It’s Not Too Late To Start Your Garden


I hope you liked our “Nourishing Hope in the Garden with Ruby and Jules” post on growing your own vegetables. We got some great comments back. Thank you to everyone who replied to my gardening email and shared some of the ways you are using your garden to remain healthy and happy during these times. I wanted to share some of my favorite comments and/or responses (I left the names off for privacy)…

“Thanks for sharing – that was great, and I’m trying to get to the garden, but difficult.  You have encouraged me to try – as I should look at it as a stress reliever. Your little girl Ruby looks lovely and so excited about it. Ruby, keep going, you will be healthy and well, and enjoy your veggies!!!”

“Thank you so much for sharing about your (beautiful!) garden and how gardening is your meditation and de stressing – Me too! And I talk to my plants too! Every day I go out and see how much water they need by sticking my finger in the soil. My grandson loves to help me water and dig and is already getting to eat the strawberries off the plant with a small helping of organic dirt. I owe you so much – you started my journey into autism and alternative treatments for my granddaughters and gave me not only nourishing hope but Hope. God bless you and yours Julie.” 

“Loved your message today, Julie! Just trying my hand at raised bed veggies (with companion flowers) and several containers for whatever can tolerate containers. Such a late start for me (had to wait for construction of the beds, and have so little idea about what might actually germinate now for direct seed-to-soil planting. Oh well, I’m asking everyone who has experience, and wearing out my eyes on YouTube!”

“My son sent me a butterfly 🦋 flower kit and I have so enjoyed seeing them grow on the window shelf. Last week I transferred the Cosmos to pots and they are doing well. Yesterday I potted the Tickseed and Sea Holly. No sign of the Lazy Daisies – aptly named!”

“This is great! Thanks for sharing. This is the first year my kids and I are successful in our garden (we moved our raised bed to a sunnier spot!) And we got baby chicks recently, so we are getting our yard ready for them. I look forward to learning a bit about gardening with kids from you. :-)”

“Love this! My daughter’s name is Ruby too! She will be 8 soon. We’ve been growing some plants and will soon create a little veggie garden. Looking forward to sharing your tips with her.”

I love these comments and I hope you are enjoying your summer! It’s mid July and summer – and our garden is in full swing.

Have you been thinking about a garden, but feel it’s too late?

It’s not too late! 

No matter where you live and how short your growing season is, there are still things you can grow!

Here at Nourishing Hope, I want to nourish hope that you can still start your own garden.

Length of your growing season

It’s simple to figure out. Frost is the enemy here. Frost will kill most plants, so that’s the end of your growing season. You want to make sure that whatever you plant can grow and bear “fruit” before the first frost. 

Determine your first frost and growing season by looking at the first frost in your area through The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Based on how much time you have, determine what you’d like to grow. 

Seeds take longer so if you have a short growing season buy seedlings. Seedlings can save you 30 days of growing time. If you have a longer growing season, you can even plant seeds still. 

If your first frost is in mid Oct or later, you can still grow just about anything right now! 

If you have a shorter growing season, buy seedlings and anything with a shorting growing cycle such as lettuce, kale, or radishes. 

Time it Takes to Grow Vegetables

Here are some favorites and their growing time.

Lettuce: 21-75 days

Kale: 21-75 days

Radish 30-40 days

Zucchini: 35-55 days

Cucumber: 55-70 days

Carrots: 70-80 days

Pole green beans: 65-75 days

Tomatoes: 50-90 days

For tomatoes and other plants you can look for “early” varieties, as the fruit will mature earlier. And tomatoes are great to get as starts.

For basil and other herbs, if you buy seedling plants, they are pretty much ready to harvest from the beginning or within a few weeks.

Corn is the only thing that is probably too late to start now.

Fall Vegetables

And the next thing for your garden is fall vegetables. 

If you live in a climate where it’s going to get colder, but not frost soon, it’s almost time to start planting some of the fall vegetables. In fact, now is a great time to start germinating seeds and growing seedlings for fall vegetables, such as broccoli. More on that next time! 

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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