The USDA Planting Zone 7 temperature band begins in earnest in northern Texas, running east through Arkansas, the northern half of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, before it takes a turn towards the northeast to incorporate parts of the Carolinas. A sliver of Zone 7 runs also west, but it is very narrow. Plant fall vegetables in Zone 7 beginning in August and harvest fresh produce through November.
Kale and Lettuce
Kale has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years. It does well in Zone 7 since it doesn’t mind cool climates and is easy to grow. For fall gardening, the best time to plant kale is in early September. It can be harvested by late October and through the entire month of November.
With lettuce, you can plant two separate fall plantings, both shorter in duration than kale. The first goes in the ground around August 10 and can be harvested through most of September. Put another crop of lettuce in the ground around September 10 for harvest through most of the month of October.
Spinach, Broccoli and Peas
Spinach has a somewhat tighter fall growing season than kale or lettuce, but you should be able to harvest two separate crops. The first is planted in very late August and should be harvested from late September through middle October. The second batch of spinach goes in the ground just before the middle of September and should be harvested from the middle to the end of October.
The fall growing season for broccoli is much longer. Plant broccoli in the latter third of August and begin harvesting it in early October and through the early part of November. Peas should be planted in early September and will be ready to eat the last 20 days of October.
Beets and Carrots
As with kale and spinach, you should be able to get two crops of carrots from your fall garden. The first should be planted just prior to the middle of August and can be harvested from mid-September through early October. The second carrot crop should be planted after the first week in September for harvesting during the latter two-thirds of October. Beets can be planted during the first few days of September and should be ready for harvest after the first week of October and continuing through the rest of that month.
As with all Zone 7 vegetable planting, these dates are approximations and may vary slightly if you live on either the extreme northern or southern border of Zone 7.