This handy printable list shares the various vegetables and herbs to sow in summer for veggies in fall and winter—even here in Canada in a cold climate. It is important to get the slow-growers started so they are well-established before the cool weather sets in.
For more, see the Fall Garden Guide with tips on sowing, growing, and creative autumn projects.
The Year-round Vegetable Gardener
If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know I’m on a mission to dispel the myth that the gardening season—specifically food growing—ends as summer fades out.
Several years ago I read Niki Jabbour’s book, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, and it totally changed my gardening life. I had no idea you can grow vegetables right through the fall and into the winter. This post provides all the details.
Even if you don’t want a big winter garden, it is worthwhile to grow one bed of essentials like leafy salad greens. Most do fine with frost cloths or a basic polytunnel over top to protect them from harsh weather conditions.
If you just want some fast cool weather crops, this list of Spring and Fall Veggies is perfect.
1Veggies to Start INDOORS (under grow lights) Mid-Summer
Check the seed packets for the number of days it will take from seed to harvest and allow extra time for slower growth as the weather cools.
- Brussels sprouts
2Veggies to Start OUTDOORS Mid-Summer
This group is both fast and slow growing, depending on which part of the plant you want to eat.
If you want the mature crops (root veggies), start mid-summer.
Otherwise, plant them with Group 3 (late summer) and enjoy the baby leaves, shoots, and tiny fruits and /roots.
Select a slightly cool or shady location to prevent bolting.
- Swiss chard
3Fast-Growing Veggies to Sow Directly OUTDOORS Late Summer
- You may need frost cloths, a poly-tunnel, or cold frame for weather protection.
- Many of these plants take just 20-30 days to mature and you can eat them as they grow.
- You can also sow seeds on a weekly basis for a continuous harvest.
- To keep it simple, look for variety seed packs sold as ‘mesclun mix’.
- Mustard greens
- Pak choi
4Fast-Growing Herbs to Sow Directly OUTDOORS Late Summer
As mentioned, all of these are suggestions and results will depend on your growing zone and conditions.
It is also possible to grow some of these herbs indoors through the winter if you have adequate light. See How to Grow Herbs Indoors for tips.
- Mint (in a container-it’s invasive)
- Parsley (can survive winter with cover)
- Lavender (use cuttings)
- Rosemary (use cuttings)
This two-page list shares vegetable and herb seeds to sow in mid or late summer for cool weather growing.
Keep in mind that different varieties of the same vegetable can grow at very different paces, so be sure to check your seed packets to allow enough time from seed to harvest. I’ve listed a suggested schedule on the printable.
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Let’s keep the gardening going all year-round!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛