If you are looking to create a fall vegetable garden, summertime is the right time to get planting!
As we head into mid-July and early August, many gardens are overflowing with a bounty of fresh crops.
From tomatoes, peppers, green beans and corn, to greens and more, the harvest can sometimes seem never-ending.
And with all of that fresh produce, the last thing on the minds of gardeners is planting more seeds.
But unfortunately, most of those wondrous summertime crops won’t stick around till fall. And without an additional mid-summer planting, you’ll be left with a sparse fall garden, and little fresh produce.
But with just a little effort, you can keep that garden going and create a perfect fall vegetable garden.
The Advantages Of Summer Planting
Planting new seeds and crops in the middle of summer has a lot of built in advantages.
For one, there are no worries of cold nights or killing frosts. And the warm soil is perfect for germinating seeds quickly and efficiently.
In addition, the warm, humid days and nights provide the perfect medium for quick growth.
So quick in fact, it’s easy to grow and harvest a complete second crop for many vegetable plants as fall arrives.
Creating A Fall Vegetable Garden – How & What To Plant
It is important to realize there are a few crops that are nearly impossible to grow for a second crop.
Included in that list are tomatoes, peppers, and corn. With 80 to 90 days of needed time to mature and fruit, there simply aren’t enough days left in the growing season to allow the crops to ripen.
But with that said, there are still plenty of crops that you can plant again to create a wonderful fall vegetable garden.
Below is a quick list of crops to plant, along with a few key tips for summer seed planting.
Start By Recharging The Soil
Before planting any additional crops, it’s important to add a little energy back into your soil.
Spring crops use quite a bit of the soil’s energy to grow and mature, and a quick recharge of the soil will help your fall crops reach their full potential.
The easiest way to do this is to add in generous amounts of compost to your seed rows as you plant. Simply layer in an inch or so of compost into each planting row as you go.
Great Crops To Plant For A Fall Vegetable Garde
Bush beans make for a great second planting crop in the summer. Some varieties, like Bush Blue Lake beans can mature in as little as 55 days.
Most spring planted bean crops are complete by mid-July. Simply pull out and replant with a new seeding for a fall vegetable garden harvest.
Cucumber seeds germinate fast in the warm summer soil. And by choosing a quick maturing variety, you can have a second crop of cucumbers coming on in 60 days or less.
Cucumbers require a lot of water, so it is important to keep them watered well through the heat of late summer days.
Leaf lettuce crops are among the fastest growers of all in a garden. Many varieties of lettuce can go from seed to harvest in just three to four weeks.
Sow a row of seeds every few weeks through the summer weeks to keep a fresh crop coming on into late fall.
Kale / Spinach
Both spinach and kale prefer growing in the cooler fall weather. In fact, the cooler weather actually improves their flavor.
Sow a row every few weeks from late summer until the first week or two of September to enjoy fresh eating right up until October.
Radishes, like leaf lettuce, are a super fast seed-to-harvest vegetable.
With varieties that can mature in as little as four weeks, they can planted every few weeks in mid-summer to keep a fresh supply on hand.
Radish seeds will not germinate without water, so be sure to supply plenty after planting and while they mature.
Sugar Snap Peas
Summertime is the perfect time to plant a second round of sugar snap peas. Peas love cool weather, and by planting in July & August, they will mature as the cool weather sets in.
Here is to planting this summer for a great fall vegetable garden!