Do you ever wonder which veggies for which season, because of where you live? Many things effect the growing season for gardens. How much sun do you get? How long is your summer or winter? Does it frost hard where you are? Do you plant certain things depending on where you live? Just like utilizing your outdoor space for all seasons, let’s utilize your garden for all seasons. Let’s dive into some of the main points for which veggies for which season to help all gardeners get the best out of gardening.
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thank you for your support!
Growing Food in the Wrong Season Can Affect the Taste of It
Fact- growing your own food is a wonderful way to achieve better health, soak up more nutrients and enjoy better tasting produce than what’s on the shelves at your local grocery store.
Have you ever been to a farmer’s market in your area? Compare the taste of those foods to the waxy ones at your local chain grocery store. I bet you’ve probably noticed a difference in the quality of taste and flavor.
That’s because the farmer’s market has what’s in season for you. Some foods sitting at the store are there even though the food isn’t actually at its seasonal peak. Many grocery chains transport food and ensure they’ll be preserved on the shelves as long as possible.
When you’re growing your own vegetables and fruits, you’ll ensure maximum flavor by growing the plants in the right season. You don’t have to pick the produce early in order to get it to shelves on time. You will be able to harvest it naturally on the vine so that it produces the most flavor possible.
The focus on taste is only half the benefits of growing in season. In season produce is also more healthy for you because it becomes more packed with nutrients. Buying or growing local in season produce is also better for the environment because it reduces the carbon footprint needed to transport the harvest. This is why knowing which veggies for which season is a huge help.
Did you know that home grown vegetables, especially heirloom varieties have more flavor than store bought vegetables? Try some of these Top Selling Heirloom Seeds.
Plus, when you buy seasonal produce, it’s cheaper. Growing your own food, you’ll be saving on the cost of the food plants anyway, but it’s still a perk to eating seasonal produce.
Which Veggies for Which Season
Look at your growing zone to see what’s in season at the time you want to grow your garden. In the springtime, you might want to grow your leafy greens, garlic, radishes and peas.
Summertime is perfect for fruits like peaches, watermelon, berries and vegetables like eggplants, cucumbers, and tomatoes, which will redden and ripen on the vine for maximum flavor.
In the fall, try to grow and harvest things like apples, pumpkins, broccoli and carrots. Then in the winter, use this time to get Brussels sprouts, turnips, cabbage and winter squash on your plate.
Give it a try in your garden and see how big of a difference it makes when you pick a juicy, plump blackberry off the vine in the summer versus when you have one from the store in the winter. Making sure you know which veggies for which season will give you the best return on your gardening.
Heat Resistant Vegetables You Can Grow in Hot Summer Months
If you live in one of the zones that have sweltering summer months, you may have noticed that trying to grow a food garden in that heat can put up quite an obstacle for you.
If you’ve tried growing vegetables before, and ended up with wilted plants that seemed to die out regardless of how much water you gave them, then you want to plan a vegetable garden using heat resistant crops.
Heat Resistant Veggies
Root vegetables are a great way to grow crops in very hot temperatures. But some enjoy the heated climate more than others, such as sweet potatoes. You still need to keep the soil damp, but it will thrive in seasons where the days make you melt and the nights are overly warm.
Peppers are an easy vegetable to grow, and you can start them when the summer has reached its hottest point. You can grow bell peppers or other varieties that provide more heat for you, such as chilis or jalapenos.
If you’re sick of certain leafy greens bolting on you, then consider growing some Swiss chard in your vegetable garden. This leafy green doesn’t mind the hot climate, and you can saute it or use it in salads.
Another green vegetables that soaks up the heat is okra. This is a hearty vegetable that you can boil, fry or even pickle if you want. You can plant it in the middle of summer and harvest it early for tender pods.
Beans, Corn and Eggplant
Green beans are known to tolerate heat well in a vegetable garden. Look for bush beans or pole beans you can grow during the hot summer months. These come to maturity quickly, so you can plant and harvest more than one crop. Fast growing means more veggies per growing season. You can can or freeze crops a few times a year.
Does your family love corn on the cob? If you’re in a hot zone, consider this vegetable for your garden. Corn does well growing during the summer months, and it’s fun for kids to harvest and cook as well.
Eggplants are a purple vegetable that can even be used as a meat substitute for some recipes. It grows better in hot climates than it does in cool ones. You’ll still need to make sure it gets plenty of water, but combine that with plenty of direct sun and you’ll have a thriving crop.
Many other vegetables do well in a garden positioned in a hot weather zone. You want to ensure that you maximize the weather you’ve got with the specific types of food you want to grow, so if something doesn’t tolerate it well, hold off until the fall or spring months.
The Best Vegetables to Grow During Winter Months
Many new gardeners mistakenly believe there’s a small window of opportunity for them to grow their food. They believe that planting in Spring and harvesting through the summer is the only chance they’ll have to bring a harvest to fruition.
The truth is, there are plenty of Fall and winter crops you can also plant. People aren’t aware of what will do well in colder climates. Some crops won’t work during cooler weather.
For example, you won’t be able to grow squash or peppers. But that’s primarily because they require a lot of sunlight and warmth. You might be able to extend some of your crops just by building a greenhouse to keep the warmth in.
Winter Harvest Veggies
For a winter harvest, you’ll ideally want to plant the seeds at the end of summer. These vegetables will be ready before the ground is frozen solid, if that’s what happens in your area.
Some plants good for winter month harvests are peas, spinach, kale, lettuce, turnips, potatoes, beets, carrots and more. Pick vegetables that will grow faster than other varieties.
You want the time from seed to harvest to be short so that during the Fall, the plant is growing and can provide you with vegetables before the frost moves in. In the meantime, you can grow things such as garlic throughout the winter months so they’ll be ready to harvest when summer rolls around.
Provide Warmth for Winter Veggies
The ground cover you provide, such as mulch, will help keep some of the warmth in and block out the icy conditions. If you have plants above ground that are doing well, and you know that a freeze is moving in, you can protect the plants and continue harvesting from them during the cold winter months.
Before you grow any winter vegetables, make sure you check the seed pack to see how much natural light the plant needs, as well as what temperature range it can survive in. If your region is outside those parameters, you might have to choose something else to plant or create conditions that offer extra warmth and protection so that your harvest will be abundant.
There are some vegetables whose flavor will be sweeter or richer when harvested in the winter weather, so you might be surprised that something you grew in warmer conditions turns out better as a cold-weather crop!
Growing Perennial Vegetables Means Less Replanting Annually
When it comes to growing your food, it’s always nice to do the least work with the best return on your harvest. For many, gardening tasks are their source of exercise and stress relief.
But for others, there may be a physical strain, a lack of time, or other reasons why they’d prefer not to spend countless hours in the garden yet still be able to grow their food source.
If you have ample room to grow various foods in your garden, then you might want to consider choosing some perennial crops to plant. These plants don’t have to be replanted each year.
What is a Perennial?
Choosing to plant perennial vegetables is a great idea. These are plants that don’t die. They come up year after year. A little weeding and care will keep you in yummy vegetables every year. Once you’ve harvested the produce from them, they will grow back in the next season. Usually, many crops people grow have to be removed from the gardening bed once the harvest is over.
You have to replant each year to have new produce growing. There aren’t as many options for perennial vegetables as there are for annual or biennial plants, but you can still use a portion of your growing space for them.
Asparagus is a popular vegetable with plenty of nutrients, and it’s one of the perennial options you might want to grow. Some asparagus plants have been known to provide a harvest for a decade or more.
Rhubarb is another perennial plant you can grow. With some plants, like this one, you won’t harvest it the first year but can every year after until it’s time to divide the plant approximately five years down the road.
Chives are another that, once planted, you can get fresh chives from every year. They can be a pain as they will try to take over the whole garden.
Artichokes are a great vegetable that will continue delivering for a long time to come. If you like onions, celery, and cabbage you can plant those once and enjoy them year after year as well.
Other Benefits of Perennials
There are other benefits to growing perennial vegetables in your garden, too. For example, your garden will retain more topsoil without erosion when the plant remains intact.
The lifespan of every perennial plant will vary. Make sure you check to see if the plant needs a year to mature before harvest and then look to see if it requires splitting after a certain period of time.
Perennials will provide for you and your family for years without you having to go to the effort to replant and nurture new plants to maturity. Just make sure you continue to care for the soil and enrich is using compost or prebagged soil to give it the nutrients that it needs.
Consider adding perennial herbs to your garden as well. These herbs are beneficial for soil health as they help improve soil aeration and encourage beneficial microbial activity. Not to mention, the added benefit of providing an abundant supply of culinary herbs for cooking, as well as a variety of medicinal and aromatic herbs for teas and tinctures. Many of their flowers are excellent pollinator attractors, as well as repelling unwanted pests from the garden.
Maximize Your Harvest with Succession Planting
There are some people who participate in gardening as a Spring or Summer activity. Then there are those who want to use every available moment of their year to plant, grow and harvest their crops. This all ties into knowing which veggies for which season as well.
Succession planting allows you to make the most out of your growing space, within the timeframe that you want to be gardening. Many people use succession gardening to keep a supply of food growing when they don’t have a lot of storage space for crops they harvest.
What is Succession Planting?
This process helps you extend your growing season, giving you more produce than you previous got. There are some people who continually plant new seeds every couple of weeks, so that they can harvest new ones on an ongoing basis.
Once the first crop goes to harvest, you can immediately replant that space with either more of the same crop or something new, such as a different vegetable entirely. It depends on what your preferences are.
You can also mix the types of plants you’re growing so that some are providing food sooner than others. So for instance you might grow some peas that will harvest quickly, and also grow broccoli to harvest later in the season. Here are some Fall Crops for Succession Planting from High Mowing Organic Seeds
How Fast Are Your Crops Maturing
Take a look at the growing “to maturity” rate for your favorite vegetables. Ones like tomatoes, potatoes, peas, broccoli, carrots, squash, cauliflower, etc. Make a plan for how you’ll plant and grow the crops. This ensures you have a reliable food source for as long as possible.
Because the bed you’re planting in will be raising new seeds and plants, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to enrich the soil. You don’t want it to get stripped of nutrients during the succession planting.
Composting can help with this issue. You can even take the used and harvested plants and add them to your compost pile when you go to plant a new crop. Don’t just let the plants sit and take up space that could be used for something else.
Sometimes, the succession period will depend on what region you’re growing your food in. For example, a warmer climate might get more harvest time than one with a very short warming window.
Final Thoughts on Which Veggies for Which Season
Having a garden is a lot of work, but also offers great satisfaction. Starting off you need to follow some beginner gardening tips and just do trial and error. Starting plants early in a greenhouse or a room in your home with great sunlight helps as well. When planting right into the ground from a seed, it can take things a bit longer to germinate. There are many styles of greenhouses one can buy to really maximize your gardening adventure.