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June - Is it too late to plant a vegetable garden?

Because of various delays (cough cough pessimistic rationalizing :oops: ) I am only starting to garden now, leaving me about 90 days to start from seed or plantlings.

The pros: I have about an immaculate canvs: (roughly) a square half acre space that was so graciously set aside AND disc-ed (does disced look weird or is it just me?), leaving beautiful lush black, near stream dirt ripe for planting (there've only been weeds the last few years so it will be LOADED with nitrogen/other nutrients).

The cons: I am very delayed and very much a noob; over-thinking/planning every facet of how/what I want to plant(to make the most of the space), prepping for pests (neem? marigolds? beneficial insects?), begin composting (can bokashi matter be translated to a vermicomposting mix or will the acidity be too much for the red worms?)..... etc.


Any thoughts (aside from prescribing ritalin/clonopin :roll: ) as far as absolutely starting from scratch this far into the season? I know of a few nurseries where I can get plantlings/heirloom seeds, and have a few connections online also. Sorry for the mouthful.. :lol:
"Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I would plant something. Choose varieties that mature in the time you have left before frost. I am still going to plant some late corn and peas.
Green beans, cukes, and summer squash should make it too.

I would not plant 1/2 acre as a first garden though. I am afraid it would overwhelm you in the end. That is a big commitment for a beginner. That is a big commitment for an experienced gardener. If you have equipment to help with the cultivating, it helps. Be a little conservative starting out.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Senior Member
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 1:32 am
Location: Southwest IN

I wouldn't even consider attempting a 1/2 acre garden without these. It would still take quite a bit of time with them. It would be a 24/7 job trying to do everything by hand, especially this late.

Sweet corn is one of the lower labor vegetables. Maybe you could grow some to sell



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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

get started!

Agree with freedhw, do get started! And don't try starting with a half acre. I would think about planting more than half of your half acre in some kind of nitrogen fixing cover crop, like annual rye grass. That will protect it from just farming more weeds and continue to develop your soil. Next spring you would turn all that under, if you are ready to garden more of it next year.

In the meantime for the remaining area, there are a lot of things you could plant now for a fall harvest, especially root crops-- beets, carrots, onions, turnips... Cucumbers would be fine and zucchini and other squashes. They like hot weather and are among the last things to be planted out anyway. Similarly for melons. Radishes are always good just because they are so fast growing. You could still do some tomatoes, if you buy good big well started plants from a nursery--look for earlier maturing varieties like Early Girl.

Later on, like mid August ish you can plant cooler weather crops for a fall crop. That would be things like broccoli, cabbage, and all the green leafies...

And definitely start your compost pile too. That's for next year, but you want to start it now. I don't know anything about bokashi, I'm a throw it in a pile and let nature take care of it kind of gardener, which has worked for me for a long time.

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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 1:15 am
Location: Seattle, WA

I don't think it is too late - there are a lot of crops that some gardeners seed at this time of the year as fall crops. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, collards, to name a few. You can try some quicker growing crops like radishes for earlier rewards, and use transplants as well. I think you should still be able to get a nice harvest if you start soon! :D

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Never too late. I keep planting things, squeezing more stuff in to all the available spaces I can find. I planted some seeds yesterday and more seeds today. I sprouted the seeds in a pan of water first to speed things up.

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Senior Member
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 1:32 am
Location: Southwest IN

I have some sweet corn that will be ready in about a week. I am going to till the stalks in and plant green beans or maybe a second round of corn (if it will ever quit raining :roll: ).

Green Thumb
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:04 pm
Location: Ohio

1/2 acre can over whelm some folks, others it just isn't enough space.

Try planting one row at a time and see how far you get. If you don't get it all planted, You can always put winter rye down as a cover crop any time you are ready, before November.

I am still planting corn, put some out this morning. I will be pulling up potatoes and putting in a second crop of taters. I plant bush beans upto 1st of August. And squash is still good to start.

Everyone else who has posted here has excellent advise.
Good luck

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