Second season planting

Mon. Jul. 20, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Second season planting

I know it’s only mid July but you can start planting for the second season of greens and other cool season vegetables now. Midsummer is the time for zone 4 to 6 gardeners to begin planting crops like broccoli, lettuce, peas, spinach, kale, cilantro and arugula.

Arugula from Burpee. Come on, say it with me, Aruuuugula!

Planting now through early August will have you harvesting from September through November (maybe!). When planting in the heat of summer, it’s important to keep the soil surface consistently moist. If it dries out, newly sprouted seeds may die and you will need to start over.

As a general rule, seeds planted outdoors in late summer should be sown twice as deep as in the spring. Also, most cool-weather plants will not germinate well if soil temperatures rise over 80 degrees F. Shade netting or the natural shade from a trellis or tall plant can be used to create a relatively cool location for seeding a second crop.

Shade netting from Gardener’s Supply

You could also start seeds in a greenhouse.


There are lots of crops you can get a second season out of. Beets, carrots, swiss chard and all kinds of greens.

Beets from the garden
Roasted beets and carrots
Carrots ‘Purple Dragon’

If you’re going to plant peas, plant the shrub from instead of the climbers, they mature faster.

Bush peas ‘Alaska’

This second season does require a longer to mature but, IF it gets cold before you get that crop, cover with garden cloth aka floating row cover.

floating row cover

Kind of hard to think about that right now, isn’t it?