The 10 Best Root Vegetables to Plant in September

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: October 7, 2023
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Key Points

  • September is the perfect time to start planting root vegetables for a bountiful fall harvest.
  • Carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and beets are all great root vegetables to plant in September.
  • Radishes, onions, garlic, shallots, and horseradish are also suitable for planting in the fall.

Looking to enhance your fall garden? September is the perfect time to start planting root vegetables. From carrots to radishes, this article explores the top 10 varieties that thrive during this season, providing you with a bountiful harvest and delicious additions to your meals.

Infographic of 10 Best Root Vegetables to Plant in September
Turnips, radishes, and garlic are a few excellent root vegetables to plant in fall.

When considering a fall garden, it is important to take into account the local climate. In some climates, the weather is more suitable for gardening during the fall season. However, for those with harsher or earlier winters, it is important to take into consideration the length of the growing season and the timing of the cold weather. Planning ahead is essential so that the plants have enough time to mature and be harvested before the frost arrives. Knowing the expected first frost date for the area is also critical so that appropriate plants can be chosen and the harvest can be timely. Additionally, protecting the garden from frost and snow can help ensure a successful harvest. Consider a cold frame, row covers, or a greenhouse to extend your gardening season even longer!

1. Carrots

French bulldog with carrot in its mouth on white background

Carrots, including the leaves, are generally safe for dogs.

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Growing carrots is a simple process that can bring a bounty of delicious, nutritious vegetables. They make a good fall vegetable if your winter temperatures don’t fall below 55° until after December.

To get started, plant the seeds approximately one-quarter inch deep in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Water the soil regularly, making sure to avoid overwatering. After about two weeks, you will begin to see the carrot seedlings emerging.

As the carrots develop, thin out the seedlings to a spacing of about 2 inches apart. This will give each carrot room to grow. Make sure to keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. Fertilize the soil every couple of weeks to ensure the carrots get the nutrients they need.

Harvesting your carrots is a simple process. When the carrots reach the desired size, about 3-6 inches long, they are ready to be harvested. Pull the carrots from the ground, taking care to avoid damaging the roots. After harvesting, you can store the carrots in a cool, dry location.

Growing carrots from seed to harvest usually takes about 10-12 weeks. With some regular watering and fertilizing, you can enjoy a harvest of delicious carrots from your own backyard!

2. Parsnips

Parsnips are a great root vegetable to plant in September.

These root vegetables are great to plant in September because they are hardy down to 40°F.


Parsnips are a hearty, sweet root vegetable, making them a great addition to any garden. They are a particularly wonderful addition to a fall garden due to their cold hardiness. Here is a guide to how to grow parsnips in your own garden.

If you are planting parsnips in the fall, do so when the soil is still warm. Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1-2 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart.

Once planted, be sure to keep the soil consistently moist. Parsnips require full sun and can also benefit from a layer of mulch to keep the soil moist and suppress weeds. Fertilize lightly every month with a balanced fertilizer.

Parsnips are a long-season crop, with an average of 16 weeks from seed to harvest. They get sweeter after a few good frosts and are hardy down to 40°F. When ready, the parsnips will be about 2-3 inches in diameter. Carefully dig them up with a garden fork, and be sure to harvest them before the ground freezes.

3. Turnips

turnips are a great root vegetable to plant in September.

If you are looking for an ideal root vegetable to plant in September, turnips grow quickly and easily in a fall garden.

© undefined

Turnips are a great vegetable to grow in your garden during the fall. They are easy to plant, grow quickly, and are an excellent source of nutrition. Turnips are hardy down to 20°F, making them one of the easiest root vegetables to plant in September.

To get started, you’ll need to purchase some turnip seeds from your local nursery or online store. Plant the seeds in loose, nutrient-rich soil about 1 inch deep. Once planted, water your turnips regularly to help them grow. You can also use a fertilizer to provide them with additional nutrients.

Turnips will typically be ready to harvest in about 45 days. When they are ready, you’ll know by the size of the root. The roots should be large enough to harvest but still small enough to be tender and tasty.

Turnips make a great addition to any fall garden. They are easy to grow, quick to harvest, and incredibly nutritious. Plus, you can use them in a variety of recipes. For a simple dish, try roasting turnips with olive oil and herbs for a delicious side.

4. Rutabagas

Row of small Rutabaga or Swede or Swedish turnip or Neep cold weather root vegetable plants with visible edible roots and small dark green leaves planted in local home garden surrounded with wet soil

Cold-hardy root vegetables like rutabagas are great to plant in September.


Rutabagas are a great root vegetable to plant in September if you live in a warmer climate. The plants are hardy down to 28°F. They are hearty root vegetables and can be cooked in a variety of ways. To grow rutabagas, start by planting the seeds while the soil is still above 40°F. The seeds should be planted in well-drained, fertile soil in a sunny spot. The soil should be kept moist but not overly wet. Once the plants have grown to about 6 inches tall, you can thin them out to give them more room to grow.

Once the rutabagas have reached maturity, they can be harvested after about 80 to 100 days. Be sure to harvest them before the first frost, as this can damage the crop. Rutabagas can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to several months.

5. Beets

beets are a great root vegetable to plant in September.

One of the best root vegetables to plant in September is the sweet and delicious beet.

©Vlad Antonov/

Beets are nutritious and flavorful root vegetables that are relatively easy to grow. They make an excellent addition to a fall garden and can be harvested in as little as 2 months from sowing the seeds. They are cold-hardy down to temperatures of 20°F.

To grow beets, begin by sowing the seeds in well-draining soil that is in full sun. Each seed is actually a cluster of several seeds, so be sure to space them about 3 inches apart. Water them regularly, but do not overwater. As the plants grow, thin out the weakest ones so that the strongest can thrive.

Beets need to be harvested when they are small for the best flavor. If left to grow too large, they can become woody and less palatable. The greens of the beet can also be harvested and eaten.

6. Radishes

beets are a great root vegetable to plant in September.

There are many different varieties of radishes to try out in your garden.


Radishes are a great root vegetable to plant in September. They are easy to grow and can be harvested in a short amount of time, making them a popular choice for beginner gardeners. Radishes are cold-hardy down to 25°F.

Succession planting is a great way to ensure a continuous supply of radishes throughout the season. This involves sowing a small amount of seeds every few weeks for a continuous harvest. This also helps to spread out the harvest and reduces the risk of having too many radishes ready to be harvested all at once.

To start, prepare the soil by loosening it and adding compost. Sow the seeds directly into the soil about an inch deep and a few inches apart. Keep the soil moist and weed regularly. Radishes will be ready to harvest in about four to six weeks.

At harvest time, pull the radishes from the soil and trim off any excess foliage. Radishes can be used fresh as a side dish or added to salads. They also store well in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.

7. Onions

Green onions grow in the garden. Growing greens. Organic vegetables and herbs for the kitchen

There are lots of winter-hardy onions that are ideal for a fall garden.


Growing onions is a rewarding experience. It is possible to grow onions from seed, but most growers prefer to use transplants to get a head start on their crop. Onions come in a variety of types, and some are better suited for fall crops than others. Many onion cultivars are hardy down to 25°F.

Onions prefer a sunny climate and moist, well-drained soil. They require regular watering and fertilization. The soil should be kept weed-free, and mulches can be applied to help retain moisture.

Long-day onions are the best choice for spring crops. These varieties require 14-16 hours of daylight to set bulbs. Short-day or midday onions are best planted in the fall.

Onions are ready to harvest when the tops start to yellow and die back. Depending on the variety, this can take anywhere from two to six months from seed to harvest.

8. Garlic

Old age woman hand planting seed garlic in potting soils for family garden

The ideal root vegetable to plant in September is garlic.


Growing garlic is a great way to add flavor to your cooking. With a few simple steps, you can have delicious garlic right from your own garden. Amazingly, garlic is hardy at chilly temperatures of -30°F!

Garlic is best planted in the fall, about six weeks before the ground freezes. Select a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Break the garlic bulbs into individual cloves and plant them pointy side up, about two inches deep and four inches apart.

Once the garlic is planted, it needs to be watered regularly. Water deeply about twice a week, but be careful not to overwater.

Garlic is ready to harvest when the leaves begin to turn yellow. To harvest, loosen the soil around the bulb and carefully lift it out with a garden fork. Once harvested, the garlic can be stored for up to eight months in a cool, dry place.

9. Shallots

Onion shallot bulbs food background. Purple bows

Did you know that shallots are perennial plants but they are cultivated annually?


Shallots are a hardy, versatile vegetable easy to grow in a home garden. Here are a few simple steps to get you started. First, choose a sunny spot that has well-draining soil with temperatures ranging from 35°F to 90°F. A raised bed is ideal. Plant the shallots in an area that is sheltered from strong winds, as they can be easily damaged.

Prepare the soil by loosening it and adding organic material like compost or rotted manure. A soil test can help you determine the right balance of nutrients for your soil type.

Plant the shallots from September through January or in early spring. Make sure to leave enough space between them, as they can spread out. Planting them in rows will help them to grow in an orderly fashion.

Once the shallots have been planted, water them regularly and fertilize them every few weeks. This will help them to grow strong and healthy. Shallots take 90 to 120 days to mature and can be harvested when they reach their full size.

10. Horseradish

Horseradish can be grated and used in sauces

If your winter temperature stays above 45°F, you can plant horseradish in the fall.


Horseradish is an easy-to-grow root vegetable that is often used as a condiment. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and can be planted at any time during the fall season. Planting horseradish in the early fall will give you a good harvest in the following spring.

When growing horseradish, it is important to choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. The soil should be kept moist throughout the growing season. For best results, horseradish should be planted in soil that is rich in organic matter.

The ideal temperature for growing horseradish is between 60-75°F, but it is perfectly happy down to 45°F. If the temperature is too high, the plant will not grow properly.

Summary of 10 Root Vegetables to Plant in September

Here’s a recap of the 10 root vegetables we looked at that are suitable for planting in September.

1CarrotsPlant if winter temperatures don’t fall below 55° until after DecemberAbout 10-12 weeks from seed to harvest
2ParsnipsHardy down to 40°FAverage of 16 weeks from seed to harvest
3TurnipsHardy down to 20°FReady to harvest in around 45 days
4RutabagasHardy down to 28°FOnce reached maturity, can be harvested after about 80-100 days
5BeetsHardy down to 20°FHarvest 2 months after sowing the seeds
6RadishesHardy down to 25°FAble to be harvested in about 4-6 weeks
7OnionsHardy down to 25°FDepending on the variety, can take 2-6 months from seed to harvest
8GarlicHardy at -30°FHarvest when leaves begin to turn yellow
9ShallotsIdeal soil temperature is 35-90°FTake 90 to 120 days to mature; harvest when reach full size
10Horseradish60-75°F is ideal, but hardy down to 45°FPlanting in early fall will provide a harvest the following spring

The photo featured at the top of this post is © yuris/

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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