Gardeners spend a good part of the year eagerly anticipating the prime growing season. All of a sudden the season sets in and it’s a sprint to get the first plants and seeds in the ground- and before we know it the early-season hustle is over.

The growing season can sneak up on even the most enthusiastic gardener. New gardeners just getting inspired to start a garden might be discouraged to find out the season is already well underway. If you’re in either of these situations, or just want to reinvigorate your garden, there are many ways to give your garden a kick-start in the middle of the growing season.

How can I start a new garden mid-season?

It’s absolutely doable to start a garden, or add a new garden bed (or two…or three..) in the midst of the growing season. The key is to find plants that have enough time to grow to maturity and produce a harvest before the season ends. You can check this by looking at the number of days for Germination and the number of days from Sprout to Harvest for that plant in Planter:

Screenshot of the Quick Info cards for radishes

So long as you have enough days left before your first frost date for the seeds to germinate and go from sprout to harvest, you can grow that crop! If you just barely have enough days left in the season, you might be risking a loss if an early frost sets in. To guard against this, look for plants in Planter that are Tolerant or Semi-Tolerant of frost. Some of the frost-hardy plants may struggle to grow in the hottest part of the season, though, so you may want to wait to plant them when the heat is starting to let up a bit (so long as there is still enough time in the season.)

Screenshot of Quick Info cards for chard

Another great option to get your garden going is to buy transplants from garden centers. Transplants from garden centers will have a significant head start- sometimes they are already producing flowers and veggies! As the season wears on you might even snag some discounts. Longer-term, it’s less expensive to grow your own plants from seeds if you can, but buying transplants from a garden center is still better than not having any plants!

If you’re just starting to think about getting a garden going but are feeling overwhelmed with trying to get everything ready for mid-season planting, take the time instead to plan for a late-season garden or for next year’s garden. The extra research and planning will help make your garden even more successful when you do get it up-and-running.

Adjusting your garden mid-season

If you’ve managed to stay on top of things and planted your garden early in the season, that doesn’t mean that the only thing left to do is water and wait. Mid-season is a great time to remove plants that are diseased, dying, or have bolted, and replace them with fresh new plants. As you start harvesting your first plantings, some gaps may open up in your garden. Ideally if you are able to plan your succession planting ahead, you can have replacement transplants and seeds ready-to-go to fill any gaps. Keep your garden plan in Planter up-to-date to keep track of crops you plan to remove, and which plants you will add as replacements.

Young lettuce in a sunny garden

If your garden isn’t where you want it to be by mid-season, don’t let that dampen your desire to garden. There are plenty of things you can do to ramp-up your garden mid-season, and get that early-season excitement back!