Second Season Vegetable Gardening

Second Season Vegetable Gardening
White seashells cosmos flower.png
If you didn't start a garden this spring and wish you had grown some flowers, herbs or vegetables you still have time. Summer is a good time to start your second season plantings. You can sow seeds directly in the ground now for many leafy greens, root crops and even some flowering annuals.Planting seeds now will extend your garden's harvest into the fall and winter months. 
After the jump some recommendations on plants you can easily and cheaply start from seeds.
Vegetables you can start now include; broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflowers, kale, some lettuces, Swiss chard, and kohlrabi. Root crops can be harvested right up until the ground freezes. Basil, dill, parsley and chives are herbs you can start in the summer from seed and harvest into the fall. You can propagate herbs like basil by take cuttings and rooting the cuttings on your windowsills over the winter. 
You can even get some flowering plants in on the action. I like to sow another round of cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds and nasturtiums this time of year to provide some color and attract pollinators to the garden. In particular I like to plant nasturtiums  because they're easy to start from seed and provide splashes of color in the fall, plus, they are edible. Sunflowers sown now may not be as large and spectacular as those sown in the spring, but I like to sow because they're a fall food source for goldfinches that visit my garden.
Take advantage of the rain we had over the weekend and plant sow your seeds today or the day after. Dry soil wicks away moisture from seeds so make sure you keep your seeds and seedlings watered during July. If you can't sow seeds directly in the soil or raised beds, sow your seeds in containers. See my post on what I believe is the best potting mix for growing edibles in container gardens
             

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  • I just did my summer sowings of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, spinach, and carrots. I don't know why I never think to do a late sowing of flower seeds -- great idea! I'm sure I have some cosmos and sunflower seeds around here somewhere.

  • In reply to cvanderlinden:

    Your post on fast growing cucumbers http://organicgardening.about.com/b/2010/07/08/fast-growing-cucumbers-to-plant-now.htm is a good suggestion. Cukes are those veggies I always think of as having to start early in the season and don't think about buying starts that I could plant. Yes, you should do some flowers too.

  • In reply to cvanderlinden:

    I did my sunflowers, zinnia, marigolds, lettuce, and cat grass. I meant to also do carrots but have (gasp!) run out of containers. I'm also going to do cucumbers as soon as the seeds from Colleen arrive. Holla! It's too late for castor bean, which is a shame since I love its funky flowers.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    I've always wanted to grow castor bean but never did and now with the kids around I'm too chicken to try it. Love seeing it in other gardens though.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Has anyone tried ProtoGrow in place of Miracle Gro?

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