When it comes to keeping fresh vegetables on the table in late fall, planting a summer garden is a must!
Creating a second garden by with a mid-summer planting has many advantages, both for the crops, and the gardener.
For the gardener, it is a chance to plant when there is zero worry of freeze or frost. The soil is warm from the summer sun, which means seed crops germinate quickly.
Unlike spring, there is little worry of seedlings rotting away from chilly or damp conditions.
Instead, the warm humid nights of summer allow seedlings and transplants to grow quickly. Quick enough for some crops, that you can get a complete 2nd harvest before fall fades to winter. And who doesn’t want more fresh vegetables?
What To Grow In A Summer Veggie Garden
There are some vegetable crops that are nearly impossible to grow for a second harvest. For most growing zones, there is simply not enough time left in the growing season for new plantings of sweet corn, peppers, or tomatoes. These crops require 75 to 90 days or more to mature, and in most areas, the frosts and freezes will set in before it is harvest time.
But don’t despair, there are still many crops that can easily grow and mature before the cold hits. And they can keep you in fresh veggies right up until that first hard freeze.
Great Summer Garden Crops For Re-Planting
The biggest key to a second planting of any crop is to re-build the soil before planting. Adding in compost and worm castings helps to rejuvenate the soil for a second round of crops. Product Link : Worm Castings
The Greens: Lettuce, Spinach, Kale – Greens are among the fastest growers of all in the garden. Many varieties of lettuce can be harvested two to three weeks after planting.
And when it comes to spinach and kale, the cooler weather of fall can actually improve flavor. Sow a new row every few weeks until the first week or two of September, and you can enjoy salads right up until October! Seed Links : Kale Seeds – Lettuce Mix Seeds
Green Beans – Green beans are an excellent crop to replant mid-summer. Most spring planted beans are finished off by mid-July. Simply pull out, add in a little compost or worm castings to the new planting trenches, and re-plant. The warm summer soil is perfect for allowing the bean seeds to germinate fast. Royal Burgandy (Purple ) Seed Link
Cucumbers – Summer planted cucumber seeds germinate fast in the warm soil. There are many varieties that can mature in 60 days or less, so there is still time for a fall harvest. Cucumbers need water, so be sure to provide regular waterings to keep plants growing. See : An Amazing Way To Grow Cucumbers
Straight 8 and Boston Pickling varieties produce cukes fast, so plant now for fresh eating, or making wonderful pickles this fall! Seed Link : Boston Pickle Seed Link
Radishes – Radishes are one of the fastest seed-to-harvest vegetables around. Many varieties can mature in as little as 28 to 35 days. The only requirement that radishes really need to produce is adequate water. So be sure to water your crop a few times a week in the drier days of summer. .
Sugar Snap Peas – Nothing can quite beat the taste of sugar snap peas, and now is the perfect time to plant a second round. Peas like cool weather, and by the time seeds germinate and begin to grow to maturity, the cooler fall weather will be here.
It is also a great time to plant traditional peas as well. For regular peas, plant the faster maturing bush-style peas. Most climbers will take to long to produce. Sugar Sprint Snap Pea Seed Link
Cilantro – This multi-purpose herb loves the cooler weather of fall. So plant seeds every few weeks in late summer to allow the plant to mature just as the cool weather arrives.
Basil – Basil is another herb that germinates and grows quickly for a wonderful fall harvest. Much like cilantro, most spring planted basil begins to struggle in the hot summer sun. So plant a second round to keep it coming on in the fall!
Here’s to planting a second summer garden! Jim and Mary. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.