Raise your hand if you’d really like to grow a tomato or eggplant or some basil, but you just sort of kind of got around to thinking about maybe growing something. Yeah, I thought there’d be a few of you out there. Well, I’m here to tell you, you’re screwed. You waited too long, and now it’s too late in the season for you to grow anything you’d want to eat.
Just kidding! Gather around my friends, let’s talk about fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can plant at the end of June and still enjoy by the end of summer.
First, look for edibles that you can grow from seed that are naturally very fast growing. For example, you can sow most carrot seeds now and be harvesting some orange deliciousness in late August, or early September. Radishes are definitely a go. And if you’re dying to snack on some homegrown baby salad greens, knock yourself out in the seed aisle. Many herbs can be sown now too, like basil, oregano, and if you promise to get them in a pot right-this-second, dill too.
But at this point in the game, for most edibles, you’re going to have to disabuse yourself of the notion that you’ll be growing things from seeds. You don’t have time. I am, of course, assuming you live somewhere with a first frost date is in September or October and need to pick your summer vegetables by the end of August or beginning of September. If you live in Southern California, disregard this post and do pretty much whatever you want.
So, most of you need to be looking for vegetable starts at the garden center. Look for varieties of vegetables that say “60 Days” on the tag, or any number less than 60. This number indicates how many days after planting the fruit or vegetable outside it will take before you can harvest something. For example, ‘Oregon Spring’ is a well known fast growing tomato that will produce fruit in both cool and hot climates. Its tag will say “58 Days” which hopefully means you’ll be eating tomatoes around the 19th of August.
More good news. You can pick up pretty much any herb plant you want and will have plenty of time to grow them up into nice big bushy plants. Grab sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, and keep on going until your cart is full.
So…who wants to admit to just now getting around to planting their vegetable garden?