last minute garden

5 Short Growing Season Plants for Your Last Minute Garden

Are you wishing you’d started a garden this year? Many people assume that if they don’t have their gardens in by Memorial Day it’s too late. Well, guess what?

It’s not too late for everything! While you might not be able to get tomatoes or eggplant to ripen before the fall frosts hits, you can still grow a fabulous garden. The key is to pick short growing season plants. These require less time to reach maturity.

That means you can plant these seeds in July and still reap a harvest before the air gets too cold. There are plenty of these plants from which to choose.

How to Prep Your Ground

You don’t just want to plop seeds in the ground and call it a day. Before planting, you’ll want to take time to prep your soil.

You can either plant directly in your soil, in a container, or in a raised bed. Once you’ve figured out where you’ll be planting, grab a trowel and use it to turn over your soil. This will help break up compacted roots, and allow you to pull the weeds out. Next, it’s time to add a little compost.

This organic matter helps give your seeds the nutrients they need to thrive. If you don’t have homemade compost from your kitchen scraps and grass clippings, you can pick up a bag at most retailers with a garden section.

Sprinkle the compost over the soil you worked. Then, use your shovel and flip over the entire area again. This will help mix the compost throughout the soil.

Now, it’s time to plant. Pick some of your favorite plants with a short growing season, and follow the directions on the package to ensure they’re planted to the proper depth and spacing.

Salad Greens

Salad greens are one of the easiest plants to grow from seed. They’re known as a “cut and come again” crop, which means as you cut leaves away for your salad, you’ll encourage the plants to keep producing. But, if you don’t cut the leaves before they go to seed, they won’t continue growing.

Some popular varieties of salad greens include:

  • Leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Radicchio
  • Arugula

Radishes

These tasty vegetables add a nice peppery kick to salads, soups, and more. They’re often used as a low-carb potato substitute when cooking a roast.

Radishes are easy to grow and quick to sprout. But, because not all varieties tolerate the mid-summer heat well, you’ll need to pick the appropriate type for this time of year. These are known as “summer radishes” and are larger and longer radishes instead of smaller, rounder ones. These include:

  • White Icicles
  • Summer Cross
  • Chinese Pink

Herbs

Growing your own herbs is a delightful way to spice up your cooking. Many varieties grow quickly, so you’ll be using them before you know it. Here are some to try:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Peas

There’s nothing quite like a peapod fresh from the garden! Peas mature in 50-70 days depending on the variety, so if you get an early fall go with the 50-day types. Here are some common types of peas:

  • Bush
  • Snap
  • Snow
  • English

Turnips

As a root crop, the bulb of turnips grows under the ground. You also can eat the greens, which grow above the soil. Once your bulbs have matured, you can enjoy them mashed, roasted, fried, or in soups. Here are some common turnip varieties to try growing:

  • Purple Top
  • Tokyo Cross
  • Market Express
  • Golden Bell

Remember to Water!

Once you’ve planted your seeds, be sure they get enough water. Check your soil to see if it’s damp a few inches down.

Then sit back, watch your plants grow, and enjoy saving money on your groceries by producing your own!

If you garden, please stop by iRazoo’s Facebook page and share your best gardening tips with our readers.