8 Vegetables to Grow this Summer
The summer months can be such a challenge especially as we seek to get outdoors working the soil in our gardens, the good news, however, is we can take advantage of this time of year because we are presented with the opportunity to grow our very own edibles in a way that is healthier and can save us by decreasing the amount of money that’s spent at the supermarket.
Besides this fact, there are many other advantages. If you have not done so yet then why not begin growing veggies from your summer garden because there are so many advantages which we will be looking at a bit later in our discussion but for now, we will be turning our attention to 8 vegetables to grow in your summer garden.
8 Popular Vegetables to Grow this Summer
Although tomatoes are considered to be a veggie it’s a fruit, I love tomatoes this is one of my favorite edible foods. Tomatoes can be roasted, baked, steamed, boiled, used raw in salads, and cooked in so many other ways. Many famous food recipes use tomatoes. The ideal time to plant tomatoes is as soon as the weather warms up in spring because tomatoes need a long season to grow before you can reap a harvest, in general tomatoes needs anywhere from 60-100 days and even longer before harvest time. However, some tomato varieties have a shorter growing season. Some of these varieties include.
- ‘Gold Medal’ Tomato
- Tomato ‘Juliet’
- ‘Sweet Olive’Tomato
- ‘Jaune Flamme’ Tomato
- Tomato ‘Early Doll’
- Tomato ‘Rubia’
- ‘Black Cherry’ Tomato
Tomatoes need plenty of sunlight to thrive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, for more on tomatoes refer to grow bags for tomatoes, tomato plant sucker, disease of tomatoes, heirloom tomato, container-grown tomatoes, tomato juice benefits, and tomatoes.
2. Sweet Potatoes
What I love about sweet potatoes besides their mouth-watering flavors that can delight your taste buds is the beautiful leaves they produce, sweet potatoes are cold-sensitive and thrives best a month after the last frost date. This warm-season plant is considered to be tropical, sweet potatoes are easy to grow and what I found to be interesting is how wide they spread.
Another amazing fact about sweet potatoes is that once harvested, you can have another harvest of this veggie just wait a while and the roots that are underground will spring again, sweet potatoes have a long life cycle and can take anywhere from 100 to 150 days before harvest time. For more on how to grow sweet potatoes refer to the link that’s been provided.
Eggplant is a full sun-loving crop, this edible plant will do well in your summer garden, in fact, eggplants can be harvested in mid-summer. Wait until at least 3 weeks after the last frost to plant eggplants, the soil of eggplants should be kept cool and moist. Adding about a two-inch layer of mulch around your eggplant on the soil’s surface will help to retain moisture keeping the soil cool, from planting seeds to harvest time will take eggplants about 7o days. For more on growing eggplants and eggplant health benefits refer to the links that have been provided.
Pumpkins are a gardener’s choice, this veggie is used in so many ways including pumpkin pie. If you’re considering reaping a good pumpkin harvest then get them in the ground by mid-July. From planting to harvest time most varieties take about 100 days before reaching maturity.
Give your pumpkins lots of room to grow because the vines will run pretty far, at the time I am writing this post there is a plot of land that is behind my property, the owner of this plot of land planted a farm and one of the veggies he’s growing is pumpkins. The pumpkin vines are so long that they are now running onto my property through the chain-link fence. For more on how to grow pumpkins, you can read about it here, growing pumpkins.
5. Sweet Corn
Sweet corn is one of the most treasured vegetables in the garden because of how widely it’s used, corn plant thrives best in the full sunlight so take advantage of the sunniest spot in your garden. What to keep in mind however is that sweet corn plant grows tall from 8 ft and taller with a 3-10 ft spread.
The ideal time to sow this warm season plant is 2-3 weeks after the last frost in spring, before planting ensure that the soil’s temperature is 60°F (16°C). Depending on the variety from planting date to harvest can take from 60 to 100 days. For more on how to grow sweet corn refer to the link that is provided
Want to add a little spice to your life then consider growing peppers, what would life be without a little spice, I love a little pepper myself but I am sure there are many pepper lovers who love to turn up the heat, I live in the Caribbean (The Bahamas) and one thing you will find out about the Caribbean is our love for peppers.
Pepper trees love the full sunlight, what I found to be so amazing is that there are estimated to be more than 30″ thousand varieties of hot peppers worldwide” now that’s a lot of heat. Peppers should be started indoors 8 weeks before the last frost, ensure that the potting soil is kept at 85 t0 90°F to ensure germination.
Once the seeds have germinated keep them under bright indirect light until the time comes to transplant outdoors, once the last frost has passed and the soil warms up you can begin the transplanting procedures. For more tips on how to successfully grow hot peppers refer to these posts. How to grow peppers in containers and how to grow chilli peppers.
7. Zucchini Squash
There are so many squash varieties with which to choose from, growing squash successfully requires that you plant them in spring after the frost period is over and the soil starts to warm. There is both summer and winter squash all of which are warm-season plants, from the time of planting until harvest time warm-season squash can take 50 t0 6o frost-free days.
While on the other hand winter squash may take a bit longer anywhere from 60 to 100 frost-free days before harvest time, in most regions you can still sow the seeds of winter squash in late spring and get a harvest before the first frost. If you’re planning on starting seeds indoors, sow seeds 5 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Squash germanates in 3-10 days. For more insights on growing squash have a look at growing zucchini plant.
Last but not least on our list is radish, there are some types of radishes that can be planted in early spring and harvested later in the season about 25 days after planting from seeds. In general, radishes can be planted from seeds from early April through early May for a spring crop and again from August 1 through September 1 for a fall crop. If you’re interested in growing radishes then how to grow radishes may offer some help.
There are many more vegetables that can be added to this list for your summer vegetable garden but this is just to give you a head start on the almost endless possibilities of the varieties of vegetables that can be homegrown.
The Benefits of Growing a Vegetable Garden
- Eating fresh always
- Having a continuous supply of veggies
- Growing healthier vegetables
- Getting that much-needed exercise
- Exercising your brain power/mental fitness
- Working in a garden can relieve stress
- working in your garden with family/friends can build that bond
- A better tasting harvest with more nutrients
- Helps to support the ecosystem by encouraging bees and other insects that pollinate garden plants
- Encourage beneficial insects
- You can share your harvest with family and friends
- If you’re growing vegetables on a large scale you can sell them for a profit
The final word on summer vegetable garden ideas
Don’t let this summer pass you by not working the soil, taking advantage of this time of the year has so many advantages as we are presented with the opportunity to work outdoors. Don’t let the summer’s heat rob you of the benefits you can enjoy by planting a summer vegetable garden. Go for it as you reap a bountiful harvest with your very own homegrown veggies that you can share with families and friends.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.