I am in northeastern Mississipp (zone 7b/8a). What are good fall/winter fruits and vegetables that I can start growing now (end of August)?
In general, if you go to your local garden store and see what they have to offer for starts, it will give you a good idea what will work in your area/zone. I am also in a zone 8, but a very different region of the US from you (pacific northwest), so it's difficult to know how well my experience will directly translate to yours. But here's what has worked for me.
- I wouldn't start them from seed now - they take about 120 days from seed to fully mature. But, I would get some starts from your local garden store and plant them now. I have had great luck with them growing throughout the winter, and have been able to harvest them in late winter early spring.
- Brussels sprouts
- Again, it's probably too late to start from seed now, but I have planted some starts from a garden center about now and had sprouts ready for Thanksgiving.
- I've heard you can grow this over the winter, but when I tried it went dormant and then started growing again in the spring. But, I had planted in Sep-Oct when I tried that... you may have some luck if you plant starts now.
- There are varieties of carrots that do well over the winter. Now is about as late as you would want to wait to plant those seeds.
- Though, I would wait till maybe October to plant this. Garlic needs the cold of winter before it will grow in the spring.
Here are things I cannot personally vouch for, but according to my understanding should also do well.
- This is exceptionally winter-hardy. I have seen this actually thrive with frost on it when I lived in the northeast. It also seems to taste better when picked cold. You might be able to start this from seed now.
- Pretty much any leafy green, really
- Besides kale, bitter greens (arugula, collards, etc.) should do well if planted now (but not much later). Spinach and lettuce can be planted pretty much any time, and are fast enough that they should be ready before winter.
- Some onions are supposed to be overwintered, but I have only done the ones planted in early spring so I cannot testify as to how well these turn out.
- Fava beans