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Whoops! I Forgot To Plant My Garden

Whoops! I Forgot To Plant My Garden

If you didn’t have the time last spring to plant a vegetable garden, take heart. You’ve still got a chance-in-hell to grow some veggies and herbs before the first hard frost signals the end of the gardening season.

“Gardening is a journey of exploration,” says Nicholas Staddon, of Monrovia, the plant sellers. “You get to do things outside the rulebook. Sometimes it works great; sometimes not. But gardeners like to be challenged.”

And challenged you will be. While some plants, like basil, adore hot weather and will thrive in the dog days of summer, others, like tomatoes, will wonder what you’re smoking planting them after Memorial Day.

But it’s worth throwing some seeds in the ground, buying end-of-summer seedlings at a discount, and see what comes up. To increase your luck, plant vegetables in dappled sun or protect them with row cover fabric, so young plants don’t fry. Then, set up a drip hose to keep them well watered.

Also, do a little math and compare how many days your plants need to mature, with the time you’ve got left until the first frost blankets your garden. (The Farmer’s Almanac will help you find your first frost date.)

Some plants, like basil and bush snap beans, will die at the first frost; others, like kale, will keep growing even when temperatures drop to 20 degrees. Plan your mid-summer garden accordingly.

Here are vegetables you can plant now and reasonably expect (OK, hope) to harvest something yummy and nutritious in the fall. (Source: University of Minnesota Extension)


Plants Killed by Frost (32 degrees)

Bush Beans


Plants That Survive a Light Frost (29-32 degrees)

Leaf lettuce
Mustard greens
Swiss chard


Plants That Survive a Moderate Frost (25-28 degrees)

Green onion

Plants The Survive a Killing Frost (down to 24-20 degrees)

Brussels sprouts
Collard greens


Winters-Over in the Ground



Image credit: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Read more: Nature, Eating for Health, Eco-friendly tips, Environment, Lawns & Gardens, Outdoor Activities, , ,

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Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon, creator of, is an award-winning journalist, avid gardener and fly-fisher. She lives in Northern Virginia on a half acre that always needs weeding. Please visit her on Twitter (@kaplan_lisa) and Facebook (Lisa Kaplan Gordon)


+ add your own
2:51AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

I planted, but then I moved!

7:05PM PDT on Aug 10, 2014

Time to start planting!!!!

5:09PM PDT on Aug 8, 2014


4:56AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

Time to get out in the garden ....byeee:)

8:05PM PDT on Aug 5, 2014


7:13AM PDT on Aug 4, 2014


11:29AM PDT on Aug 1, 2014


3:40AM PDT on Aug 1, 2014


11:41AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014


11:37AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

My garden hasn't done well this year due to cold and a distinct lack of pollinators. The birds usually stop eating at the feeder in June but this year they clean it out in a couple of days. Not much for anyone/thing to eat.

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