If you’ve missed out on planting a vegetable garden this year, or if the garden you planted is beginning to slow down, it’s not too late to plant a second crop for fall harvesting.
The month of July is an excellent time to plant vegetables that will mature in 50-70 days because they will have enough time to complete their growing cycle before cold weather sets in. Planting now bypasses huge swings in temperatures and too much rainfall (in a normal year!). The soil temperature is ideal and many early season pests and diseases are less of an issue.
Cucumbers germinate quickly from seed but plant them away from potatoes and aromatic herbs like basil and sage. Provide some sort of support as they need a place for the vines to anchor.
Green beans, the bush variety, planted around the outer edges of a vegetable or flower bed, will look like a border. They don’t like to be planted near basil, fennel, kohlrabi or onions.
Lettuce likes a little shade, so plant it where it gets morning sun and some afternoon shade. Lettuce seeds germinate quickly and many varieties are ready to eat in 25-30 days after planting. To have leaf lettuce continuously, plant seeds again a couple of weeks after the first planting. Head lettuce will take a little longer and be ready to pick in about 60 days.
Kale is another super healthy green leaf plant that germinates quickly and can be reseed every two to three weeks. Check the seed packet for days to mature and plan your last seeding so the plants mature about three weeks after last frost.
If you love spinach salad or put it in your smoothies, growing your own gives you a continuous supply all through summer and into fall if you plant more seeds every few weeks. Spinach will appreciate a little afternoon shade.
Heat loving plants like tomatoes and peppers need the heat of mid-summer to ripen their fruit, so they won’t be good veggies to plant now.