Even though summer is almost over, your garden still has plenty of potential.
We still have a couple of months before things get really cold, so you don't have to put away your gardening gloves just yet. Some vegetables actually do better with a bit of a chill, and the transition from summer to fall is still prime growing time.
Keep your salad bowl filled by sowing leafy lettuce varieties that you can pick when they're young. Simply scatter the seeds in a small plot of rich soil and keep it watered to produce tons of tender leaves.
Photo by Mark Renken (via Unsplash)
One of the best things about carrots is that cooler temperatures actually make them taste a bit sweeter. Because the seeds are so small, they're a good candidate for making seed tapes. Even kids love this simple craft!
If you're short on space, plant a sprinkling of the tiny seeds in a pot deep enough for the roots to form.
Some of the earliest radish varieties take less than a month to grow. Sow these seeds every couple of weeks for constant harvesting. You can even use the peppery greens as a garnish or in a salad.
Photo by Philippe Collard (via Unsplash)
Forget buying dried versions of flavorful herbs. Pick up potted rosemary, thyme, and oregano to add that gourmet touch to your food. Stay away from tender varieties of basil or cilantro unless you're OK with them dying back at first frost. Mint will run wild, so be sure to isolate it or keep it in a planter.
Earthy beets are another quick grower that will produce tasty crops right into the fall. Bull's Blood beets are ready in just 50 days! Plant a big patch of them so you can try your hand at pickling smaller one's whole. Don't forget to pick the tender beet greens when they're still small.
It's too late for big, beefy garden tomatoes from seed, but if you're lucky enough to find a robust cherry tomato plant, you'll be rewarded well for keeping it alive. Tomatoes need full sun, but cherry varieties can survive in a sunroom, on a balcony, or potted by your front door. Only buy plants that are well established, with bright yellow flowers or the beginning of buds.
Think of baby pak choy, tatsoi, and other Asian veggies that are crisp and delicious in stir-fries. Most of these will be mature enough to use before the first frost hits if you plant them soon. Like lettuce, they tend to bolt and go to seed when it's too hot and they do really well in milder weather.
Before you lament the end of a scorching summer, start planning your fall garden. These dependable producers will stretch out your growing season to give you a few more months of harvesting fun.
Do you set out a fall garden every year? What are some of your favorite vegetables to grow at the end of summer? Let us know in the comments.