You may not think of starting garden seeds now, while you’re in the midst of the summer harvest. You may think it will be too much work or that you will not have enough warm weather left for the plants to mature. This may be true in some cases, however, here in the Winston-Salem area there is plenty of time to grow out a number of vegetables.
If you garden in an area with mild winters, this is a good time to start seeds for summer vegetables, like squash and tomatoes.
Starting some plants from seed is simple. Once you’ve finished the harvest of a spring planted crop, refresh the soil with compost or other amendments and start planting. If the area is in full sun, you might need to provide some shade, such as row covers or a covering of shade cloth. Starting seeds in mid-summer is best accomplished in an area that gets afternoon shade. Filtered or dappled shade areas are a good place to start seeds this time of year.
Consider growing in containers. This method provides the flexibility to move sprouted seedlings into a full sun area when temperatures decrease.
Plant crops that need 60 or 90 days to maturity for harvest this season. Over-winter root crops and get a jump start on perennial vegetables such as eggplant, rhubarb and broccoli. (Plants from the brassica family are great candidates for mid-summer planting). Start onions from seed now for a late spring or summer harvest next year.
Many herbs fall into this category. Get them started outside now, then replant for indoor use through the winter.