for recommendations at our St. Albert and Sherwood Park locations. Us Alberta gardeners have clever ways to work around our unpredictable weather!