What to Plant in September

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While gardens start to wind down in the North in September, it is the perfect time to start a garden in the South. However, depending on where you live, Autumn is the perfect time to grow some veggies that do well in cooler weather. You may be surprised at all the vegetables, fruits, and herbs you can plant in September. 

Why Have a Fall Garden?

Planting crops in September allows you to continue growing and eating fresh healthy foods at home. Not only is this a great way to continue to eat your own food, but there are a lot of interesting cool-weather plants to try. While you might miss your sweet peppers and tomatoes of summer, fall veggies offer you healthy, flavorful foods. 
You also get a lot of benefits from your fall garden. Here are just a few you may enjoy: 

  • Water your plants less. With cooler temps, you won’t have to water your garden as much. This means less sweat for you. 
  • Fewer pests. Fall offers your garden a respite from many garden pests you get in the spring and summer. 
  • Frost Sweetens some veggies. While the summer heat can make arugula and lettuce bitter, frost actually sweetens their flavors. 

How to Have a Fall Garden

Most everything that you plant in the spring can be grown in your fall garden, too. Spring-sown seeds are cool-season plants. This means they can tolerate a light frost, thrive in less light, and perform best in mild temps. 

Before you can get started on your fall garden, you will want to know what the frost dates are in your region. 

What is a Frost Date?

Frost dates are defined by the day in which there is a 50/50 chance of frost. You will want your plants that are planted in September to reach maturity about 2-weeks before this day to be on the safe side. 

When to Plant Your Seeds

You will want your plants to be to maturity before the first frost. Here is what you will need to do:

  • Check the seed packet for maturity information.
  • Check your regions frost dates. You can look up frost dates in your region by zip code, here
  • Count back from the frost date to maturity to see when the best time to plant your garden is. 

Give Basic Care

Just like your spring or summer garden, fall vegetables have four basic needs. These needs include: 

Sunlight

You still need to make sure what you plant in September receives the right amount of sunlight. Although fall veggies can tolerate shade, you will want to plant them in an area that they can get quite a bit of sun as well. 

Soil

No matter where you live, plants need great soil. Soil needs to be rich in nutrients and well-draining. You can improve your traditional garden with garden soil. 

Water

Although you may not have to water your plants as often, you still need to water your plants consistently. A good rule of thumb is to give your plants an inch of water per week. You can use an inexpensive rain gauge to see if you need to add more water or not. 

Food

When you feel hungry, you don’t perform your best. The same is true with plants. In order for plants to flourish whether, in spring, summer, or fall, you will need to provide your plants with a good top-shelf fertilizer. You can also put natural ingredients such as earthworm castings, kelp, and bone meal into your garden as a meal for your plants. 

Are you ready to find out what you can plant in September? 

What to Plant in September

Once you have determined when your frost dates are, it is important to know what you can and can’t plant in your region. Below, you will find out what you can plant in your region/state in the month of September. 

Related: What to Stock Up on In September

New England Region

The New England Region of the United States is the easternmost part of the U.S. The states in this region include: Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. This region is characterized by bitterly cold winters and semi-humid summers. 

Due to the climate of this region, the vegetables that do well here in September include:

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Radishes
  • Spinach

Mid-Atlantic Region

The Mid-Atlantic region is south and west of the New England States. The states in the Mid-Atlantic are New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Although the Mid-Atlantic region is quite different than the New England region, they have common climates. 

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Radishes
  • Spinach

Therefore, the same vegetables that can be grown in the New England States can be grown in the Mid-Atlantic states in September. These veggies include:

Southern Region

States in the southern region make up the third region of the United States. These states include Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The southern regions are characterized by humid subtropical climates that include mild winters and hot, humid summers.

In September, you will want to plant the following plants:

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower 
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips

Midwest Region

States in the Midwest are considered Interior Plains and part of the Interior Highlands regions. The states that encompass the Midwest region include Michigan, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. In the Midwest, you will find that temperatures can be drastically different from summer to winter. And, the temperatures can vary from state to state. 

Because of the inconsistency in temperatures throughout this region, you will want to check your frost dates by zip code. Plants that do well in September in these regions include:

  • Arugula
  • Collard greens
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Mustard greens
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips

South-West Region

Part of the Atlantic Gulf Coastal Plain, the states in the South-West region includes Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Most of the South-West region is an arid desert climate. So, very hot and dry. 

Although the climate is very hot and dry, there are still a lot of vegetables you can plant in September. If you live in this region, you can plant the following:

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli (transplants)
  • Brussels sprouts (transplants)
  • Cabbage (transplants)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower (transplants)
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips

Rocky Mountains Region

This region is made up of states that run through the Rocky Mountains. States that run through the Rockies include Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada. The climate through the mountains becomes colder as the altitude gets higher. Most of the climate tends to be wetter than the surrounding flatlands. 

Because temperatures can change in the mountains by the hour, we only have a few plants that can be planted in September. These include:

Pacific Coastal Region

The Pacific Coastal Region is made up of the states that lie beside the Pacific Ocean. The states found in the Pacific Coastal Region are California, Oregon, and Washington. These states generally have a Mediterranean climate with rainy winters and dry summers. 

You can plant the following in this region in September: 

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Collard greens
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Spinach

Perennial to Plant in September

Another option to consider when planting in September is Perennial vegetables and fruits. Perennials come back year after year which is a great option for those of us that don’t want to plant stuff every year. The cooler fall temperatures give the plants a chance to become established and take root. Perennials such as asparagus and strawberries can be planted in the fall and harvested in spring. 

Related: What You Need to Know About Growing Asparagus

Planting perennial herbs such as mint, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, lemon balm, lavender, and rosemary in September allows the plants to develop a good root system while avoiding heat stress. To find out if these plants are perennial in your region/zone, click here

What are you planning to plant in September? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out some of our other posts on what to plant during the month:

Final Word

I hope you enjoyed today’s post on what to plant in September. There is something about digging in the earth that just makes me smile.

You know when you plant those seeds, and you water them in and you wait for them to sprout. Life is so awesome when you start eating your harvest of healthy vegetables. May God bless this world, Linda

This is where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow

4 thoughts on “What to Plant in September

  • August 17, 2019 at 9:15 am
    Permalink

    Linda, My mom always had a fall garden. Me, if I make it through the summer one I count
    myself as lucky.
    I do have a question: for the past 2 weeks I get another “email” from Food Storage mom.
    Is that one of yours? I never know, did I sign up for it and forget it? It’s not signed like you. Am I losing
    my mind or what? This weeks is titled: Can you believe it’s Friday? If it is yours forgive me for being so
    crazy and forgetting but I just want to be careful before I respond to anything.
    I hate getting off subject but I think of things and want to say it before I forget. We talk about
    stocking up on items before an emergency but there are a few things I don’t remember seeing on any of the list to buy a few extra of, what about having a few extra bottles of perfume/ cologne ( for the men) just cause we are in a emergency doesn’t mean we don’t need to feel good about our selves.
    What about make-up? ( I don’t wear it but I know a lot of people do) We have chocolate listed ( with good reason), also games to play and I thought what about just a little something to make us
    feel just a little ” normal”.

    Reply
    • August 17, 2019 at 9:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi June, yes, that is my Friday night newsletter to remind people to prep! I totally understand the statement, did I sign up for something??? It’s a friendly reminder to my awesome readers to be prepared. Perfume and cologne would be awesome. I have a girl send it out for me, I’m not very techy. I asked her to remove the statement respond to me on that newsletter. Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm
    Permalink

    I like you website. Thank you for all the information you share!
    I was looking at your “What to plant in September” section for California and wanted to make a little comment. Most of those things that you listed are great for the coastal regions. However,California is made of of 3-4 different climates. The Central Valley of California is more like Arizona or Texas. We can’t plant our “winter garden” (what most people call their Spring garden) until the middle of October. Then we can plant peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, kale, etc. It’s little more complicated than Oregon or Washington. Thanks again for all you do!!!

    Reply
    • August 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Robin, oh I’m so glad you told me this! I had no idea that the Central Valley of California has 3-4 different climates!! I love California by the way! I have a daughter that lives in Southern California and she has the most beautiful flowers! Thanks for letting me know! Linda

      Reply

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