Did you know that late summer, from mid to late August, is a terrific time to sow seeds in your garden? It’s true! Come fall, when most of your friends are turning to their stock of pickled and canned veggies in their basement, you can still be plucking fresh produce from your backyard. You can check out our Cool Season Starting from Seed selection for a whole variety of vegetables that can stand up to cooler fall temps.
Not just any vegetable will survive and thrive when planted in August. Planting during the late summer requires some strategic planning, since you must make sure to plant only crops that can handle the extreme heat of August afternoons, as well as the chillier temps of cool autumn evenings.
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Hardy Vegetables for Late Summer Planting
Carrots- Carrots may be sown from August through September in 10 day intervals for a steady supply.
Chard- You can plant chard in your garden up until mid-August. In milder areas, you can even overwinter your chard by covering it with a protective coat, such as fleece. Tender baby leaves are ready to be picked and consumed after just 4 weeks.
Peas- Peas can be sown up until mid-August. They are extremely tolerant plants, and are super versatile, since they are perfect for eating raw, canning, freezing, steaming, mashing, and more.
Broccoli- Broccoli is one of the best and easiest crops to grow in the late summer. You can even plant broccoli seeds in your garden through early September.
Radishes- Radishes, as well as other root crops such as potatoes and turnips, all thrive when planted in the late summer.
Snap beans- Late summer planted snap beans often thrive better than those planted in the spring. This is because snap beans benefit from cooler temps once the plants begin to produce. Plant them in August of late September to take advantage of this.
Tips for planting in the late summer:
- Make sure to plant cool season crops, and plant them early enough that they can get a good head start on growing before there is any chance of frost in your area.
- Plan not only what you plant, but where you plant. Your spring-planted garden may still be flourishing in August. Make sure you do not plant your late summer crops in a spot where the seedlings will be choked out by other plants.
- Your veggies may take a couple weeks longer to mature than you would expect. This is simply a result of cooling temperatures.
- Appropriately prepare your garden spot for new seedlings by clearing away any old, finished vegetable plants and weeds. Turn over your soil to a depth of at least 8 inches, and add a good layer of compost. This helps to re-nourish the soil where you have previously planted.
- Whiteflies, stink bugs, aphids, and caterpillars are all commonly seen in late summer, so monitor your garden closely for pests.