For those who may be wondering if they’ve missed the window of opportunity to grow their own vegetables and herbs this season, the answer is simple: it’s not too late. You can still plant many vegetables and herb plants in your garden right now if you remember to water regularly.
Here are some things to consider as you plan your harvest:
When shopping for vegetables and herbs later in the season, look for larger sized plants that are more mature and will have a shorter time to harvest. These larger plants will give you an opportunity to grow a broader list of varieties late in the season, such as tomatoes and peppers. They can take 2-3 months to harvest when growing from a traditional starter plant but can be harvested more quickly when grown from a mature plant. For example, 2-quart and 8-inch pots with 11-inch cages would be a great late season addition to your garden.
Herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary and oregano tend to flourish during late summer and early autumn. These hardy herbs can withstand cooler temperatures and even continue to grow throughout winter in some regions. Cilantro, dill and parsley can still be grown in the fall, but it’s crucial to protect them from early frost.
In cooler climates, prioritize cold-tolerant varieties of vegetables and herbs. Look for short-season varieties, such as cucumbers, that can reach maturity before frost arrives in the fall. The frost date calendar will help you plan. In warmer areas, focus on heat-tolerant vegetables and herbs.
If you are in an area with high summer temperatures, these veggies can take the heat:
Some tomatoes that thrive in hotter temperatures include Tasti-Lee, Patio Delite, Bush Early Girl and Sun Dipper.
Apply a layer of mulch around your plants to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
By selecting the right vegetables and herbs for your region and implementing proper care techniques, you can continue to nurture your garden and savor the flavors of the season well beyond July. For more information, check out Summer Vegetable Gardening 101 on homedepot.com.