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Is Summer Too Late To Start A Garden?

What happens if you start a garden in the summer? We say its never too late to start a garden.

Summer is not too late to start a garden. In fact, the summer months are a great time to start a garden, but if you wait until fall or winter, you may find yourself facing an impossible task: the soil is dry and cold, and the sun may not be strong enough to get your seeds and plants off to a good start.

If you’re looking for ideas for what vegetables to grow in summer, then we’ve got them here as well as some insider tips to ensure they grow properly.

What to Consider When Planting in the Summer?

Of course, there are a few considerations for the gardeners for successful summer planting:

First of all, when you buy or receive plants, please do not plant immediately, but first put the plants in a shady place, and then carefully put them in full sun after 1-2 days. 

This allows the plant to get acclimatized to the summer conditions so they don’t go into a state of shock when planted.
See our detailed post on how deep to transplant.

Summer gardening

Of course, the root ball needs to be soaked with water when planting. You can also place the plant in a bucket of water just before planting – just watering it does not have the same effect, especially if the root ball has partially dried out. It now takes 2-3 hours to soak the root ball thoroughly. 

But don’t forget to rough up the root ball before planting and break up the soil between the soil so the roots can also find their way out of the potting substrate into the rich topsoil where there are more nutrients.

Watering 

Watering-Plants

It’s important to water during the hottest part of the day. Put out a rain gauge to determine how much rain you get on those rainy days.

One to two inches per day is optimal. If you’re not getting enough rain, it might be worth doing some deep watering for yourself.

Watering must be done, but please be careful. The surrounding topsoil and the root ball substrate should be slightly damp, not wet.

A moisture meter also comes invery handy when determining the soil’s water.

To take the guesswork out of determining how much moisture your soil has, you can use this cost-effective soil moisture meter from amazon.

XLUX Soil Moisture Meter

Plant As Deep If Possible 

Planting mint plant

Especially in summer, it is very important that the root ball is always covered with a layer of topsoil after planting. Otherwise, it will dry out too much over the next few weeks and months. 

The deeper the roots, the more protection it will have from cold and frost.

Don’t forget to deprive yourself of water: When the summer weather returns to normal, when there are regular thunderstorms or when the weather is approaching autumn at the end of August, water lightly because now the plant needs to be on its own and, finally, put down roots.

Planting a Late-Season Garden

The key to a successful late-season garden is planning. Here are some tips for planting a late-season garden:

Plan ahead. It’s best to start seedlings indoors in pots or trays before the weather warms up and then move them outdoors once they are large enough to handle. 

If you have room outside, set them out after all danger of frost has passed but before the ground freezes solid.

When it’s time to transplant, remember it can also be done at night.

Don’t forget that many vegetables need an inch of water over the surface area of the garden bed per week during the months of July through October (or even November in some cases).

1 inch of water is equivalent to 0.623 gallons per sq ft.
Using that rate, a 32 sq ft bed (8 feet x 4 feet) requires 20 gallons of water per week. (32 sq ft x 0.623 gallons per sq ft = 20 gallons per week).

Late-season planting is excellent for those who want to plant a garden right away but don’t have much time or space. 

Late-season planting also allows you to plant more than one type of vegetable at a time, saving space and money.

Veggies You Can Plant in Midsummer

Due to the warm temperatures and long summer days, not all vegetables are suitable for sowing in mid-summer. 

Take a look at this blog article, where you will find more information and overviews of varieties that are well suited for the mid-summer harvest:

Cucumbers

Holes in cucumbers

Cucumbers belong to the gourd family and are about 97% water. Their main differences are their sizes, shapes, and cultivation methods, not their tastes.

Long cucumber is typically grown in a greenhouse, while aromatic mini cucumbers are best grown outdoors. What all varieties need are warm and wind-protected locations.

‘Black Beauty’ Zucchini

Like the cucumber, the zucchini is a pumpkin plant. The most common is the long, green zucchini. Depending on the variety, they can be grown indoors from mid-April or sown directly from mid-May and harvested about 8 weeks later. 

It is best to harvest elongated zucchini when they are 15 – 20 cm in size, that is when they are at their best. This allows new fruit to form quickly. Even if they are basically rather tasteless, zucchini is a popular and varied ingredient in the kitchen. 

They can be eaten raw, stuffed, baked, grilled, and even made into cakes. Zucchini is one of the few vegetables where the flowers are also a delicacy.

Carrot ‘Hercules’

The carrot is one of the most popular and most eaten root vegetables because it is very versatile. Carrots grow very well in sandy-loamy, loose, and stone-free soil. Cultivation on ridge cultures has proven its worth if the soil is too heavy and loamy. Ridge culture produces large roots but also requires frequent watering and ridging. 

Carrots are sown in rows, with a row spacing of between 30 and 45 centimeters, depending on the variety, and two to five centimeters between the individual roots.

Leafy Greens

Among the most popular summer vegetables are crunchy pick-and-cut salads such as Lollo Bionda, Lollo Rossa, and Oak leaf lettuce.

The leaves of oak leaf lettuce are red or light green, very tender, and have a nutty flavor. There are two types of Lollo Rossa and Lollo Bionda, both of which have rosette-like leaves that are heavily curled, red or green.

Lettuce or cut lettuce does not form heads. In contrast, individual leaves are picked or cut from the outside continuously.

Over the course of a season, the seeds can be resown several times, thus significantly extending the harvest time. Depending on the time of sowing or planting, the first harvest can be made 5-6 weeks later.

Peas And Bush Beans to Grow in Late Summer

Pole Bean climbing vine

The pea is one of the oldest types of vegetables. Cultivation is uncomplicated. Depending on the variety, it can be sown from March/April and harvested from around June. 

If you sow new seeds every 3-4 weeks, you will get a harvest well into the summer. Peas thrive alongside cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, radishes, lettuce, zucchini, and radishes.

Tip: Instead of pulling the plants out of the ground after harvest, leave their roots in the ground, which enriches the soil with nitrogen, which further benefits crops in the future.

In gardens, mainly low-growing bush beans and climbing pole beans are grown. Cultivation is very easy, and the first beans can be harvested just two months after sowing. 

Sow from mid-May and harvest around mid-July. In mixed culture, they pair well with potatoes, radishes, cabbage, lettuce, and celery.

What Vegetables Can You Grow in Late Summer?

In July, beds can be harvested, and new plants can be sown or planted. In this way, you can harvest fresh vegetables until autumn and winter. It’s also good for the soil when something grows on the bed.

  • Lamb’s Lettuce
  • Fennel 
  • Radishes 
  • Turnips 
  • Spinach 
  • Parsley 

Mid to late July is also the sowing time for autumn turnips and winter black radishes. 

The end of July is the last time to sow Swiss chard. It will provide tasty leaves in mild winters if it sprouts nicely now. 

Tip: Cover the bed with a fine-meshed soil flea net immediately after sowing so pests don’t stand a chance.

Cabbage varieties need a lot of nutrition, it is best to fertilize the soil with an organic fertilizer. It is then harvested in late autumn.

Winter Lattughino and Winter Butterhead are recommended. At the beginning of October, they form small heads that grow as soon as it gets warmer in spring.

If you are into climbing veggies these 15 best climbing vegetables will grow quickly and fill any trellis during the colder months.

Tips for Planting During Summer Months

Summer is the most beautiful time of the year. The garden has become an outdoor room, the holiday is imminent, and there are still a few things that need to be done beforehand.

Plant flowers to Attract Pollinators

Bees pollinate plants, helping them produce fruit or seeds. They also help control pests such as aphids and mites.

The best way to attract bees is by planting flowering plants. You can plant annuals like zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, nasturtiums, and snapdragons; perennials like phlox, salvia, and lavender; and shrubs like butterfly bush, honeysuckle, and lilac.

You can also grow vegetables that bees will love, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash, beans, peas, and corn.

You can also make your own bee-friendly garden with native plants. Native plants have adapted to local conditions over thousands of years and are less likely to suffer from diseases than nonnative plants.

Prune Flowers and Fertilize for the Upcoming Months

For most plants, fertilizing once per week is sufficient for optimum growth. However, if your plant needs additional nutrients, fertilize more often. 

Fertilizing after cutting plants back can help them recover from winter damage.

Calibrachoa, verbena, and petunias are a few of the annuals that respond well to this type of maintenance.

If your garden is in full bloom, it may be time for some pruning. “Prune flowering shrubs and trees back to their original size. This will encourage new growth and keep blooms coming all summer long.

Fertilize as needed throughout the growing season with an organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion or compost tea.

Plant in Healthy Soil

Soil Conditions

If you have a good growing medium, you’ll get better results than if you’re using peat moss or sand.

Soil should be moist but not soggy. If you water too much, the soil will stay wet longer than necessary, which could lead to disease problems.

Avoid overwatering during hot weather because excess moisture encourages root rot.

Keep Weeds Under Control

removing weeds

Weeds compete with your plants for food and space and will quickly take over your garden if they’re not kept in check.

To prevent weeds, apply an herbicide when you first see them. Then use a hoe to remove any remaining vegetation every two weeks until the end of the season.

Use Mulch Around Plants

Mixing Old Mulch into Soil

Mulching is important to prevent weed growth and conserve moisture as well as to keep the soil warm during colder months.

There are many mulches available, but straw is one of the easiest to work with. It’s inexpensive, biodegradable, and effective at keeping weeds down.

Find and Understand Your Zone

Gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. A lot of people enjoy gardening, but they don’t know how to do it. If you’re looking for a new hobby, then gardening may be right up your alley!

The first step in gardening is finding out what zone you live in. This will help you decide what type of plants are best suited for your area and how much sun or shade they need.

Planting zones determine what type of plant you will grow best. For example, if you live in zone 5 or 6, then you should be able to grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, strawberries, and many other vegetables.

Once you’ve figured out where you live, it’s time to figure out which plants are best suited for the area around where you live.

Here’s a great resource that will provide a good understanding of the zone you are in.

What do Gardeners do in the Summer

Gardening in the summer takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it! You will be rewarded with fresh produce throughout the season and for the colder months, depending on your region.

During the summer months, many gardeners will start to prepare for colder months by taking cuttings from their favorite plants. They will either replant these cuttings or transplant them directly into the ground.

This process is called hardening off and helps the plant acclimate to its new environment. The process starts by exposing the cutting to cooler temperatures gradually. Once the cutting has been hardened off, it can be planted into the ground.

Another thing gardeners do in the summer is to tend to their flowers. Flowers add color and beauty to the landscape while attracting pollinators to ensure bearing vegetables are successful.

Many gardeners will spend hours tending to their flower beds. They’ll fertilize, prune, and trim the plants to maintain their appearance.

The Takeaway

  • Summer is not too late for gardening.
  • Planning ahead is essential for success.
  • ensure to water plants enough nor to overwater. 
  • Transplant deeply to protect roots from the cold.
  • Mix plants with flowers to ensure veggies are pollinated.
  • Use healthy soil and mulch to keep the soil warm.