Are you preparing to grow summer garden crops this growing season? Check out this list of ideal summer garden crops to grow during the sunniest months of the year!
Ideal Summer Garden Crops To Grow This Season
Growing your own food is a lot more difficult than swinging by the produce section at the supermarket to pick up what you need, but it’s also a lot healthier and more rewarding. Garden planning is an important step I take into account so I avoid gardening mistakes such as growing crops outside of their growing season. For example, I love growing broccoli, but that will have to wait till the early fall. For now, I have to take this chance to grow these equally tasty and healthy summer-loving annual vegetables and crops.
With the incredible flavor and health-boosting properties of basil, your summer garden must never be without it. It’s super easy to grow and adds a distinct flavor to so many dishes. Make sure you’re harvesting basil properly with this guide.
2. Planting Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is certainly a strong flavor, but I learned to love it and I think you will too. And knowing the amazing health benefits of bitter melon, you’ll definitely make it a permanent addition to your summer garden.
3. Growing Chili Pepper
Amusingly, hot chili peppers thrive well in the hot summer weather. Don’t forget to include this hot spice in your summer garden for your spicy recipes.
4. Planting Chinese Long Beans
Did you know beans grow well with squash and corn, thus dubbed the three sister plants? Similarly, all three thrive well in the hot summer weather.
Cucumbers are great pickled and canned, which you can do after the harvest. Fortunately, a single vine grows A LOT of cucumbers with minimal effort. You’ll probably have an excess, but that’s fine — the more the better for your canning ideas.
With the dehydrating effect of the hot summer weather, you’ll need refreshing fruit like melon. Good thing they grow well this season, so make sure to include this fresh and sweet fruit in your garden!
7. Growing Okra
Your soul food recipes like jambalaya and fried okra will taste so much better with fresh okra. It’s a good thing okra is easy to grow and ideal for this summer growing season.
8. Plant Shallots
If you want the healthy goodness of alliums this summer, grow shallots for its shorter growing season. You can also enjoy the greens while waiting for the bulbs to grow.
9. How To Grow Squash
Whether it’s butternut, Hubbard, spaghetti or calabaza, this summer is the perfect time to grow any squash variety. Fresh squash is definitely ideal for any squash recipes.
10. Growing Sweet Potato
If you’re planning to carve a Jack O’Lantern for Halloween, start sowing pumpkin seeds around August. They will be ready for you in the fall, just in time for Halloween.
I use a lot of sweet or bell pepper in my recipes, so my garden is never without this tasty vegetable. Sweet pepper grows well in containers for those who have limited space for growing vegetables.
A healthy vegan meal isn’t complete without the humble eggplant. These healthy eggplant recipes will surely get you excited to plant eggplant this season.
14. Growing Garlic
Garlic is a great companion plant for other summer garden crops, like tomatoes and eggplant. Although it is generally planted in spring and has a long growing season, garlic sure is a great summer garden crop as well.
15. Growing Tomatoes
Growing tomatoes where sunlight is sufficient is a great tip to grow tomatoes successfully. Because of that, tomatoes are a perfect summer garden crop.
16. Planting Corn
Along with sunflower, beans, and pumpkin, corn is one of the most notable summer garden crops. It is also one of the most drought-tolerant crops around.
17. Growing Watermelon
Amazingly, this water-packed fruit is a drought-tolerant crop. Make sure you’ve got room to spare for this summer-relevant crop in your garden.
18. Planting Bush Beans
If you find yourself growing a secret survival garden don’t forget to include bush beans. They’re easy to grow and care for and thrive well in the hot summer weather.
19. Growing Peanuts
I love peanuts, so take it from me–growing peanuts is easy and rewarding. Think about roasted salted peanuts, homemade peanut butter, and the joy of eating simple boiled peanuts while enjoying the sunshine.
Did you know the flower heads of sunflowers are edible and can be consumed like artichokes? Now you know that sunflowers are enjoyed not just for their beauty!
21. Growing Zucchini
Most gourd and pumpkin varieties grow best in the hot summer season, including zucchini, so make this addition to your summer garden.
To bring some international flavor to your garden, go with tomatillos.
They grow on a vine like tomatoes and even look like green tomatoes with husks. “Tomatillo” even translates to “little tomato” in some Spanish dialects. Their taste is distinctly different than tomatoes, though, and they really add a zesty flair to a salsa or other sauce.
They take about 3 months to mature after planting, so sow seeds around mid-spring. You’ll know the veggies are ready to pick when the husks turn brown and break open.
Amaranth is a colorful, leafy vegetable that comes in vibrant colors from bright green to deep red. Besides adding color to your garden, it is an extremely nutritious addition to salads and makes a good cooked side dish. The seeds of the plant can even be collected to pop, just like corn kernels!
It’s a very versatile crop, but it grows especially well in the heat.
24. Malabar Spinach
Perhaps more than anything else on this list, Malabar Spinach loves the sweltering heat. It thrives in areas that average 90 degrees Farenheit during the day. If you live somewhere temperate, this might not be the crop for you. If you can grow it, though, it’s very healthy and adds great flavor to cooking!
25. Manoa Lettuce
Lettuce generally grows best in the winter and dries up in the hot summer. Manoa lettuce is one of the only varieties that actually loves the heat.
I don’t have to tell you what lettuce us used for; it’s an old standby!
Watch this video about vegetable gardening.
There you have it, green thumbs! Healthy and tasty fruits and veggies to grow in your summer vegetable garden. I sure can’t wait to get the seeds in the ground and have them harvested by the end of this growing season. Make sure you have these summer garden crops on your list too!
Which of these summer garden crops will you be growing this season? I’d be delighted to hear all about it in the comments below!
Don’t know what flowers to grow this hot summer season? Check out these flowering sun-loving annual plants for your summer garden landscape!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Feature image source via ucanr.edu