Experienced gardeners never miss out and always know that seeds can be sown year-round in every month of every season. Just spend a day at your local Farmers’ Market and see for yourself the abundance of garden fresh produce available well into the end of summer. Knowing which seeds to plant can be difficult since midsummer sowing is unconventional and intimidating for home gardeners, but here are the 6 easiest tips to keeping your green thumb perennially active that have nothing to do with wheatgrass, sprouting, or microgreens.
1. Late Summer Crops
Fast-growing annuals such as lettuce and most leafy greens can still be planted in summer for a cool fall harvest. A method known as “successive gardening” allows for many tender crops to be sown every 2-3 weeks for replete, season-long harvesting. Arugula, for example, is a quick 25-30 day grow that prefers cool, full sun gardens. Although midsummer is more hot than cool for most of the country, these tender green seeds can be started indoors and hardened off just the same as if it were early spring. A simple mesh netting or row cover generally is enough to filter direct sunlight from your late summer crop.
We Recommend: Conventional Leafy Greens 7 Pack
2. Frost Tolerant Perennials
When grown in convenient containers or pots, herb seeds such as oregano, thyme, and sage can still be planted well into summer to begin their bountiful multi-year growth. Woody and winter-hardy herbs are popularly grown in pots so they can be moved in and out of the house to capture the most optimal conditions regardless of the time of year. If planted late in the season, bring your herbs indoors to overwinter, since they did not have a full year to develop in preparation for the frost. However, once they’ve reached their second winter, allow your Mediterranean perennials to experience a light frost or transplant them out in the garden for 10-20 years of growth.
We Recommend: Organic Italian Herb Garden Seed Collection
3. Indoor Annuals
Tender annual herbs such as cilantro, parsley, and basil can still be sown for quick and convenient indoor growing. These annuals are generally referred to as “windowsill” herbs because they thrive on just 6-8 hours of light from any sunny window or kitchen countertop. Seeds are best started indoors and hardened off as soon as possible during the warmest months and brought in daily with the early autumn chill. If growing for culinary use, remember that bee pollination isn’t necessary for any indoor culinary annuals because they should always be pruned before going to flower, helping to ensure the best possible flavor.
We Recommend: Assorted Culinary Herb Kit
4. Indoor Perennials
Perennial herbs are grown just as often as indoor ornamentals as they are a culinary delight. Perennial herbs such as sage, oregano, and thyme are native to the arid and shallow soils of the Mediterranean hillsides and still thrive from the same dry soils both indoors and out. Mediterranean herbs are ideal for growing in moveable containers because pots and containers drain more thoroughly than garden beds, helping to prevent waterlogging and oversaturation. Except for lavender, Mediterranean herbs are quick to sprout and ready to transplant in less than 2 months to an indoor container near any sunny window.
We Recommend: Organic Italian Herb Garden Seed Collection
Countless plants native to colder climates such as wildflowers, brassicas, and perennial herbs thrive from a natural process of cold-stratification. These seeds, if grown wild in nature, are produced at the end of summer and naturally withstand a winter-long frost before germinating in the spring. This 1-3 month freeze doesn’t harm the seed at all, but allows its internal clock to be dialed into the rhythm of nature and know exactly when the frost has passed and spring has arrived. Sow ornamental, herbal, or medicinal wildflower seeds this late summer or fall to guarantee your healthiest spring herb garden.
We Recommend: Medicinal and Herbal Tea Assortment
6. Cover Crops
The term “cover crop” loosely refers to several types of beneficial gardening vegetables and legumes that are known to withstand the worst of winter and are grown to replenish soils in the face of subfreezing conditions. Frost hardy legume cover crops such as pea, fava, and vetch are proven to restore soils with converted atmospheric nitrogen while more deeply-rooted cover crops such as daikon, mustard, and wheat provide tilth and aeration during the most unproductive months of the year. Cover crops of any kind help to keep your garden organic as they restore essential nutrients without the need for animal fertilizers in the spring.
We Recommend: Garden Cover Crop Mix
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