It’s Not Too Late…

…To start your vegetable garden.

The garden project I just finished had two main mandates: fun for the little girls, and edible-productive. So we made some great raised planters:

Raised beds made of clear cut cedar and corrugated steel, 4' x 6'
Raised beds made of clear cut cedar and corrugated steel, 4′ x 6′. Columnar Scarlet Sentinel apple trees in front.

Thanks to Max and  4 Elements Gardens for a great job on the planters. And everything else! But about it not being too late…

Over the weekend the homeowners went to a local nursery and pretty much chose what ever they had left. You can see there’s 5 planter boxes here, giving them 120 sq. f. of planting space (with drip irrigation). When I went by yesterday all but one of the boxes was filled with maturing, good looking specimens, including corn, tomatoes, beans, greens, peppers, potatoes and probably other things I didn’t notice. harvey st

We finished this project June 19, which would ordinarily still be in the wet season, on this Wet Coast. But this year we’ve had record dry months and heat heat heat. Lots of vegetables are weeks ahead of their usual growth habit. So is it too late? What can you plant now and still hope for a harvest?

That’s a great question, and really easy to answer: there’s lots you can plant/sow now and expect to get results quickly, and even more you can start indoors and then plant out later in the summer for fall and winter harvest. The trick will be to keep seeds damp so they’ll germinate (hence the drip irrigation) and plants that like cooler weather in a bit of shade.

Here’s West Coast Seeds planting guide. Choose the chart that matches your area and/or climate.

Here’s my annotated list:

1. Plants that you can direct-sow now, giving them some shade:

Arugula, radicchio, lettuce, bok choi, spinach.

2. Plants that you can direct-sow in full sun:

All kinds of beans, beets, all kinds of broccoli, cabbage (July 1 according to WCS), carrots (can still be sown every few weeks for longer harvest), celery, corn, cucumbers, fennel, kale (sow again later for winter harvest), leeks, scallions, parsnips, rutabaga, swiss chard and turnips.

3. Plants that you can start indoors now for fall and winter harvesting, or even overwintering for spring harvest:

Brussel sprouts, cabbage (sowing indoors delays it enough to mature later so it’ll make it through the winter), cauliflower, onions, parsley.

Here’s Margaret Roach’s (A Way to Garden) “later” planting Guide.

And if you don’t want to wait to for seeds to germinate, you’ll still find lots at the garden centre.

If you want Real Life Garden Solutions to design something like this for your garden, go to the Contact page.

2 thoughts on “It’s Not Too Late…

Add yours

  1. Nice work, Janet. You met and exceeded the requirements! Looks fun and educational for the children, very productive and with lots of edibles!


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