Fall Crops: Everything You Need to Know

Do you have your August garden calendar ready? Now is a great time to plan your fall crops. While you enjoy your summer veggies and admire the dahlias blooming you should consider planting before the days get shorter again. 

Your calendar should include some maintenance for your garden too. Fertilize cucumbers, summer squash, and broccoli to maintain production while you continue harvesting.

Oregon State gardening experts tell us in Portland we should plant cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, turnips, and parsnips in August. Here is a schedule that we follow to get you started! 

Guide for planting fall crops for vegetables

Fall Crops in Portland

According to Weston Miller, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, this is the guide to follow.


  • July: carrots, beets, scallions, radish, cutting greens
  • Early August: carrots, beets, scallions, spinach
  • Late August, early September: radish, cutting greens, arugula, mustard


  • Mid-July through August: kale, head lettuce, chicory, chard, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, leeks, onion
  • September: overwintering brassicas

We also have some tips for prepping your soil for raised beds and gardens. Our staff was busy fielding questions from customers all spring and the most popular one yet is what’s important when purchasing soil and fertilizer? Where do I start? Here are some topsoil and fertilizer tips to get you started next spring. Bookmark this post!

What soil is best for fall crops?

The gardening channel tells us:

“The composition of your soil’s organic matter is a combination of living, decaying, and dead plants and animals. Living organisms include bacteria, worms, fungi, plant roots, etc…As these elements decay, they eventually become humus—the nutrient-rich matter that nourishes the soil.”

Remember that soils with poor drainage can leave the area saturated. Make sure where you are planting and adding soil is in a good location! Some folks will also check the pH of their soil so consider investing in a pH ‘test’ kit as some plants require certain ranges to grow well. We have compiled a list of the top tips for getting started:

Three topsoil and fertilizer tips for anyone with a green thumb!


1. Whether you’re digging in the soil or working in an existing raised bed there are some tricks on prep for your fall crops!

  • Cut existing grass at your mower’s lowest setting.
  • To smother roots, spread a layer of newspaper about 12 sheets thick. You can use cardboard or newspapers to help keep grass and weeds from growing back. The staff will give you some if you need it!
  • Spread eight to twelve inches of organic matter (well-rotted manure, compost, or a mix of compost and shredded leaves) over the layers of newspaper. Or use triple mix — a mixture of loam, manure, and peat — Rake level. Start tilling it all in!

Add Kellogg Garden Organics Organic Soil or G&B Organics to the bed

2. What about fertilizer? Which do you use? Will fertilizer improve my garden soil?

We use slow-release fertilizers. They are a safe and easy way to feed your plants. “The slow-release coating means the nutrients are broken down over time so the plant won’t get burned. This type of fertilizer works because the granules only break down with water and heat. As you water and as your garden soil warms up, your garden plants grow faster, just in time to absorb the fertilizer as it is released into the soil.”

As far as fertilizers we recommend, ask our staff about Kellogg Garden Organics. 

3. Timing is everything, so get it right!

Avoid prepping soil when it is too wet! if you clump it together in your hands and moisture pours out it’s too wet.

Aim to work when there is some moisture in the soil but it still crumbles in your hand.

We carry a number of soil products for your fall crops including Kellogg Garden and they also have a blog that’s worth checking out!

Please ask our staff in the garden center if you have any questions about fall crops. We’d love to have you over!

We also have an article on fall houseplant tips.
Read it here.


  1. […] Topsoil and Fertilizer Tips – Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Beds Ready to Plant […]