Speedy Vegetables to Fill Gaps in Midsummer

Second Plantings for Vegetable Crops

July 18, 2019

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Summer is in full swing and by now the peas and radishes have all been picked, the cilantro is blooming, the lettuce has bolted, and the spinach is long gone. Don’t let those gaps sit empty; they’ll only fill up with weeds! To get the most from your garden, break out the seeds and pop in a few wherever you find an open spot.

Here are a few speedy vegetable crops that don’t take long to mature. Later in the season, as your spring planted veggies are winding down, these new recruits will be going strong.

See the Almanac’s free Vegetable Growing Guides for planting and harvestinginformation.

  • Bush beans are perfect for an early summer planting. Many varieties mature in 50 to 60 days and will supply you with tender new beans until frost takes them out in fall.


  • Cucumbers and summer squash don’t take long to produce fruits when planted in July’s warm soil.


  • Greens that can stand up to heat like chard or kale can grow in place of lettuce and spinach.


  • Radishes add pep to any meal. Many red radishes are ready to eat in 25 days. For something different try white daikon, watermelon radish, or black Spanish.
  • Root crops including beets, carrots, turnips, and rutabaga can be direct seeded now to give you a fall crop.


  • Herbs like basil, dill, and cilantro don’t take long to grow enough leaves to pick for garnishing summer meals and can be planted at 2 week intervals over the summer. Nothing beats the flavor of dill on new potatoes, a chiffonade of basil on pasta salad, or fresh cilantro in your favorite salsa.


Bees and other beneficial insects will enjoy the calendula flowers too!

  • Flowers are food for the soul. If you have spots in the garden that need a dash of color, try planting edible flowers like calendula or nasturtiums. Their large seeds germinate fast.

Time to fill in the gaps for a summer refresh!

Here’s a helpful video showing fast-growing vegetables.

About This Blog

Get inspired by Robin Sweetser’s backyard gardening tips and tricks. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. She and her partner Tom have a small greenhouse business and also sell plants, cut flowers, and vegetables at their local Farmer’s Market.