Fall Gardening In New Hampshire – What to Plant Before the First Frost

Have you felt that autumn is already slowly knocking on our door? It was nice when during the summer we had the opportunity to go down to the garden and collect a basket full of delicious, fragrant, and above all homegrown vegetables. However, what do we do now? The weather is not so nice anymore, temperatures have dropped, and the first frost threatens us every day.

Don’t worry, just because October has snuck up on us and we have had a few chilly days and nights, that doesn’t mean the growing season is over. Moreover, it has only just begun. There are plenty of things to grow well in this, in our opinion, the most beautiful period of the year.

Keep reading this guide to learn all about fall gardening in New Hampshire – what to plant before the first frost.

Fall Gardening In New Hampshire – What to Plant Before the First Frost

Truth be told, fall is a great time to work in the garden. Why? It’s very simple, bright sunny days combined with cooler temperatures create the perfect climate for the next growing season.

First of all, it is preferable to remove the plants now before they die completely and, if possible, put them in the compost pile. As a result, you will get extra space for the next set of vegetables.

Are you ready for the details? – Great to hear. Let’s go!


Radishes are hardy root vegetables that gardeners love to grow because of their crisp, colorful and peppery roots. This annual is a member of the Brassicaceae or cabbage family and can be grown in even the smallest of gardens, and in addition, they are also great gap-fillers on the veg plot.

Keep in mind that the whole plant is edible, from root to leaves, and can be enjoyed raw or thermally processed. It also turns out to be a great companion plant to help keep pests away from other vegetables.


Fall is the best time for growing kale. Did you know that colder weather especially favors this veggie because its leaves become much sweeter when they mature in cooler weather? Its wonderfully sweet, nutty taste becomes even better after being touched by a light frost.

This cold-hardy and resilient member of the cabbage family can survive really well with nighttime temperatures down into the mid-’20s. So, don’t hesitate to plant it, because, with a little care and love from you, the kale plant will surely produce tasty leaves throughout the winter months.

Second Crop Potatoes

You may also know them better under the names Summer Planting seed potatoes, Christmas seed potatoes, and Late Season seed potatoes.  Whatever you call them, Second crop potatoes are a great choice as they allow you to grow your own fresh and delicious potatoes in the fall as well as the winter!

What’s the matter? It is not necessary to get any special varieties or modifications to standard varieties; the fact is that these seed potatoes are kept cold until late summer/early autumn in order to slow the growth of the plants.


When you think of growing spinach, is spring gardening the first thing that comes to mind? We are here to dissuade you. Namely, did you know that autumn growing is much easier than the spring one?

For all those who are carving for healthy and fresh greens from their garden, growing spinach in the fall is an excellent option as it has a longer harvest time compared to the spring. Why? The days are significantly shorter and much cooler, which actually means that the soil stays moist longer, so you will use less water.

P. S. It is preferable to allow the plants at least 6 weeks of growth before your first hard frost in the fall.

Lettuce & Other Salad Greens

Here’s an interesting fact, did you know that lower temperatures in autumn make lettuce sweeter?

Small lettuce and lettuce plants are available this time of year at almost all local markets and garden centers. Best of all, there are many varieties to choose from. While Iceberg may be the most familiar to us, there are also many delicious, beautiful, and easy-to-grow varieties such as Simpson Elite, Red Sails, and Prizeleaf.

What we especially appreciate in this period is that there are fewer bugs that can cause damage to these plants.


Sweet, delicious, and packed with tons of different vitamins and minerals, carrots are a traditional homegrown favorite not only in New Hampshire but around the world. To be honest, you can’t go wrong with carrots, they are quite straightforward to grow and require very little space and effort to get to the final product.

You know what’s best of all? You can plant them even in autumn for a harvest almost all year round.

Have you ever wondered what characteristics the best soil for herbs and veggies has? Given that different types of soil have different characteristics, it would be good to check out this article before planting in order to get a good crop in return.

To Wrap Up Fall Gardening In New Hampshire

Do you agree with us that there’s nothing like the flavor of freshly picked vegetables, especially if you have grown them with your own efforts?

You don’t need to despair to think that the end of enjoying home-grown vegetables comes with autumn. We even think that most plants do even better in the fall than in the spring, given that there are fewer wild temperature swings.

Now that you are familiar with fall gardening in New Hampshire – what to plant before the first frost, why not give it a try yourself?

If you have any unanswered questions about this and similar topics, be sure to leave a comment in the section below.


Kyle Battis is a life-long NH resident that enjoys making his way around the state, sampling delicious food and drinks, and sharing his experiences. Follow us at www.HereInNewHampshire.com