It’s Not Too Late to Start a Garden

Written by Diana, Contributing Writer

By now, many people have their gardens well underway.

Lettuces and spinach have been growing in abundance while plump roots of carrots and beets are being un-earthed.

The rising heat is nudging us that Spring has passed and we’re just about to dip into Summer.

With the changing seasons, many people may be wondering if it’s too late to start a garden.

I’ve got great news.  There are many varieties of vegetables that you can still put into the garden for a late summer harvest.

Top 8 Vegetables and Herbs You Can Still Grow For a Late Summer Harvest

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 1. Starter Tomato and Pepper Plants

If you can still find starter tomato and pepper plants at your local nursery, go ahead and plant them.  You still have time to get an abundant crop later in the summer perfect for preserving.

From Seed

Many people are surprised at how quickly many hot summer vegetable seeds sprout.  Really, there’s no need to purchase certain plant starts when they germinate within a week and grow so quickly. Below are summer vegetables that can be started from seed now and will be ready for harvest before you know it.

2. Cucumbers

3. Zucchini and Yellow Squash

4. Bush and Pole Beans

5. Swiss Chard

6. Loose Leaf Lettuce

Many variety of loose leaf lettuces are heat tolerant which allows us to grow our own for the entire season.  One of my favorite ways of growing loose leaf lettuces is in containers or gutters.  This allows you to purposefully plant them in an area that gets more shade during the hotter months which will keep your lettuce from getting bitter.

7. Carrots

Carrots are a root vegetable that you can grow in succession for the entire gardening season.  To start, try a smaller variety of heirloom carrot.  This will ensure a good crop that grows quickly.

Herbs

Many herbs you can start from cuttings.  Head to your local farmers market and pick up some of your favorite herbs.  You can then propagate the cuttings directly in the soil or grow roots in water.

8. Herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage can be propagated from tip cuttings.

Fall Gardening

If you do wait a bit longer and forego a summer garden, you can still put in a Fall garden in late July or August.

Really, at this point, if you still wanted to plant something this year, you can still go for it!

Want to learn some more gardening basics? Check out our Gardening 101 series.

Are you still waiting to put in a garden?  Please share what you’d still like to grow this year.

About Diana

As a first generation American, Diana shares her family’s traditional Spanish and Mexican recipes at her blog, My Humble Kitchen. As a mami and urban homesteader she also writes about her faith, family, organic gardening, raising backyard chickens and preserving the harvest.

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Comments

  1. I just planted some cucumbers yesterday, unsure of whether or not they would produce anything – glad to know it might not be too late. I figure that I live in the CA Bay Area so our growing season is *very* flexible (Summer usually lasts until October).

  2. I have one row left that I was going to leave for garlic in the fall, but my bok choy is growing great! I’m going to just keep going with that and add some spinach and lettuce. Thanks for the reminder to keep on going!

  3. I linked to this post from my article Vegetables That Will Grow in the Shade.

  4. Love the Trout Lettuce in the first picture. Ours is doing great.
    We need to replant our carrots since our 3 year old garden pest pulled them all up already!

  5. We had a killing frost (28º) yesterday so I haven’t put out any of the tender plants yet. Here, it’s best to wait until after the 4th of July! The hardier plants are coming up though, and your post is a reminder that everyone has to work with their own climate and situation!

  6. I had just put this question to face book. It is getting too hot for lettuce where Iive and I don’t want that row to go to waist!

  7. Great post Diana! I needed this kind of encouragement last year when I didn’t get to plant until the first week of July. I thought perhaps it was too late but planted anyway. Thanks to a warm September I still ended up with a bountiful harvest.

    You mentioned propagating herbs. I’d like to share a post Multiply Your Basil without Spending a Dime with tips on propagating basil that might be helpful for those who have never done it.

    My yard has a lot of shade. In the post listed below I share a list of veggies that will grow in low light conditions.

  8. Colleen B says:

    Thank you for this post!!! It has been SO hot here in WI for the last few weeks (it was 95 today…and it isn’t a “Dry” heat that is for sure!) that I just have not been able to muster the ambition to go out and plant in this. So, my seed packets for some things sit (some things are in…just not everything). Since they were cheap I am going to go put them in tomorrow (finally supposed to drop to normal June temps…PRAISE GOD!)! After all, what is the worst thing that will happen…they will die! I won’t have them if I don’t plant them and I won’t have them if they die so I am not really out anything! So thanks for the encouragement just when I needed it!

  9. Joycelyn says:

    I just planted carrots, okra, green beans, yellow squash, cucumbers, and zucchini yesterday. This is my first year to have a garden, and I have frozen 9 pounds of green beans so far from one row of green beans.

  10. needed this! thanks!

  11. I currently have tomatoes, peppers, okra, and cucumbers planted and they are all growing like crazy, but I have been contemplating starting up some more spinach, lettuce & carrots. Thanks for the encouragement to do so!

  12. hooray! we bought a new house this spring and most of my efforts have been inside the house (paint, unpacking, etc.) i thought i was going to miss out on gardening other than a few herbs, but it’s so great to know that i can throw some more stuff in the ground. even if it comes late, my family will still enjoy it!

  13. Love this! It is basically never to late to plant, as long as the ground is workable. Two months away from winter and frost, peas can still be planted, they only need about 2 months, a month away from frost, radishes can still be planted, they only need a month. And last thing in a fall I like to plant some spinach, it survives the cold Alberta Winter, and continues to grow early in the spring, giving us the first greens from the garden.

  14. Yes, it is so true! Last year my garden got put in super late because of morning sickness during the spring. I put my tomato plants in at the end of June! I found that I harvested everything a month later than other friends did, but I still had plenty to put in the freezer and can. We had an early frost, and my tomato plants started dropping lots of green tomatoes, so I put them in the basement between sheets of newspaper. Most of them ripened inside nicely. I was really glad someone encouraged me to put my garden in late last year. And in fact, I’m about to go outside and plants my beans and summer squash… a little late again this year! :)

  15. Thank you for the encouragement. We had a hectic spring, and didn’t get the garden I wanted planted. I had given-up for this year, but your post gives me hope that I can still get at least some of it done. Better some than nothing, right? Thanks!

  16. Charlotte lee says:

    Can you tell us more about these loose leaf lettuce gutters you got going? They look slightly tilted isu that for drainage? Are they a special type of gutter? I am very intrigued!

    • Just Google “Gutter garden” and you will come up with several variations on how it’s done. Been trying to talk my hubby into it since we have a pile of unused gutter but he is skeptical!

  17. I’m so glad I read your post Diana! We’ve been considering getting a garden going all spring but with life so busy at times we just hadn’t gotten around to it. I was wondering if we still had time and your post answered my question!

    I’m especially intrigued by your garden wall of lettuce and may try something like that to help manage it better and keep critters from getting to it. Thank you for this!

  18. Thanks for the reminders about what you can plant, even this “late” into the gardening season.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] (I live in Toronto and we normally have a decent growing season but our June has been quite cold, hence the late planting. If you're worried it's too late to dive in now, check out this post here at Keeper of the Home, "It's Not Too Late to Start a Garden.") [...]

  2. [...] Grow some Lettuce – Inspiration: Keeper of the Home [...]

  3. [...] was skimming one of my favorite blogs, Keeper of the Home, and came upon this ingenius idea.  The “gutter lettuce” growth method takes [...]

  4. [...] I will be able to salvage my first ever Organic Heirloom Garden with a full autumn harvest. If it grows. After a wonderful reader gave me the timeline of fall seed planting, two articles popped up and reinforced the decision to start this year instead of waiting for next, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds and Keeper Of the Home’s It’s Not Too Late to Start a Garden. [...]

  5. [...]  I just read a great post It’s Not Too Late To Start a Garden on Keeper of the [...]