Your neighbor’s corn may be “knee high by the 4th of July” but never you mind that. Grab a few big containers, take a stroll through your local nursery or farmers market (yes, they sell plants, too), and get a few veggies growing on your patio.
One of our favorite vegetables to grow in containers has always been the “patio tomato” or cherry tomato. You can plant this just about any time of the year because they grow and mature quite fast. It seems like from the time they flower to the time their fruit turns red, it’s only a matter of weeks.
Two tricks to planting cherry or grape tomatoes this late in the season:
1) If it’s very hot where you are, give them a little more shade. Double down your effort to water regularly. You may even want to do one of those “upside down bottle” tricks so the soil doesn’t get the chance to dry completely in the heat of the day.
2) Be sure to choose a big deep container for planting, much bigger than the plant itself, and bury that tomato plant as deep as you can. I have pinched off several bottom “branches” just to get the tomato plant buried deeper and grew some very strong and generous plants. The plants you find now will be quite large and probably leggy if they’ve been in a small pot for too long, so you’ll have lots of stem to bury.
Tomatoes are probably the simplest plants to start late, however you can always plant things like herbs and lettuce just to get a few green things growing. The reason this is frugal? Usually, the plants in the nursery are very inexpensive right now. They don’t want to baby those things forever! They want you to do that! The other frugal aspect, of course, is you get to eat the veggies you grow.
Don’t give up on your garden even though it’s late. Even a little tomato plant on your patio can brighten your day. And if you get your children involved, it will brighten their day, too!
Have a great frugal Monday!
p.s. If you want to get you’re kids started gardening, check out this book to help you get them started right. Click to read Grow It Cook It With Kids and get started today.
You may also want to revisit my article about gardening with kids. Just click on the link below to get an overview of the 5 basic elements to consider when planning a garden with your child.