You Ask, We Answer: Is It Too Late In the Season To Plant Veggies & Flowers?
The summer solstice is just two weeks away, and while many flowers are in full bloom and vegetable plants are growing strong, we have good news for all the procrastinators out there: It’s not too late in the season to plant veggies and flowers to enjoy this summer! In fact, you can still have plenty of color, variety, and delicious options if you know which fast-growing plants to choose. Read on for some of our favorite options to quickly grow in your Connecticut garden.
Know your zone
First thing’s first: It’s important to know which growing zone Connecticut is in so you can get the most reward for your efforts. Connecticut falls into growing zones 5-7; you can check the exact zone of your town by visiting this website and inputting your zip code. All of the plants below are known for thriving in Connecticut’s growing zone. Just don’t forget to follow the recommended light and watering instructions for each plant!
Now, choose your veggies
The good news is, growing zones 5-7 have plenty of options for delicious vegetables that can be planted now and enjoyed this summer!
While peas are often thought of as harbingers of spring, they’ll do well in Connecticut if you plant them in June, as well. Most varieties of peas will be ready for harvesting in about two months, so if you plant them now, you can enjoy them on your August salads.
A word of caution from modernfarmer.com, however: “Be mindful of mildew around mid-July. You can treat it with a solution with 40-percent milk and 60-percent water. There’s a common misconception that peas don’t fare well in hot weather, but it actually has more to do with poor irrigation. Keep them well watered in the heat and you shouldn’t have a problem.”
One of the most versatile summer vegetables, summer squash comes in so many delicious varieties–yellow squash, zucchini and more!– and does well in so many recipes, it’s no wonder it’s a favorite among so many of us. You don’t have to miss out on enjoying summer squash this year; in fact, plant it now and you may be surprised at how quickly it begins to sprout up! Like peas, squash will take about 2 months to mature, but because it freezes well, you can harvest it and still enjoy it in recipes once the seasons change (hello, zucchini bread!).
It may surprise you to learn that it’s not too late to plant tomatoes, and with the right varieties, you can still enjoy them by the end of August. Choose cherry tomatoes or other small varieties, or look for seeds or seedlings marked “early maturing” for the best results. Seedlings will help further speed things along, but if you can’t find those, not to worry! You can still have good luck with seeds.
And now, pick your flowers
You’ve planted your veggies, and now you’re craving some colorful flowers in your garden. Hearty flowers like marigolds not only grow quickly (approximately six weeks from seed to bloom), but if they get full sun and are planted in well-draining soil, they’ll continue to throw colorful blooms well into fall. Just be sure to deadhead flowers as they fade; this will help assure you enjoy as many blooms as possible.
Leafy coleus doesn’t just grow quickly; it is also very adaptable to Connecticut’s heat and humidity during summer months. As long as coleus gets enough water, it will perk right back up after a dry spell. With so many color and pattern varieties, this plant is a welcome addition to both your garden and planters alike. And, you don’t have to wait for coleus to bloom–you’ll enjoy its beautiful colors from day one!
Like marigolds, zinnias add brilliant pops of hearty color to your garden or planters, and as a bonus, they make beautiful cutting flowers. Give them full sun and deadhead old flowers, and you’ll have abundant blooms that last into fall’s first frost. With their numerous color and height options, you can create a visual feast with zinnias in your Connecticut garden–and they’ll attract bees and butterflies, too. Give them 60-70 days, and you’ll have a riot of color in your yard by August.