The Q&A Archives: Plants for Fall Garden

Question: I purchased a home recently that already had a vegetable garden. Now that it's mid-July, and most of the plants have finished producing, I'm tearing out the annuals that I don't want to return next year. What can I plant in this open space for a late summer garden that would have time to produce before the first frost? Vegetables or flowers will be fine - but most of our nurseries are already cleared out of bedding plants by now. Any ideas?

Answer: You could plant a fall crop of lettuce, spinach, chard, or other greens. You can probably get some short-season broccoli plants to mature--I planted broccoli raab (or rapini), a wild relative of broccoli, and it mature quickly this spring. Another possibility is bush beans--they tend to mature faster than pole beans.

By the way--you might keep some of those annual flowers in the ground--snapdragons and pansies often put on a second show, once the weather cools.

Good luck, and congratulations on your new home!

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