Vegetables That Are Perfect to Plant in Late Summer
The long dog days of summer are here as the days are hotter and the sun sets late into the night. Any cool season vegetable you had in your garden are at the end of their days and warm season veggies are still going strong. Now it is time to grow vegetables that are perfect to plant in late summer for the fall.
Squash plants encompass many different subspecies of plants. In the squash family you have cucumbers, zucchini from yellow crookneck to pattypans to green beauties. Then add in your winter squash like acorn, butternut, and gourds. Don’t forget the many varieties of pumpkins that also fall into this category from Jack O’Lanterns to minis and sugars to Giants. All of these plants are perfect to get into your garden around the 4th of July.
Winter squash is planted in the summer and then can overwinter for months at a time. Planting pumpkins in July allows them to be ready to carve by Halloween and cooked up for pumpkin pie by Thanksgiving.
A few root vegetables do best when planted in late summer and then come to maturity in the cool days of fall. This is the perfect time to plant beets, turnips, fennel, kohlrabi, and radishes. You can also get in a few succession plantings of carrots if you live where you get cool summer nights. Bunching onions like scallions and garlic chives also do great when planted in late summer.
Quite a few green vegetables do best when planted in late summer. This allows the seeds to warm up and germinate, but the plant matures as the nights get longer and cooler. Start from seed Swiss Chard, kale, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach. These plants will need to be well watered until the summer heat dies down to build a healthy root system.
Tomatoes are a true heat-loving plant! When grown in late summer, start with transplants instead of seeds as it is too warm for them to germinate. Once the temperatures drop below 75 degrees then the plant will flower and produce buds. Tomatoes like to produce in the sweet spot between 55° and 75° which is perfect fall weather!
Do you have a favorite vegetable you are planting now for fall harvest? If so, what is it!?