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Gardening in September: 5 Excellent Choices for Late Planting

September 10, 2023

What to plant in September

September is one of my favorite months here in Northern California, and as the whisper of the approaching autumn is heard, it signals a slowdown in the hectic pace of summer gardening. Yet, this month is far from being a downtime for us gardeners; it offers an opportune moment to plant a variety of crops that will flourish in the cool autumn air and even into the early winter months. Without further ado, let us delve into the wonderful options that await your September garden, providing not just an array of colors but also fulfilling the promise of delicious harvests in the coming months.

1. Leafy Greens: The Bedrock of Autumn Gardens


An excellent choice for a September planting is spinach. These leafy greens prefer cooler temperatures, and planting them now ensures a rich harvest in late fall. Spinach is not only delicious but packed with nutrients, offering a healthy addition to your autumn meals.


If you are looking for a hardy vegetable that will provide fresh produce well into the winter months, kale is your go-to option. Its slightly bitter leaves sweeten with the frost, making it a gourmet delight for winter salads and soups.

2. Root Vegetables: The Underground Treasures


One of the fastest-growing vegetables, radishes can be ready to harvest in just four to six weeks from planting. Their crunchy texture and spicy taste can be a refreshing addition to salads, offering a burst of flavor in every bite.


While carrots need a slightly longer growing period, planting them in September can yield tender roots before the deep freeze of winter. Freshly harvested carrots have a sweetness that is unparalleled, and they can be a crisp, nutritious snack or a colourful addition to a variety of dishes.

3. Herbs: The Fragrance of Autumn


September is a wonderful time to plant cilantro, a herb that thrives in cooler weather. Its fresh, citrusy flavor can elevate a variety of dishes, and it is a central ingredient in salsa and a host of other recipes.


As a biennial herb, parsley not only offers fresh leaves throughout the autumn but also promises a harvest in the early spring. Parsley adds a fresh note to dishes and can be used both as a garnish and a flavoring agent.

4. Alliums: The Flavor Enhancers


If you are dreaming of garlic braids hanging in your kitchen next summer, September is the time to plant those garlic cloves. Garlic is an essential ingredient in a myriad of dishes, providing a robust flavor that forms the backbone of many culinary creations.


Planting shallots now will ensure a rich harvest next summer. These milder relatives of onions add a subtle flavor to dishes and can be used both fresh in salads and cooked in a variety of recipes.

5. Cover Crops: The Soil Champions

Winter Rye

If your garden soil needs a boost, planting cover crops such as winter rye can be a beneficial choice. Not only does it prevent soil erosion, but it also adds organic matter to the soil, enhancing its fertility for the coming spring.


Cover crops like clover play a vital role in fixing nitrogen in the soil. Planting clover in September will help in improving the soil structure, ensuring a rich, fertile ground for your spring plantings.

Closing Thoughts

September is not a time to hang up your gardening gloves but to transition with nature, adapting your garden to the cooling temperatures and preparing it for the months to come. Each of the crops mentioned above brings not just beauty and variety to your garden but also offers the promise of fruitful harvests and rich, flavorful additions to your kitchen.

Moreover, embracing the cycle of seasons through your garden helps in fostering a deep connection with the land, understanding its rhythms, and appreciating the diverse bounty it offers. So, gear up for a productive September in the garden, and happy gardening!

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