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

By on Aug 9, 2018 in Blog | 20 comments

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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:

Cucumbers

Beans

Basil (herb)

Dwarf tomatoes

Squash

Chard

 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     

Follow me, view how-to videos, photos of my garden, and lots of growing tips and tricks, on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook

20 Comments

  1. George Kirk

    August 9, 2018

    Post a Reply

    I farm commercially. I have been on the fence about planting cukes and squash as my7 first frost date is Oct 4. I will try a few hundred feet. Thanks

    • CaliKim

      August 16, 2018

      Post a Reply

      Wow, you are growing big, George. You’ll have lots of tasty squash for your customers. Happy farming and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Shelly

    August 9, 2018

    Post a Reply

    Ty Kim cucumbers plants are going good my squash zucchini and my tomatoes are coming up just good and my sunflowers are opening up good thank you for the newsletter and everything Kim from Shelly Tulsa Oklahoma

    • Divya Suresh

      August 10, 2018

      Post a Reply

      Hi Kim,

      I planted some cucumber, eggplant, chili, subarctic plenty tomato around end of July . I also started some seeds on August 9 and planning to plant them at the end of this month. I live in Southern California and expecting to have lot of summer veggies during fall. You are my biggest inspiration for gardening. Thanks and keep up your good work.

      • CaliKim

        August 16, 2018

        Post a Reply

        Hello Divya – so glad you are inspired to grow so many yummy veggies! Plenty of time here in So Cal to get more planted. Enjoy your harvests and thanks so much for following along!

    • CaliKim

      August 16, 2018

      Post a Reply

      Awesome – bet you can’t wait to harvest those tasty veggies. So glad you are enjoying the blog – thanks for stopping by, Shelly!

  3. Sandy Kangas

    August 9, 2018

    Post a Reply

    Kim, I was enchanted by the squash arch. My husband and I put one up. I have pumpkins, acorn squash, and even watermelon going!! I’m causing a riot in my town by posting pictures on the local gardening FB page. I’m having a ball. Thank you. Sandy east of Seattle, Cascade Mountain foothills. WooHoo!

    • CaliKim

      August 16, 2018

      Post a Reply

      Amazing, Sandy. I bet you’re having fun seeing your fruits and veggies growing on the garden arch. Glad you’re having fun on the FB page too. An amazing group of gardeners there. Happy Gardening and thanks for stopping by!

  4. Sharon Motley

    August 10, 2018

    Post a Reply

    I get thrilled when i see your garden and am anxious to try again summer squash but want to know if okra can be planted now as well. I live in Madison, TN.

  5. Patricia

    August 10, 2018

    Post a Reply

    I purchased and have already started your late summer veggie collection in 3” peat pellets. They have sprouted and are starting to develop their second set of leaves. My first frost date is not until December so I’ve got plenty of time. I also am enjoying the smart pots. I’m so excited. There is just something about seeing that first sprout poke through the soil. Thanks for your help and products.

    • CaliKim

      August 16, 2018

      Post a Reply

      Hi Patricia – thanks so much for purchasing and growing with my late summer garden seeds! I also love to see those seeds poke through the soil- always a thrill, isn’t it? Let me know when you harvest- thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Emma A.

    August 10, 2018

    Post a Reply

    Hi Kim! I’m also in southern California, zone 10b, is there a planting calendar you recommend for this area. I’m still confused as to what to plant when? :/ Secondly, when will be a good time to get a grapevine going?
    Thank you! Emma, Norwalk CA.

    • CaliKim

      August 16, 2018

      Post a Reply

      Hello Emma – I don’t use a planting calendar, but go by warm weather veggies in our warm season (about March-October) and cool weather veggies in our “cool” season (November-Feb). Sometimes we have such warm winters here, my warm weather veggies will grow all winter and my cool weather veggies struggle. This is when shade cloth comes in handy. If you follow along with my videos, I try to talk about the weather & sun requirements for the veggies I am planting. I’m sure you can also google some good planting calendars for So Cal. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Angela Y Walton-Raji

    August 10, 2018

    Post a Reply

    I have started 3 Tiny Tims and they are coming along. AND—-my beans–they are about 6 inches tall so far and I am so excited about them. They are growing in Smart Pots as well! BTW I also followed your method for propagating basil and have put three of them in grow pots next to other things. Propagating some additional ones as well. Thanks for all that you do, as your videos are wonderful!

    • CaliKim

      August 16, 2018

      Post a Reply

      So glad to hear the quick and simple methods are working for you, Angela! Aren’t those Tiny Tims so cute? Be you can’t wait to harvest some yummy basil and tomatoes. Thanks so much for commenting and reading the blog!

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