If you’ve successfully grown your own food, whether a tomato in a five gallon bucket or a pot of herbs by the kitchen door, you are well on your way to falling in love with fall gardening. With cool days and crisp nights to make being outside pleasant, early spring and late fall are  fantastic times to grow edible crops. No sweat, fewer pests and a bevy of tasty choices makes cool season gardening prime time. Choosing what to grow can be overwhelming, but there are smart tactics to selecting seeds and plants. Go for varieties of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers that you don’t usually see at the grocery store. You’ll save money and spend less time cooking in the kitchen, as many of these beautiful harvests are enjoyed fresh off the stem.

Looking for neat, unusual varieties to grow? Use this list to spice up your garden space. 

Cool Season Favorites (Jan-Apr / Sept-Dec)

Greens: Swiss Chard (Peppermint, Rainbow), Collards (Georgia, Alabama Blue), Kale (Lacinato/Tuscano, Red Russian), Spinach (Red Kitten, Bloomsdale)

Lettuces: Flashy Trout, Merveille de Quatre Saisons, Black Seeded Simpson, Lollo Rosso, all

Arugula: Astro

Bok Choy: Red Choi

Cabbage: Napa, Red, Savoy

Leek

Carrots: Paris Market, Dragon, Little Finger, all

Pea: Golden Sweet, Sugar Snap

Fava Bean: Broad Windsor

Sage: Berggarten, Tricolor

Chives: Common, Garlic

Dill: Fernleaf, Bouquet

Red-Veined Sorrel

Shiso

Flat Parsley

Pansy

Viola