Growing your own veggies is not only a great way to help the environment, but it’s also a good way of saving money and encouraging yourself and your family to eat more vegetables. Another positive of growing your own organic produce is that you will never have to rely on going to the shops to get your veggies again. So, we’ve rounded up a list of five vegetables that you can plant at the end of summer, and still reap a good harvest before winter.
End of Summer Vegetables to Plant
Tomato for a plot garden
Growing tomatoes is an exciting and rewarding task, especially when it’s your first time. You end up with masses of fresh and juicy produce to enjoy in a range of ways. Tomatoes are easily grown in warm temperatures and taste best when they have been grown in full sun.
First of all, you will need a rich and fertile plot of soil or compost, it will need to be a sunny but sheltered spot. You need to ensure you regularly feed and water your plant with high-potash fertiliser once the plants start to flower. From then it will take 7-14 days for your tomatoes to grow fully, at a temperate of around 21 degrees Celsius. This makes them an ideal vegetable to grow towards the end of summer, as temperatures stay around this high well into September.
Lettuce and other types of salad leaves are quick and easy to grow, especially in the summer. It’s fuss free and can be grown just about anywhere. There are so many types of lettuce to choose from, all with different colours, flavours and textures – salads will never be boring again once you start growing!
There are two main types of lettuce – hearting lettuces have a dense centre, while loose-leaf lettuces have open leaves and no heart. You can also grow a variety of salad leaves that can be picked while young and tender, all perfect for the late UK summer.
Originally from Mexico, chillis have been part of the human diet since around 7000–500bc, and they’re one of the oldest cultivated crops worldwide. Chilli plants are easily grown with plenty of heat in the height of the UK summer, and it’s important not to plant them too early in the season.
Plant them in pots and place them in the warmest spot you have in the garden, or in a greenhouse. You can also grow them in a bright and sunny spot in your house, but you will have to keep on top of the feeding and watering. If chillis are kept outside in pots, bring them indoors before the first frost sets in.
You can’t beat a crunchy cucumber fresh from the garden! There are many cucumber varieties suitable for growing outside or in a greenhouse. Outdoor cucumbers are known to tolerate cooler climates and are often spiney and rough to touch, whereas greenhouse cucumber form smoother fruits, but do need that extra bit of warmth.
A sunny but sheltered spot in the garden is always the go-to for summer growing. Sow cucumbers from mid-spring into small pots with general-purpose potting mix, put in two seeds about an inch deep and then give them a good water. To germinate, they will need to be in temperatures of at least 20 degrees.
Beets aren’t as easy to grow as other veggies, but they still can be grown from a seed and you won’t have to wait long until harvest time. Beets can be grown in well-prepared soil, and they a need sunny, open position and moist, fertile soil conditions. You’ll want to avoid growing them in the hottest months, depending on your location.
Squashes and pumpkins are among the most thrilling vegetables to grow, simply because of the speed with which they grow. In just weeks they can turn from seedlings to sprawling monsters! They’re also very easy to grow, as long as you can keep up with their insatiable appetite.
Squash varieties come in all sorts of shapes, patterns and sizes. Summer squash is harvested throughout the summer, and loves a warm, sunny and sheltered spot. These are the ideal conditions for pollination and proper fruit development. They also require a rich fertile soil.
Growing your own vegetables is a rewarding hobby that can involve all the family. After watching your plants blossom and produce the tastiest foods, you can enjoy all the many health benefits of vegetables, knowing that they have been grown safely and organically. Make sure you don’t forget to enjoy a glass of V8 Juice while you indulge in your freshy grown veggies this summer!