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Marie Iannotti

Gardening Question of the Week: What Vegetables Can I Plant Now?

By June 30, 2010

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I had got an interesting email the other day. A new vegetable gardener said her peas, spinach, beets and lettuce were pretty much finished and the vegetable garden was looking bare. Was there anything she could still plant now, to fill in the holes?

It is sad when those first beautiful crops of spring suddenly bolt to flower. I try my best to forestall it, with lots of water and frequent picking, but eventually they will give out. Just as certainly, the later vegetables will start hogging more space. Things like sprawling squash plants and leafy tomatoes will commandeer as much space as allowed. But that doesn't mean you have to switch gears entirely. There are many vegetables that can be planted in succession, throughout the summer. And you can use the shade cast by these larger vegetables to keep them going.

At the beginning of the season, choose varieties that mature quickly and plant seed every 2-4 weeks. Good candidates include: beets, broccoli, cabbage, collards, lettuce, peas, radish, scallions and spinach.

As the weather warms up, you can continue with beets, cabbage, lettuce and scallions, but be sure to give them a little shade and a lot of water. You can also start staggering plantings of cucumbers and bush beans.

To keep harvesting into fall, replant cool weather lovers, in the cole family, in July/August. This can be a bit tricky, because some don't like to germinate, let alone grow in hot weather. It's easiest to start seedlings in a shady spot and transplant them into garden, once they're established. Toward late summer you can keep right on planting lettuce and bush beans and replant vegetables like broccoli and broccoli raab, cabbage, cauliflower and fast growing leafy greens like arugula, collards and spinach. Just remember to keep that water coming.

Of course, in hotter regions you'll be planting in earnest in the fall on through winter, not in the heat of summer. That may be more work than you expected, but just think of the rewards.

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Comments

July 1, 2010 at 11:12 am
(1) megan says:

Use sprout robot! If you plug in your zip code, you’ll get a list of things to plant now, next week, etc!

http://www.sproutrobot.com

August 21, 2011 at 4:47 am
(2) Denise Predovich says:

Thanks I love Sprout Robot !

July 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm
(3) Cindy says:

Glad to know that it’s not too late to plant cukes!

July 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm
(4) gardening says:

Cindy, I don’t think it’s ever too late to plant cucumbers. They insist on growing. ;-)

July 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm
(5) Butchrgt says:

Unforyunately is SW Florida right now we have lately been inundated withstron rain ad winds. Adding the pesty bugs they have nearly wiped out just about a dozen cuke and squash plants. Almost all of the baby squash that were about an inch and half got soggy and collapsed. The cukes are also beginning to shribble up. IToday when the sun wasn’t (Yes we finally got sun after most of the week in ran) shining on the plants I was forced to spray 7 liquid pest control on my plants. If I wouldn’t have sprayed I would not get any squash or cukes. (Man not get squash or cukes anyway)….

July 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm
(6) Butchrgt says:

In Pinellas County, Florida (Zone 9) since we normally have very mild fall and winter seasons isn’t more probable then not that, Tomato and Pepper plants can be started from seed to have a good winter crop? I believe seedlings can be started as well so tomatoes can be harvested in early winter provided there is no frost…. Correct?

July 8, 2010 at 8:17 am
(7) Marie Iannotti says:

Butchrgt, it sounds like your weather isn’t behaving at all. Southern Florida is in a category by itself. You can grow so many things the rest of us can’t, but you have to put up with weather and pests the rest of us avoid. I guess there’s always a trade off.

I believe you’re right about seeding tomatoes and peppers now. It’s probably too hot for them to be setting any fruit for you now, but your winters are mild enough for them. Hopefully, you’ll get some nice, gentle rains then, too.

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