What To Plant Now: Summer Herbs and Vegetables

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L.HoltWe’re heading into summer (the weather seems to indicate we’re already there), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep planting! Whether you’re getting a late start on your garden or you find yourself wishing that you had more plants, there are plenty of herbs and vegetables that will flourish if planted in June, or even early July. They may in fact grow faster than your first plantings now that the soil has warmed.

06-08-2011-1Herbs: Herbs that respond well to heat and full sun are the best choice for early summer planting. Basil, cilantro and oregano all fall into this category. Calendula and nasturtiums can be grown from seeds, but rosemary, sage, thyme and summer savory do better if they are transplanted as seedlings or full plants.

Vegetables and fruits: Beans (string, soy, lima, etc.), carrots and summer squash are especially good crops to plant now. Cantaloupe, watermelon, beets and salad greens can also be grown from seed. If you want to try peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant or tomatoes, however, you’ll get better results from transplants.

Flowers: If you’re enjoying the color and fragrance of your sunflower and zinnia blooms, you might consider a second planting. Annuals planted now are likely to keep blooming into September or even October. Cosmos, marigolds, periwinkle and petunias can all be seed-sown now. Geraniums and pansies also do well for late blooms in a variety of colors. If you’re already looking to next year, now is also a good time to start considering what perennials and biennials you’ll want to see.

06-08-2011-2These suggestions won’t work for everyone: Much will depend on your local climate, so be sure to keep track of the conditions you’re likely to experience as well as checking the planting Zones for your area. One resource that may help is the Mother Earth News “What to Plant Now” map, which offers general planting suggestions based on region and month. Seed vendors and local extension agents can also offer good information about your local climate and what plats are likely to flourish in each season.   

Happy gardening! 

Photo 1: Summer savory, rosemary and thyme all do well in the summer sun. Photo by Bad Alley/Courtesy Flickr 

Photo 2: Eggplant can be transplanted into your garden in early summer. Photo by Clint Gardner/Courtesy Flickr