Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension
extension.umn.edu

Midseason vegetable update: How are our gardens growing?

Bean plants in background, seedlings germinating along a drip irrigation line in foreground. Straw mulch borders the garden bed.
Seedlings germinating in an open space next to well-established bean plants

We are just over halfway through the growing season already! Can you believe it? At this point in the season, you are likely done harvesting some of your early spring veggies like green beans, peas and broccoli, and finding yourself with some newly available space.

Find out what you can still plant at this point to fill in those spaces. And we offer some general tips related to trends we’ve been seeing this summer.

Which vegetables can I plant in July?

There are plenty of things you can still plant at this point in your garden, as you make space after harvesting your spring vegetables. Some great options include:

  • Herbs
  • Peas
  • Broccoli, cabbage, and other Brassicas
  • Carrots and beets (make sure to use short-season varieties)

Garden and hardware stores are putting many warm-season annuals like summer squash and cucumber transplants on sale. While it’s a bit late to start these vegetables from seed, you can still likely plant transplants and get vegetables before the first frost.

Consider planting a cover crop

Many of us get busy late in the summer. So if you’re feeling like you’re ready to spend a bit less time in your garden, or if you just want to improve your soil health, a cover crop is a great way to go.

Check out our cover crops in vegetables guide to help you choose the right cover crop for your space and goals. 

Midseason gardening tips

Vegetable garden with squash plants that are creeping into other rows and overtaking broccoli and peanuts.
Squash plants taking over my vegetable garden

Water wisely

As we head into the second half of the summer, most of the state is still experiencing a drought. For vegetable crops that produce fruit (tomatoes, peppers, etc.), as well as those that produce edible bulbs and roots (onions, potatoes, carrots), these next few weeks are the critical period for irrigation.

During this period of fruit, root and bulb formation, plants need very consistent moisture in order to avoid physiological issues like blossom end rot and hollow heart.

Make sure you continue to water wisely: water in the mornings, water at the base of the plants and use mulches to keep your soil moist. 

Keep notes

This time of year, you really start to notice problems, as well as the things you did right. By keeping good notes, you can avoid repeating your mistakes next year. Here are some examples of notes to take to inform next year’s management decisions:

  • My squash is taking over the whole garden! Plant fewer squash next year or build a better trellis.
  • My carrots have aster yellows — look for resistant varieties next year.
  • I really like this tomato variety — it’s compact and a good fit for the space available in my garden.
  • The bees seem to love the cosmos I planted. Make sure to plant more next year.

Look out for late-season insects

You’ve probably noticed that insects have been very abundant this year. Continue to monitor for and manage the insects you’ve been seeing all along like caterpillars in your Brassicas and cucumber beetles.

At this point in the season, we also start to see some of the later season insects like squash bug and squash vine borer in cucurbits, bean beetles, and the occasional hornworm in tomatoes.

For most home gardeners, one of the best options is to simply scout for eggs on a regular basis and squish them, and to knock adult insects into soapy water.

If you need help identifying an insect or another issue, you can use the tools What insect is this? and What’s wrong with my plant? Or you can Ask Extension for assistance.

Author: Natalie Hoidal, Extension educator, local foods and vegetable production

Share this page:

© 2021 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.