20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest

20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest

It might be July, and you might be thinking your gardening window has slammed shut, but don’t despair: There’s still PLENTY you can plant for a full fall harvest.

 

(This article is an excerpt from my #1 Amazon Best Selling book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. You can grab it on sale on Amazon by clicking here!)

 

We’ve finished harvesting the cool weather crops we planted in March, so there’s lots of space opening up in our garden for a fall garden full of leafy greens, root crops, and more.

 

Our planting season lasts longer than other areas of the country because we can harvest veggies well into November (the temperatures don’t get really freezing until January).

 

Even if you haven’t started a garden at ALL this year, there’s still plenty of options that you can start right now – and they’ll be ready in less than 90 days.

 

In this article, I show you 20 vegetables you can still start in July for a full fall harvest, PLUS which veggies are hardy down to 25 degrees.


Remember: Even if your area has early frosts, you can use a cold frame to keep them growing. In this article, I show you which vegetables do well in cold frames.

 

Not sure what crops to grow in May? Here's a guide!

 

20 Vegetables You Can Plant Right Now

 

You have options for leafy greens, root veggies, and vegetables you can ferment for a healthy snack all winter long (great for kid’s lunches too!)

 

Each vegetable listed takes between 60 to 90 days to mature, so you can expect a reasonably large harvest (depending on how much you plant) by the time frost hits.

 

Here’s what you can plant in July for a full fall harvest:

 

  • Herbs in pots
  • Beets
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens
  • Green Onions
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

 

What Vegetables Will Survive Down To 25 Degrees

 

While some of the veggies listed will survive in colder temperatures than 25 degrees (we’ve successfully overwintered spinach without a cold frame), they probably won’t grow too much when the temperatures really dip low and the ground freezes.

 

With the root vegetables, such as radishes, it’s important to make sure you harvest them before the ground completely freezes. You also don’t want the ground freezing and then thawing – that can cause rot.

 

And Remember: You can continue to grow these veggies in a South-facing cold frame well into winter in some areas! Make sure your cold frame gets plenty of light.

 

(In Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide to Backyard Gardening, I share full plans to create your own cold frame out of scrap wood as well as directions to build a hot bed with manure).

 

Vegetables that will survive down to 20 degrees are:

  • Beets
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Spinach

 

Vegetables That Will Survive a Light Frost (30 degrees or higher)

 

While not all vegetables can survive below 30, there are some that CAN survive a light frost, and are even enhanced by it.

 

Mustard and kale are two leafy greens that actually benefit from a light frost – it enhances their flavor. You can keep them in the garden longer than other vegetables, but once the temperatures will consistently be below 32 degrees, you will want to pull them out of the ground or take your chances in a South-facing cold frame.

 

All the veggies listed in the previous section can survive a light frost. Other vegetables that do well when frost hits are:

 

  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Turnips

 

How To Plant A Perennial Herb Garden

How To Plant A Perennial Herb Garden

One of our goals this year is to expand our herb garden, and try to establish it as a true perennial herb garden.

 

I’d like it if, year after year, we got as many plants as possible to voluntarily grow and produce aromatic herbs and seeds.

 

Our hens love herbs, and it’s one of those small luxuries that’s easy to produce, and easy to impress other people with. And it doesn’t even take a lot of space.


Have chickens that LOVE herbs? (Who doesn’t?!)

nesting box herbs

Yes, my hens love herbs!

 

For this project, we chose a shady plot in the garden, since many herbs do well in the shade, and it’s a good use of otherwise limited land.

 

Cilantro, in particular, is one herb I want to establish since I like to cook with cilantro and coriander.

 

Some herbs are hard to find in the store (like super fresh coriander) or you have to buy a TON just to get a tablespoonful (who uses a half pound of dill, for example?).

 

Your own herb garden solves both those dilemmas.

 

If you also want to plant a perennial herb garden, here’s some tips.

 

1. Decide which herbs to grow

 

If you’re just starting your garden, decide which herbs you’ll most likely use and enjoy, and plant those. If you use a lot of rosemary in bread baking or as a savory for steak, it’s a great bet to include in your garden.

 

You’ll end up using it frequently, and feel fulfilled after stepping just outside your door to snag a handful of fresh rosemary.

How to Grow a Perennial Herb Garden. It's a simple luxury that's easy to grow! Here's how to do it, and what you need. From FrugalChicken

Don’t just focus on only herbs you can cook with – if there’s a particular herb you love for the scent or just to look at, plant it!

 

For example, if you love lavender, but don’t necessarily see yourself using it a ton, you should still plant it. You might end up trying to use it, and discover a new flavor.

 

Just remember to plant herbs according to their needs – are they ok in full shade or do they need 8 hours of sun? Do they need only 4?

 

Will some grow so tall they’ll shade out others? Does your herb need to be 12 inches from another plant or 2 feet?

 

You get the picture.

2. Choose herbs that are likely to establish themselves in your area

 

Not all herbs will survive all climates, so do your research and figure out which herbs will survive your local environment. An herb that can survive in the extreme cold of Minnesota might not live in the extreme heat of Arizona.

 

Rosemary, mint, parsley, and oregano are some herbs that will survive winter, although you might have to use a cold frame around your herb gardenLavender and yarrow are two that do well in hot environments.

 

If there’s an herb you want to grow that won’t continue to reseed itself year after year, it’s better off in a container. You can bring your plant inside as needed to keep it growing.

3. You can start from seed or buy established plants

 

Some herbs are tough to start from seed. Or perhaps you started a bunch from seed but a wayward goat ate them or a chicken scratched up the seedlings.

 

I’ve had luck raising some plants from seed.  Sage in particular has been easy to start, and – surprisingly – so has dill.

 

How to Grow a Perennial Herb Garden. It's a simple luxury that's easy to grow! Here's how to do it, and what you need. From FrugalChicken

 

Others…let’s just say I’ve struggled with some.

 

I struggled with cilantro for years, and couldn’t keep even potted plants alive.

 

After some research, I learned that cilantro has a long tap root for an herb, which means in order to survive, the tap root (or main root) needs to dig deep into the earth to provide nutrients to the plant.

 

It’s one herb I purchased as an established plant, and transplanted into my garden. Finally, I’m having luck, and eating a ton of salsa!

 

Basil, on the other hand, is an herb I’ve always had an easy time growing even in containers. It grows wonderfully in a garden, and can grow large and bushy.

 

4. Consider different varieties of the same herb

If you have an established garden, or just want to try a bunch of different herbs to test your homesteading skills and your pallet, try different varieties.

 

Try a boxwood basil next to a traditional, large leaf basil. Try lemon mint next to peppermint. There’s also a ton of varieties of thyme!

 

Different varieties of the same plant species bring different flavors to the table, and are a great way to diversify your garden.

 

They also bring a different visual texture to your garden, since some might be large and leafy, while others might be short with tiny sprigs going out every direction.

 

How to Grow a Perennial Herb Garden. It's a simple luxury that's easy to grow! Here's how to do it, and what you need. From FrugalChicken

5. Prepare your soil

 

Once you decide what to grow, it’s time to prepare the soil. To get rid of any grasses or weeds that might be growing, I use a spade to remove an inch or so of soil, leaving only fresh dirt exposed.

 

I add a couple inches of composted manure, and mix it with with the soil by chopping it together with a hoe. Next, I use a metal garden rake to flatten the area so water doesn’t collect. A flat area is also easier to work with.

 

Using a hand trowel, I either dig a hole for an established plant or loosen up dirt to plant seeds. 

 

I use a hand rake a ton in my garden to dig around stubborn weeds to yank them by the roots.

 

I love leaf scoops to remove mounds of pulled weeds from the garden quickly.  They make a super tedious job quick and simple.

 

You definitely want to get good, sturdy equipment – I’ve bent many a trowel digging up a stubborn root.

 

6. Help the plants establish themselves

 

Whether you’ve started your herb garden by seed or used purchased transplants, give them a while to become established. Water regularly in the morning or evening (not during the day to prevent sunburn). 

 

Keep pests, chickens, and small hands away from your garden to help your plants establish themselves. 

 

Keep your herb garden weed free by removing any unwanted plants and laying down mulch or garden fabric to kill any potential weeds.

 

Steer clear of putting down hay – I’ve found that seeds from volunteer weeds like to hang out in hay, and can be hard to destroy once they’ve gotten their claws into your healthy, nourishing soil.

 

Make sure there’s a lot of branches on your herbs by regularly trimming the top of the plant an inch or so for the first few weeks – this will help the plant grow healthy and increase your yield.

 

It also keeps the herb from shooting straight up and going to seed by prompting the plant to put energy into creating strong, healthy roots.

 

Don’t harvest until your herb is least 6 inches tall to give its roots time to grow and spread into the soil.

 

7. Harvest, then allow for reseeding

 

Harvest your herbs continually throughout the spring and summer so they don’t immediately go to seed. Simply cut a couple inches off the top every now and then. 

 

Not only does going to seed deprive you of their herbal lusciousness throughout the season (because they’ll stop producing), but once they start going to seed, it can change their composition. 

 

Cilantro, when allowed to go to seed, gets thinner and a little bitter. To keep the leaves large and fresh-tasting, pinch off any flowers.

 

How to Grow a Perennial Herb Garden. It's a simple luxury that's easy to grow! Here's how to do it, and what you need. From FrugalChicken
When the season is over, though, let your herb plants go to seed – they’ll first bloom flowers, then drop their seeds. Your garden will hopefully be established when your plants grow voluntarily next year.

 

Which herbs will you try to create a perennial herb garden with this year? Leave a comment below!

13 Organic Gardening Supplies Every Woman Needs

13 Organic Gardening Supplies Every Woman Needs

Getting started with gardening this year? Feeling overwhelmed? (Or just want to get it right the first time?) You need help in choosing the right organic gardening supplies.

 

You can choose to grow organic for life and you can start today.

 

With the right tools, gardening becomes easy, enjoyable, and successful. Let’s do a quick rundown of the most basic organic farming supplies you need to have.

 

Basic Organic Gardening Supplies 

 

These organic gardening supplies make organic gardening for beginners super simple. Here's what every woman should have on hand when growing vegetables!

 

  1.    Classic Organic Gardening Tools

In planning every garden, you need to have the basic supplies to be able to fill your pots, till the soil, and maintain the growth of your crops.

 

Must have gear includes tillers, rakes, hoes (not that kind…the kind that help dig out naughty weeds that have sprung up where they shouldn’t).

 

When looking for rakes and hoes, be sure they’re the right height for you. I’ve purchased some supplies in the past that were too short; I ended up hunching over. Not fun.

 

  1. Apparel

You don’t want to get sunburned trying to grow fresh tomatoes or bummed because your toes are soaking wet, do you?

 

Essential organic gardening supplies include a hat and waterproof boots. Muck boots are great to keep your socks from getting soaked, and a hat will not only provide shade for your eyes, it’ll also catch sweat and keep you cooler when the temperature rises.

 

Gloves are another organic gardening supplies must-have. After a while, you’ll start to get blisters. Definitely not fun!

 

Any gloves you buy should be comfortable to wear and not rub you anywhere. These are your protection against cuts, blisters, prickers, and sunburns.

 

  1.    Pots & Other Containers

Some crops need a little extra time or babying before they can be transplanted. Pots are one of those organic gardening supplies you should always have on hand.

 

If you plan to grow herbs, then putting them in pots is a good idea; you can put them out when the weather is better (a lot of herbs are heat-loving) and bring them inside so you can still enjoy them when the weather turns cool again.

 

  1.    Starter Mixes

Starter mixes are part of the organic gardening supplies you need for seed starting. The nutrients support healthy seedling growth, and the right starter mix can make or break you.

 

You can also make your own starter mix (there’s a great recipe in my book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening.)

 

  1.    Heat Mats

Successful gardening starts with successful germination. Any kind of vegetable seed will only take root when the soil temperature remains within that particular plant’s requirement. Some will need more warmth and in such cases, you should use a seedling heat mat.

 

  1.    Compost

If you want to grow organic for life, you need to fertilize your soil. The easiest and least expensive (and pretty much the best) way to do that is with compost.

 

It’s one of those must-have supplies, and you can either buy compost from a reliable supplier who you trust or make your own.

 

  1.    Row covers

As your organic garden grows, you need to provide extra care for your seedlings, especially in the early spring when your plants deal with a lot of temperature and weather changes. The plants are also at risk of being destroyed by pesky insects and animals.

 

Row covers will protect them, keep pests at bay, and overall are one of the best tools you can use to protect your babies from harsh conditions. Look for supplies from brands that feature UV resistant material with screened ventilation.

 

  1.    Netting

Nets act as temporary fences to protect your plants from thieving pests and other destructive elements. Deer or rabbits, for example, might try to snack on your young, tender, vegetable plants.

 

Netting will keep them away and snacking on something else. Keep calm and protect thy plants!

 

  1.    Twine

Garden twine help keep things under control in your garden, particularly tomato plants, if you plant to stake them (I didn’t do that last year trying to save a buck on cages. Very bad idea – my garden was a mess of tomato vines come August). Hemp twine is a good, all-natural twine.

 

  1.   Burlap

Something else to keep on hand, that most people overlook, is burlap. It can be used to wrap your plants (VERY handy if you need a quick row cover when the temperature suddenly drops), protect and screen your plants from harmful pests, prevent soil erosion, germinate seeds (great for lettuce and carrot seeds), among other ideas.

 

It is inexpensive and biodegradable, perfect to lay in your garden bed anytime.

 

  1.   Organic Insect Sprays

— And sprayers, of course. Experts say that what you spray and how you spray it creates a big difference in the outcome of your garden. Insecticides and herbicides should come from safe and natural ingredients. Look for high-quality garden sprays for better performance and good results.

You can learn how to make your own organic insect sprays in my book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening.

 

  1.   Moisture Meter

Nothing is worse than either overwatering or underwatering your plants. These risks can be avoided with supplies like a moisture meter. It is one of the powerful gardening tools that measure the water in plants at the root level.

 

This list should give you the perfect head start in growing your first garden. The next you can do is to look for brand-specific organic gardening supplies that will match your expectations and budget. If you have other great gardening tools and tips that you can share, we encourage you to share them to help fellow gardeners to start going organic today!

3 Square Foot Gardening Layouts That Are Genius Time Savers

3 Square Foot Gardening Layouts That Are Genius Time Savers

Longing for the days when people used to grow their own vegetables through traditional sweat and dirt…..but don’t have the time? Well, it’s time to get off your butt. Consider this your call to action: a beginner’s guide to square foot gardening layouts.

 

(This article is an excerpt from my best selling gardening book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide to Backyard Gardening. You can get the entire book including more layouts on Amazon or directly from me, which will save you 10% and includes shipping.

Click here to get it from me and save 20% plus get free shipping

Click here to get it on Amazon)

 

Say hello to a newer and easier type of gardening.

 

In case you’ve never heard about or aren’t sure what square foot gardening is, this technique (some say it’s a way of life) lets you harvest more veggies in a smaller space while decreasing your workload.

 

If you’ve never tried it, then you’ll want to print out this article and grab my book above, which is a step-by-step guide to implementing these layouts.

 

The square foot gardening layouts I’ll show you make adopting this style of growing really easy.

 

So easy, you’ll write me love letters (well….maybe a like letter. I’m married….and don’t want the drama from receiving random love letters. Although an argument might spice up a Friday night here in the country where nothing ever happens.)

 

The bottom line is that cultivating plants in square foot boxes optimizes the use of your garden space and minimizes your effort while maximizing production – pretty nifty stuff.

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

 Here's 3 genius square foot gardening layouts that are perfect for raised beds. Square foot gardening for beginners just got easier!

Planning your square foot gardening layouts

Like any other growing technique out there, success with square foot gardening layouts requires a bit of planning so you can get a great harvest.

 

You can grow what you like – but you’ll do better making sure all your plants “play” well together. Layouts like the ones in this article will make it super easy for you.

 

A square foot gardening planting guide (like my companion planting guide you can download right here) also will help you be successful with any layouts you design yourself, especially since not all vegetable plants play well together.

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

Three square foot gardening layout guides you can use this spring

Three square foot gardening layouts I personally love are a salsa garden, a greens garden, and an all-tomato garden. Because who doesn’t love tomatoes?

 

(Well, I know a few people….but they’re not friends. Friends don’t let friends be friends with people who don’t like tomatoes. ← Gardening haiku)

 

These are three square foot gardening layouts I use every year (and I start them indoors in my warm greenhouse), and some of my tried-and-true hacks you can use to have a great harvest!

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

Salsa Garden

This one is probably my favorite square foot gardening layouts because….well….salsa.

 

Salsa garden layouts can be fancy or simple. This one includes just a few veggies and herbs: tomatoes, scallions, peppers, and herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil, and cilantro.

 

Here's 3 genius square foot gardening layouts that are perfect for raised beds. Square foot gardening for beginners just got easier!

 

(Salsa generally includes onions, but they take up a LOT of room and have a long growing season – your better layouts include more tomatoes or herbs. You can buy your onions or plant them elsewhere on your yard.)

 

How you arrange the plants in your raised bed will depend on certain factors such as growing size.

 

For example. tomato plants need an entire square, and it’s best to plant them one or two feet away from each other.

 

You CAN plant herbs near tomatoes, however, and they’re supposed to improve the flavor of the our red fruity friends.

 

A pepper plant needs as much nutrients and sunlight as a tomato plant, but consumes less space. You can place pepper plants 12 inches away from another.

 

For the most part, these vegetables and herbs mature at the same time, particularly if you grow indeterminate tomatoes. If your herbs start flowering, pinch them off to extend their life.

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

Greens Garden

If you are a fan of fresh salads (or have a lot of rabbits), a square foot gardening planting guide for a greens garden is gonna be your jam.

 

Like the other square foot gardening layouts in this article, you need to be conscious of the space between each plant, but you’re totally free to grow any type of greens your healthy heart desires.

 

Here's 3 genius square foot gardening layouts that are perfect for raised beds. Square foot gardening for beginners just got easier!

 

Some of my favorite layouts include spicy mustard greens, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and arugula (I grow the arugula for my rabbits though – personally, I can’t stand the stuff).

 

Mustard greens and kale must be planted three inches away from each other. Spinach, on the other hand, should have at least 14-inch spacing. Green lettuce and arugula need 4 inches.

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

All Tomato Garden

Now, I know when you think about vegetable gardens, you’re dreaming of tomatoes. Since tomatoes are my specialty, I love using all tomato square foot gardening layouts.

 

This plan will show you how to grow an near-unlimited supply of tender tomatoes in the summer (as long as you grow indeterminate varieties).

 

An all-tomato layout can have as many varieties of tomatoes as you would like to plant – try some heirloom varieties for fuller flavor.

 

You can get husky red cherry tomatoes or golden jubilees to name a few. Although different, they still have the same needs, like an adequate amount of sunlight and enough space between each other.

 

The bottom line, regardless of the types of vegetables you grow, is that planning your square foot garden is the key to a healthy harvest.

 

Factors such as distance, amount of sunlight, moisture, nutrient amount, and maturity length must also be considered when planning your layout.

 

If you want very detailed gardening advice, then get Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening, and refer to it as you plan out your own garden.

 

Do have favorite square foot gardening layouts? Send them to me, and I might feature them in an upcoming article!

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

Want Gourmet Ingredients Right At Your Fingertips? Grow These 10 Easy But Oh-So-Delicious Herbs!

Want Gourmet Ingredients Right At Your Fingertips? Grow These 10 Easy But Oh-So-Delicious Herbs!

Have you ever moved to a new home and realized you didn’t quite know what you were getting into?

 

That’s what happened when we moved to our farm. We were very used to easy sources for herbs, creme fraiche, and other yummy ingredients.

 

(Want more great down-home gardening advice? Grab your copy of my new book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening available now on Amazon!)

 

Buuuuttt…good luck finding them in a 50 mile radius in this rural town.

 

In fact, part of the reason we started our homestead was so we could have access to fresh, organic ingredients that otherwise we would have zero access to (or at least ingredients that hadn’t been sprayed with a ton of Round-up or shipped from questionable sources overseas) – herbs included.

 

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, or just want to bring the garden indoors, here’s 10 easy, versatile, and gourmet herbs we’ve had success with!

 

You can grow them in your own kitchen, and they’ll have your friends convinced you’re either a green-thumb savant and/or Gordon Ramsay himself.

 

Enjoy!

 

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

You can grow basil as an annual herb. For classic and aromatic flavor; you can try Genovese Basil. Grow Lemon Basil for a citrus flavor and Spicy Globe if you’ll like a Basil herb that grows compactly (8 to 10 inches tall). Spicy Globe basil looks great in pots. Plant in at least a 6-inch pot, keep watered, and fertilize with compost once a month. Ready to harvest when the plant is 6-inches tall, well established, and consistently growing leaves. Easy pesto anyone?

 

Bay (Laurus nobilis)

Although this initially grows very slowly, with enough patience, it will eventually form a bush or small tree which you can easily train into a wide array of shapes, or even a topiary. To make it easy start, you can purchase a young, organic, 1- to 2-foot plant and begin nurturing it. Perfect for soups and stews.

 

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

Also known as French parsley, this annual herb shares a striking similarity to delicate overtones of anise in terms of appearance and taste. Water regularly, and feed compost every other month. To harvest Chervil, all you need to do is snip the outer leaves and stems.

 

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

This is a grass-like herb with a mild onion flavor. Perfect on baked potatoes, or whenever you need a delicate, fresh, onion flavor. When harvesting, it is highly important to cut small bunches of leaves back into the soil level in order to keep new ones growing constantly.

 

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Plant in a deep pot because Cilantro has a long taproot, and needs room to grow. It’s best to plant is where you intend to keep it because it doesn’t do well with transplanting. Keep in a sunny area since it loves warmth, and water regularly.

 

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Dill is an aromatic annual herb which is best known for its leaves when it is grown indoors. You can also grow it for its seeds – if you’re able to stop yourself from eating it! Add to soups and curries, or with fish. Fernleaf dill is a compact herb which is perfect for indoor growth.

 

Marjoram (Origanum spp.)

This herb originates from the Mediterranean and it is a member of the oregano family. However it stands out from other members of its botanical family in terms of flavor, which is distinctly sweeter and more delicate. Sweet marjoram can be grown in pots on a sunny kitchen window sill. Plant in a 6-inch pot, and water regularly.

 

Mints (Mentha spp.)

Peppermint and spearmint are both awesome choices for your kitchen. You can harvest it for tea or as flavoring in a salad. It’s hardy and easy to grow as long as it gets water regularly (if the soil is dry below the surface, it’s time to water.) If growing outdoors, you should ensure to put mint in its own personal container as it can easily outgrow and choke other herbs. When the plant is young but established, snip off new growth to encourage the plant to spread and develop more stems.

 

Oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum)

There’s a few different types of oregano. For one that packs a lot of flavor, Greek oregano can grow up to about 12 inches in pots (plant in a 6 to 8-inch pot for best results). Ensure to harvest oregano leaves regularly in order to encourage the growth of new ones.

 

 

Parsley (Petroselinum spp.)

Both Italian flat-leaf and curly-leaf parsley grow effectively when put indoors. When harvesting, ensure that you cut off the outer leaves. Doing this will spur the growth of new leaves from its center and will keep it productive for a long period of time, possibly several months.

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you have a favorite herb to grow in your kitchen? Leave a comment below!