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How To Plant A Summer Garden – Replant Again For A Big Fall Harvest!

Summer is the perfect time to plant your garden once again – and keep the fresh vegetables coming on well into late fall!

As we head into the middle of summer, many gardeners are caught up in the excitement of the summer harvest. Fresh greens, radishes and spring onions are abundant. Meanwhile, other crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini are ripening fast.

In fact, so fast, that picking every day isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. And with the harvesting action at full go, the thought of planting another round of seeds for a second harvest isn’t exactly at the top of the list.

summer garden harvest
A big summer harvest doesn’t have to be the end of your garden haul. By planting again in mid-summer, you can harvest many crops a second time – and in the process, grow even more of your family’s food!

But believe it or not, it is the perfect time for replanting! Especially if you want to keep fresh produce on the table right through late fall. After all, why not get the most from that garden space from start to finish!

Planting For A Second Harvest – How To Plant A Summer Garden

Even though your vegetable garden might be overflowing now, it won’t be that way for long. Unfortunately, as late summer arrives, many spring planted crops begin to fade fast.

Salad crops and greens begin to bolt and turn bitter. Cucumber and zucchini plants begin to wither away. And the green beans, peas, sugar snap peas and more follow suit as well.

plant a summer garden
Many garden crops like salad greens can be planted again and again – right up until late fall. Not only will it increase your garden space yields, it can keep your family in fresh food late into the year.

But with a second round of timely summer seed planting, you can grow an incredible bonus harvest this fall of all of these delicious crops and more. Even better, you won’t believe just how easy it is to do!

Planting A Summer Garden For A Fall Harvest

Although there is not enough time left in the growing season for replanting long-season crops like corn, peppers or tomatoes, mid-summer is the perfect time for replanting a garden with fast-maturing crops.

Not only is it fast and easy to do in an existing garden, starting new crops in mid-summer actually has quite a few built-in advantages over early spring planting. Both for the garden, and the gardener!

The Advantage Of Starting Seeds In The Summer – How To Plant A Summer Garden

For the plants, the warm summer soil also allows seeds to germinate fast. And the longer hours of daylight, coupled with the warm, humid summer nights work wonders for fast, steady plant growth.

cucumber seeds
Vegetable plants such as this cucumber will sprout and grow much faster when planted in the warm summer soil. In addition, the worries of a night time frost are long gone by mid summer.

In addition, there are no worries of a hard freeze or seedlings rotting away from overly damp and cool soil. Even better, many of the early season pests that bother plants have already packed it in as well.

And what about those advantages for the gardener? Not only is it a bit more comfortable not battling the wild weather and temperature swings of early spring, it’s also one last chance before the freezing cold of winter sets in to experience the thrill of growing your own food!

Planting A Second Summer Garden Crop – Simple Tips To Success

The first key to success when planting a summer garden is to select varieties that grow and mature quickly. As in plants that grow fast enough to produce a sizable harvest before winter sets in.

In addition, it’s also extremely important to recharge your soil a bit before planting. Spring vegetables can certainly take their fair share of nutrients from the soil. And if those nutrients are not replaced before new seeds go in, it can spell trouble for your second crop.

mulching plants
Add in generous amounts of compost to your soil before replanting. It not only recharges the soil, but will help seedlings to strong, early growth.

One of the best ways to recharge your soil before replanting is with compost. Not only will it help rejuvenate the soil, compost also aids in holding moisture in the soil – which can be a big key to faster germination, and strong, early growth.

In addition to adding in compost, it is also extremely important to keep the soil and newly emerging seedlings well watered for the first few weeks. Late summer temps can still be brutal, and those cool loving crops can dry out quickly until fully established.

Planting A Summer Planted Garden – What You Can Grow

Keep in mind that any plant or variety of vegetable with a maturity date of over 75 days (seed to harvest) will have a hard time getting their food to ripen before frost or cold weather sets in.

That is the very reason long-growth vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and corn are extremely hard to plant for a second harvest. But there are plenty of vegetables that can – and here is a look at some of the best:

Cucumbers & Zucchini – How To Plant A Summer Garden

Cucumbers and zucchini seeds sprout and grow quickly in the warm summer soil and air temperatures. Because of this, they are a great choice when replanting a summer vegetable garden.

New cucumber and zucchini seeds can take nearly 21 days to germinate in early spring. But in the warm summer months, we’ve had them sprout in as little as three days.

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And as an added benefit, many of the pests that harm both cucumbers and zucchini in the spring and early summer are not as prevalent in the summer. {See: How To Replant Cucumber Seeds In Summer)

Green Beans

Green beans, especially bush-style beans are perfect for growing multiple crops in a single growing season.

Spring planted green beans usually begin to fade by mid to late July. But by planting again in mid-summer, you can produce a delicious 2nd crop just as fall settles in.

Our two favorites for summer re-planting are Royal Burgundy (purple) and Blue Lake Bush Beans. They both can go from seed to harvest in 60 days, making them a perfect choice for planting in the summer.

Lettuce / Kale / Greens

The entire “greens” family is perfect for summer replanting in the vegetable garden. Lettuce, kale, spinach and similar greens all germinate and grow quickly.

plant a summer garden
Planting a second round of crops can lead to even more canned good for winter. And who wouldn’t want more delicious treats like these pickles on the shelf!

Many varieties are ready for harvest in as little as 25 to 30 days after planting. Sow a few rows of seed in July, and again every 3 weeks through August to have fresh salads well into fall.

Green Onions

Another quick-growing and easy crop to grow – green onions are an excellent fall crop to plant and harvest for soups, salads, or simply eating right from the garden! 

Radishes & Peas – How To Plant A Summer Garden

Some radishes can mature in as little as 28 days, so they can be planted every few weeks in August and even in to early September for a constant harvest right up till the first hard freeze.

Sugar snap and snow peas are both excellent for second plantings. Traditional peas are as well, but be sure to select bush-style varieties for the second go around. These will mature much faster than pole or climbing peas.

Herbs

When replanting your vegetable garden in the summer, don’t forget about annual herbs! There are quite a few herbs that can easily be sown and grown again in mid-summer for a wonderful fall harvest. Basil, cilantro, parsley and dill are all excellent choices for a second fall harvest.

All of these herbs can come in handy for flavoring soups, salsa, sauces and more when preserving the garden. And don’t just stop with annual herbs.

If you want to expand your home-grown herb selection, mid summer is the perfect time. Thyme, oregano and chives can all be safely planted or transplanted in mid-summer. It gives these perennial herbs plenty of time to adjust and put down permanent roots before winter.

Here is to planting a second summer garden, and keeping the produce rolling in all season long. Happy Gardening! Jim and Mary.

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