Never know what’s growing now? Let’s take it one month at a time, with TIME‘s Foods That Taste Better Now Than They Will All Year.
As summer draws to a close, you might think your best days of produce are behind you. But there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to fall for in September. We asked Joan Casanova, spokesperson for Bonnie Plants, what early-fall items are worth watching.
Swiss chard: This deep green veggie with colorful stems means it's both beautiful and nutritious, says Casanova. Swiss chard is one vegetable that tolerates both cool temperatures and the heat, so you will see tasty varieties in September.
Rutabaga: A fall favorite, this root vegetable can be chunked or mashed, similar to potatoes. "I t ripens best in cool autumn weather, taking on its characteristic mild, rich flavor after fall frosts descend on the garden," says Casanova.
Lettuce: While lettuce is known for growing fast in full sun, Casanova says it is one of few vegetables that also does well in the shade. Home gardeners can grow lettuce in a small space, too.
Turnip leaves: These greens are extremely easy to grow in the fall, when nights become longer and cooler turnip greens get crisper and sweeter, says Casanova.
Leeks: L eeks are sweet, mild and gentle on the digestive system, Casanova says. They don’t produce bulbs like onions do, but they "stash their flavor in thick, juicy stems that look like huge scallions."