10 Crops That Grow in 60 Days

Summer is in full swing and it has me thinking about all the tasty fall crops I can still sow and harvest in the two months before a frost is likely in my area. So if you are also right up against the two-month mark and also want to squeeze in just a little more gardening, I suggest trying frost-tolerant crops (also called "cool season"). Several of the frost-tolerant crops I grow are even more enjoyable in late summer because cool temperatures of fall will sweeten my leafy greens (kale is particularly improved by a kiss of fall frost), and I can worry less about pests and bolting. But you may notice that these crops seem to take longer-and you're correct! Late summer/early fall crops may take a couple of more weeks to reach maturity than usual as hours of daylight shorten and temperatures cool.

Try 10 of my favorite varieties to sow in late summer. They will not disappoint!

  1. Arugula sown in late summer/fall provides a mellower flavor, and attracts flea beetles less than spring-sown crops.
  2. Beets are silky, earthy, and delicious. We love them roasted, pickled, or raw. I am loving our white, 'Avalanche' beet's mild flavor, and it's great for juicing. I don't have to worry about stains like I do with red beets.
  3. Broccoli Raab is so fast, and what a delicacy! You can cut it 2–3 times and keep enjoying the delicate, slightly spicy flavor for weeks.
  4. Collards are heat tolerant and survive to 20°F, which lends to my love of this productive, heirloom green.
  5. Kale just keeps on going past first frost, getting sweeter, and adding depths to soups, and diversity to fall salads.'Dwarf Blue Curled' and 'Redbor' are exceptionally cold tolerant and the latter's purple color intensifies after frost. 'Nero Toscana' is my favorite!
  6. Kohlrabi has the crunch of an apple and is mildly sweet with a touch of a mild radish flavor. I love it raw with a sprinkle of salt.
  7. Lettuce is a staple in my garden all summer long, and I love to grow a bunch of different varieties, but always the 'Marvel of Four Seasons' that glows cranberry red as the days shorten, and 'Little Gem' that forms a perfect, small romaine head. Both are very heat and frost tolerant.
  8. Peas are for fall, too! 'Oregon Sugar Pod II' is my favorite pea for fall because it is not only delicious, but also mildew resistant, an issue I often battle in the late summer.
  9. Radishes are always welcome in our kitchen, and late summer is the time to sow winter radishes because they only form during shortening days. I grow daikon (If you've never tried daikon you are missing out! It is easy, great for the soil, and delicious.); black radishes; and the stunning, scarlet centered, watermelon radish. When you remove (and eat) the greens these radishes store for a month or more in the crisper.
  10. Spinach is also sweetened with cooling temperatures and can over-winter, even in my climate (USDA zone 5B). I like to sow some every couple of weeks, so I have plenty of fresh spinach on hand; any extra I quickly blanch and freeze, and the last succession will overwinter giving me early spring greens.

There's more to grow, too! Check out other quick crops like cucumbers, mustards, summer squash, and turnips. Get the full list and read more about our most frost-tolerant crops and crops that can survive in winter (with a little help). Well, those garden beds aren't going to prep themselves; I better get sowing!

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10 Crops That Grow in 60 Days Comments


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5 out of 5 stars Aug 10, 2019
I have tried growing fall crops and I don't understand how you do it because this time of year is still too hot. I have lost seeds as it's just too hot to grow but you can't wait. I see others can do it. What am I missing? How?
Karen Henninger from PA
Owner Response: Hi Karen, Thanks for the question. You may want to see our article, How to Plan Your Fall Garden. Some options for starting seeds while it is still hot are to shade to soil or start seeds indoors, getting them outside soon after they germinate. I hope this helps.

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5 out of 5 stars Aug 21, 2020
I am a new gardener! I planted some peas around July 15th and they came up great and then after growing about 3" they all shriveled up and died. Here is E. TX it's still in the 90s almost daily and sometimes reaching up to 100...could it be that it's just too hot or that my soil isn't fertilized? Also, last Sept I planted broccoli, spinach, and romaine and just didn't have any luck. Is that too late to start from seed?
Kara from TX
Owner Response: Hi Kara, It sounds like it is too hot to grow peas in your area right now. Peas thrive in the range of 60-80 degrees which is why we recommend them for spring or fall growing. In East Texas, your pea season may look more like late fall and later winter though. You can find more details in our Peas: Sow and Grow article. As far as sowing fall crops it could be that the soil is too hot (soil temperatures listed on all vegetables and herbs) or too hot to keep seeds moist. Unlike plants, seeds do not have a way to cope with drying out so they will die. A university extension office in your area likely has a handy sowing guide for your area that can help guide you to sow at the right times in your hot climate. Whether or not you can start from seed will depend on if you are able to start indoors to mitigate the soil temperature and if you get frost how many days until you expect frost. Keep in mind that crops really slow does when daylight gets less than 10 hours too. I hope that helps!

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5 out of 5 stars Aug 21, 2020
Hello there. It's my first year and I want to overwinter some kale and lettuce and some root veggies. It's too hot here, too. So I am starting mine inside. I will keep them inside for as long as I can and then plant them in a spot that gets 4-5 hours of partially shaded sun. I don't know if that will work, but I'm going to try it. Good luck to you.
Jamica Mamou from CA

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5 out of 5 stars Aug 23, 2020
My problem isn't dealing with the heat, but the bugs. No matter what I do my late summer early fall seedlings are eaten as soon as they pop thru the soil. This year I am starting EVERYTHING inside. I'll transplant when I think they are big enough to withstand the slugs, cabbage moth caterpillars and sow/pill bugs and whatever else just munches the heck out of them. Fingers crossed!!!
Diana from DE
Owner Response: Hi Diana, Depending on the pest pressure you may find row cover to be really helpful and diatomaceous eat can help with the crawlers you described. Our fingers are crossed or you also.

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5 out of 5 stars Jul 3, 2021
When do u consider it late summer in N. KY? Today is July 3rd. Is this late summer. We're zone 7.
John from KY
Owner Response: Hi John, When we discuss summer we use the traditional season with summer beginning at the summer equinox, around the third week of June. If you are looking for tips for fall planting using the days to maturity and your average first frost date are the best tools for success.

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