You can find out what you can plant at any moment using the calculator available at SproutRobot: http://bit.ly/159mzCW
Plant CLeaR in your fall vegetable garden:
Leafy plants - Lettuce, bok choi, chard
Root crops - Radish, beet, turnip
Remember to add a handful of homemade compost to each square foot before you plant.
The first group to be planted in the fall would be the cabbage family, and that would include different types of cabbage, like red or green with different leaf patterns. Next would be:
2. Leafy plants - Lettuce, bok choi, chard
The second group of fall cool weather planting would be all of the leaf plants like lettuce and spinach. There are many different colors, shapes, and varieties in the seed catalogs. Look for some that are particularly cold-resistant and you’ll be able to carry them right into the winter. They don’t grow fast in the cold weather, so you won’t have as large a harvest, but you will still be successful.
3. Root crops - Radish, beet, turnip.
All kinds of carrots, beets, and radishes can be planted in the fall. Don’t forget to save your unused seeds in a Ziploc bag in a refrigerator so they’re ready for next spring. All root crops are best grown from seeds planted directly into the garden where they will grow rather than from transplants.
The root crops can be remembered by the mnemonic RBT ("rabbit"): Radish, Beet, Turnip.
What NOT to do
Don’t plant any of the summer warm weather crops, like:
Here is how it looks in real life:
UME Master Gardener shows off his food garden and speaks about when he plants and harvests his fall vegetables:
"What to Grow" Plan for August-September for Illinois
An example for 6 sub-irrigated planters (12-inch):
1. Radish (22 days to harvest)
2. Turnip (40 days)
3. Lettuce (45 days, you can start earlier if using as microgreens)
4. Swiss chard (50 days)
5. Parsley (50 days)
6. Swiss chard, radish or turnip
Add potting mix/soil, fertilizer in the mix, plus a fertilizer band at the top. I add vermiculite to the commercial potting mixes available at The Home Depot such as Miracle Gro Organic Choice. A good option is to mix 2/3 potting mix with 1/3 coarse grade vermiculite. For Chicago, a local retailer called Brew & Grow sells a 40-lb pound of vermiculite for $24. I add organic dry powder fertilizer made of fish.
Plastic "mulch" cover
Some people place a plastic "mulch" cover at the top but in my experience this causes mold to develop below the cover. You can still use the plastic mulch method when transplanting larger plants such as tomato or pepper in the spring. The DIY version of the plastic mulch cover can be made easily and cheaply from a black trash bag. Cut holes for planting through it. One large trash bag is enough for six 12-inch planters.
Fall Seed Kit suggested by Mel Bartholomew, the creator of Square Foot Gardening http://bit.ly/PyLBrL
Here are the seeds suggested by Mel:
Plant -- Variety -- Days to Harvest
Spinach -- Tyee 45
Turnips -- Tokyo 40
Radish -- Cherry Belle 22
Swiss Chard -- Lucullus 60
Loose Leaf Lettuce -- Red Fire 29
Loose Leaf Lettuce -- Black Seeded Simpson 45
Beets -- Ruby Queen 55
Bibb Lettuce -- Buttercrunch 68
Scallions -- Evergreen 65
Leek -- Lincoln 50
Carrots -- Nantes 70
Peas Super -- Sugar Snap 66
Cool-season Crops - WSU - Organic Farm http://goo.gl/cU1pI
Vegetables for a Fall Garden in the Midwest
Here is how to plan what to plant according you where you live: Average First and Last Frost Dates by State http://goo.gl/6Bc8P
Free Seed Starting Calculator - free, downloadable Excel spreadsheet from PlanterTomato website http://goo.gl/HtHn0
How To Plan A Fall Square Foot Garden | Mel Bartholomew, Creator of Square Foot Gardening http://goo.gl/14ywG
Eat Live Grow Paleo: GROW http://goo.gl/zpWXE
Fall 2011 Square Foot Gardening Plan | My Square Foot Garden http://goo.gl/DwY8t
Fall and Winter Vegetable Planting Guide - Ed Hume http://bit.ly/RQ8sKf -- What to Grow for a Family of Four http://bit.ly/RQ8vG4
Monthly Garden Projects - Ed Hume's Year-round Gardening Projects Calendar http://goo.gl/z98HA
Fall Winter Chart for Planting - Westcoastseeds.com (PDF) http://bit.ly/11QWzJd
Recommended Crops to Plant Mid to Late Summer to Harvest in Fall - Johnny Seeds http://bit.ly/13EhG8o