6 Quick Growing Vegetables to Plant NOW in Late Summer for a Fall Harvest

Plant quick growing veggies in late summer for fall harvest

Would you like to have fresh, tasty, healthy veggies to harvest this fall the fall?  If your answer is YES – there’s not a moment to lose, plant some quick growing veggies NOW in the late summer!  This way when your done harvesting your current summer crops, you’ll have more harvest on the way.   

The key to growing a late summer garden is to choose quick growing varieties that go from seed to harvest in about 6-8 weeks before cold weather hits.  If you are a southern gardener like I am here in So Cal, some of these vegetables may even last through a warm winter.

You might be thinking “my garden beds are full, I don’t have room for one more plant.”I’m right there with you!I like to look for little gaps and holes in my garden, or plants that are dying out that I can pull out to make room to tuck in new seeds or plants.And there’s always room for a container or two to expand my growing space just a bit.

Use containers to expand your growing space

My favorite containers that make late summer gardening simple are Smart Pots fabric containers.  They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, are inexpensive, keep your plants cooler in hot weather, are easy to pop up, fill with soil and add plants.  Smart Pots offers a 10% discount to my readers at smartpots.com with the code “calikim”, which makes late summer gardening even more affordable.  (5 gallon “CaliKim” Smart Pots containers are available at calikimgardenandhome.com.)

How to know if you have time in the growing season for late summer veggies?

The key is to know the first frost date for your area to see if you have time to grow warm weather loving veggies before it gets too cold.  If you don’t know your first frost date, you can find it on the Farmer’s Almanac frost date calculator for US and Canada.. Just enter your zip code and  it will give you the approximate date for your area.

You’ve got your first frost date, now what?  It’s easy – count backwards and plant varieties that will mature in the amount of time you have left before the first frost.

6 quick growing veggies – seed to harvest in 6-8 weeks:  

Beans grow fast in a “CaliKim” Smart Pots container

Mac with Tiny Tim Dwarf tomatoes – a perfect late summer veggie

My favorite veggies to grow in the late summer are:



Basil (herb)

Dwarf tomatoes



 Plant these seeds today and you’ll see fresh veggies in your kitchen in about 6-8 weeks!  They love the sunshine and warm weather (60-85 F), and are welcome additions to the garden in the late summer and into the fall.   

I also love to pop in easy- to-grow, quick blooming flowers (like zinnias, or cosmos) to bring in the pollinators and create splashes of color – a welcome sight as your current garden flowers fade from the summer heat. 

Keep it inexpensive and easy

Starting from seed, rather than purchasing plants from a garden center will keep your late summer garden low cost, and gives you more options to chose from.  

Late Summer Garden Seed Collection – 7 quick growing varieties

Keep it simple, choose a few varieties that you and your family love to eat.  To take the guesswork out of it, I put together the Late Summer Garden Seed Collection, my personal selection of 7 quick maturing, easy-to-grow varieties. Pick one up at calikimgardenandhome.com and grow the same veggies I am – it will be so fun to compare notes as our veggies grow and as we harvest!

Starting from seed keeps it inexpensive

Get off to a quick start: I like to get off to as quick a start as possible with my late summer veggies by starting seeds in indoors in peat pellets on a heat mat using indoor grow lights.  This provides a more controlled environment so that the seedlings grow stronger faster and are
ready to plant outside in about 3 weeks, which means I am harvesting sooner.  Watch this video, “How to start seeds indoors” to see how quick and easy this process is!  

Fresh nutrients

Whether you decide to tuck a few plants here and there, pop up a few Smart Pots containers, or have an entire garden bed dedicated to your late summer garden, your soil will need some fresh nutrients.  Work in a few inches of good compost, and an organic fertilizer such as Vermisterra worm castings. Loosen and moisten the soil before you plant your seeds or transplants, then water in with a good organic fertilizer, (Vermisterra worm tea is my favorite), to get your plants off to a great start and help them be healthy and productive.  (use my code “calikim” for 10% discount on Vermisterra products.)

Fall Garden Seed Collection – 15 cool weather varieties

 Fall garden – cool weather veggies

If you’re a northern gardener and don’t have enough time left before your first frost date to grow warm weather veggies, no worries.  I’ll also be doing a series on cool weather veggies – some will even tolerate frost for winter harvests!  Pick up my Fall Garden Seed Collection, get some seeds started, and stay tuned for the Fall Garden Series starting very soon on CaliKim Garden & Home, my YouTube channel!  

Watch the video below, “6 Quick Growing Veggies to Plant NOW in a Late Summer for Fall Harvest” so you know how to plant your seeds or transplants. 

Plant seeds for these veggies NOW, and you’ll be putting fresh, tasty food on your plate in about 6-8 weeks.  What a feeling of pride, knowing you grew it yourself and are feeding your family delicious, healthy, organic food! 

Comment below, let me know if you’ll be growing some late summer veggies with me.  Happy Gardening!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links –  I make a small commission when you order through these links and its helps me keep the garden content coming!

CaliKim Seed Collections     

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