Written by Olivia Barrera

Gardening is a great way to get in touch with nature, spend time outside, learn about seasonality, and connect with food. Gardeners earn an appreciation for the work it takes to grow food and it’s a great way to learn how to cook new types of food. Not to mention, gardening can be an extremely cost-effective way to gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Reaping the joys of gardening doesn’t have to end with the summer season. There are many fall crops that can be enjoyed later in the year and even overwintered to harvest next spring or summer.

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Frost Dates for Detroit, MI – Photo by Almanac

The most important variable when choosing a fall crop is its susceptibility to frost. Detroit’s estimated frost date is October 23rd this year according to The Farmer’s Almanac. Also check seed packets for each variety’s seed to maturity time. Most plants won’t survive through a heavy snow so 60-90 days to maturity is the range we’re looking for.

Considering nurseries won’t have transplants for sale this time of year and late-season crops will be grown from seed, it is also a great time to garden on a budget! Most seed packets cost around $2 so if you plant just three heads of cabbage ($1.50 apiece at the grocery store), you have already made your money back! One seed pack contains anywhere from 25 to 200 seeds and if stored correctly, seeds can last a couple of years or longer. Just read the back of the seed packet for directions on how to grow each plant.

In addition to cabbage, lettuce, peas, beans, broccoli and cauliflower, the following foods are frost tolerant and can actually develop more flavor when exposed to frost, click through for recipe ideas:



Chicken with Vegetables

Simple Turnips



Bitter Greens Salad with Melted Cheese

Photo and recipe by Epicurious

Honeynut Squash With Radicchio and Miso
Sauteed Radicchio

Brussels Sprouts

Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Shaved Brussels Sprout

Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts

Photo and recipe by Healthy Recipes


Kohlrabi, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Roasted Kohlrabi with Parmesan

Photo and recipe by Food Network


Fresh Beet Recipes
Beet Soup

Pickle Beets

Photo and recipe by Yummy Mummy Kitchen


Whole Roasted Celeriac
Celeriac - Simple

Crispy Oil-Free Celeriac

Photo and recipe by One Green Planet


Garlic is a special case because it is planted in autumn to be harvested the following year. Bulbs should be planted 6 weeks before the first frost and in Michigan that date typically falls in October. Spring planting is an alternate option that yields a smaller harvest but can a good time to sow if growing for scapes: garlic’s delicious curly stems. Garlic plants grow best in well-drained soil and bulbs can be harvested in July.

Grilled Garlic Scapes
Roasted Garlic
Garlic Broccoli

Sautéed Greens

Photo and recipe by Cooking Matters

Enjoy extending the growing season with these delicious vegetables!

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