We spend so much time thinking about starting seedlings early and getting them into the ground in the spring. But often, people forget to plan ahead for what comes next!
Don’t miss your opportunity to set yourself up for more vegetables. After all, the harvesting doesn’t have to stop when the hot summer days start to get a little shorter.
When those summer vegetables are finishing up and starting to die out, this will ensure that you’ll have fresh new vegetables ready to pick and eat.
Of course, cool-weather crops are an obvious choice for late summer planting, to get them ready for fall and early winter harvests.
However, there’s still time to get in a few more warm weather plants at the end of the summer, too. Plants that mature quickly will still produce in time before the cold hits. For some of these, you can even start the seeds in mid-July, and then transfer them into the garden in August to buy them even more time.
Let’s look at some late summer garden options that you should be planting now!
Bush beans are quick to mature, so you’ve still got plenty of time to get some tasty beans to harvest if you plant these now. When I say quick, I’m talking about a rapid 45 to 60 days from planting!
Although pole beans are also fairly quick to mature, too, they do take a little longer than bush beans do to start producing — which makes bush varieties the clear choice for late- summer second (or third!) crops.
In most areas, summer gets too hot for tender greens to grow. Heat can make some varieties turn bitter, too. However, mid- to late-summer is an excellent time to sow those leafy greens directly in the garden.
The air starts to get a little cooler, while the ground is still warm — making a great environment for greens to sprout and thrive in time for an early fall harvest.
There’s plenty to choose from, too: Swiss chard, kale, spinach, mustard greens, lettuce, and arugula are some popular ones to choose from. However, there’s also all those other leafy members of the Brassica family that will do well now, too. I’m talking about bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
Many people tend to grow peas in the spring, but did you know that you can grow them again after the summer heat has passed? You should go ahead and get them in the ground in late summer. This way, they’ll be ready to go when it starts to cool off a little outside. Check your predicted first frost, and plant your peas 6 to 8 weeks before that first frost date.
Root vegetables make excellent fall crops because they can tolerate (and prefer) cool temperatures. Late summer planting is great for beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, and rutabagas. Plus, some of these root vegetables, like turnips or beets, pull double-duty — they’ll give you tasty greens to harvest, too.