Whether you planted a spring cool weather crop and now your garden is looking sad, or if you are just now getting started, there’s a lot of crops to be grown this time of year. We are located in Knoxville, TN in zone 7. If we plan it right, we can easily grow three different crops in the same GreenStalk.
Earlier in the year, we grew spinach, kale, broccoli, beets, onions, carrots and lettuce. Once those were done producing, we planted cucumbers, squash, zucchini, corn, flowers, baby-sized watermelon, green bush beans, eggplant, herbs, and (of course) tomatoes. The key to planting late in the season is to grow vegetable varieties that grow quickly from seed or get starter plants.
Right now, we are still planting a lot of green bush bean plants. They are our favorite! You can read a whole post about them here. If you are in a longer growing season (like us), then you can still plant crops like cucumbers, corn, squash, tomatoes, and beans depending on when your first frost date is (just do a quick search to find it). The number one rule is to make sure that you have enough days for a plant to reach maturity and fruit before the first frost.
Of course, you can always wait a few more weeks and plant your cool-weather crops (like lettuce, kale, cabbage, etc.). We will be planting most of ours in August. We are testing Frost Protek plant covers this fall/winter so we will be planting late into the summer season for a fall harvest. The covers will help protect the plants from frost – and they can stay on all day/night without damaging the plants.
One of the benefits of growing in the GreenStalk vertical gardening system is that you can plant different things in each pocket at different times. For example, I started growing broccoli, onions, tomatoes, herbs and more at the beginning of the year. After I harvested the broccoli, I got to replant that pocket with something different while allowing the rest of my plants to keep growing. It’s easy to pop a plant in or out to rearrange the plantings as the year progresses.
If you are unsure what to plant in your area this time of year, contact your local Master Gardener’s Extension. You can also search to find their planting guides for your area. I have found that these guides are accurate and very helpful. Remember: it’s not too late!
Cody Catherine Thomas