10 Things to Plant for Successful Late Season Gardening

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Once the spring gardening fervor is over and we ease into summer, it’s easy to feel like we missed out if we didn’t get as much done as we wanted in May or June. Not to worry because late season gardening is a thing and we think it’s a thing worth doing!

Beets

Lettuce – Approx 30-60 days to maturity

Most varieties of lettuce grow quickly and can be planted at any time during the gardening season. Keep in mind that hot temperatures can encourage the plants to go to seed so if it’s heading into the hot heat of the summer, a shaded location might be advisable. There’s no need to wait until a full head has grown either – pluck away at leaves as they are ready and the plant will continue to grow over the season and into the cool fall weather.

late season gardening - lettuce
Lettuce is perfect for late season gardening

Beets – Approx 55 days to maturity

Beets are wonderful because you pull the root and eat them traditionally, but you can also enjoy the tops as greens in salads or sauteed for dinner. Because the greens are so useful, you don’t really need to wait for the entire plant to grow to maturity. Beets are worthwhile to grow, for as long as you can, and enjoy whatever you can harvest from them.

Summer Squash – Approx 50 days to maturity

Fast growing summer squash like zucchini grow well in approx 50 days but the beauty is that you can harvest them earlier for smaller and more tender fruit. These plants love heat so planting them mid summer is actually a great idea and it won’t take as long for them to take off.

Chives – Approx 50 days to maturity

Chop the tops to use in salads or stir fries leaving the plant in the soil to continue growing. Chives can be at maturity in as little as 50 days and are fantastic to ‘short’ preserve in butter or oil so don’t be afraid to grow a lot of them! Let them go to seed for pretty blooms in the fall.

Asian Greens – Approx 30 – 60 days to maturity

Pak choi and other Asian greens are fast growing and delicious! These can be used at any stage of growth in soups, stir-fries, salads or as a side sauteed in garlic. Many Asian greens will do better in cooler temperatures (like lettuce) so they’re great to put in a shady space or to sow in the last few weeks of heat before temperatures cool down again.

Chard – Approx 45 days to maturity

Chard won’t bolt if the temperatures get too warm unlike lettuce or spinach. This lovely veggie can be used much like spinach – raw in salad or wilted down. Some varieties can bring a lot of colour to the garden and it’s just an all round, easy, delicious veggie to grow right now.

late season gardening - radish
Radish can be harvested in as few as 25 days!

Radish – 25-50 days to maturity

This quick growing veggie might be one of the fastest crops to grow. It nearly always makes an appearance on lists like this! Succession sow your radish so you’ll have a crop going until the end of the season. These are great raw in salad but can also be used roasted for a sweeter potato alternative. You can pull baby radishes in as few as 25 days!

Spinach – 20-55 days to maturity

One of the most nutritious greens we can grow is spinach and while it may struggle in the high heat of the summer, it’s the perfect crop to grow in the shoulder seasons of early spring and fall because it enjoys cool temperatures. Spinach can also be succession sowed and harvested at any stage from micro-green to full leaves. It’s a very versatile plant to grow and baby leaves can begin to be harvested in 20 days!

Kohlrabi – Approx 55 days to maturity

These strange looking bulbs aren’t often thought of but at 55 days, they’re a great option for a mid season crop. Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family and as such it has a mild, sweet yet peppery flavour. Kohlrabi is great shredded raw in to salads or roasted in chunks. Like most others on this list, harvest what’s there when you’re ready to pull it – it can be eaten earlier, your harvest will just be smaller.

Garlic

This one is sort of a trick because garlic prefers to be planted in the fall to go through a dormancy period in the winter and then will grow again in the next season. If you think about it optimistically you’re not late to plant seed garlic – you’re early! We thought we’d include it on this list so it’s on your radar for when it’s time to plant – usually mid to late September before the ground freezes.

We hope you’ll try our top ten suggestions for late season gardening and grow something new even though the season is well underway. We have an incredible selection of seeds on hand so come have a browse and get something in the soil – a small harvest is better than no harvest and you’ll be glad to have fresh salad greens in just a few weeks!

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Heather Eigler
Heather Eigler

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