Growing summer vegetables in your home garden is a smart and fun way of taking advantage of the season's heat while keeping a reliable supply of fresh food for your family.
I have put together a list of summer vegetables and fruits which do well in the sun, that you should start planting now.
Bountiful Summer Vegetables and Fruits to Plant This Season
Cucumbers are by far the most natural full-sun veggies to grow this season. With a full-sun exposure threshold of at least 8 hours a day, you do not have to stress over any form of artificial shade.
Harvest often. The more you harvest, the healthier your produce gets.
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Nothing beats freshly-picked strawberry for summer desserts. Depending on the crop you are looking for, choose between the three varieties available, that are, Ozark beauty, Jewel, and Tristar.
- Limit runners to a few plants to increase production.
- Prevent flowering in the plant's first season to divert energy to developing a healthier root system for increased production in the subsequent seasons.
Peppers, with their wide variety, require all the sun they can get—making them a worthy summer vegetable project.
No form of shade is required. But water the plants regularly.
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With a trellis or any other form of support, grapevines are rather easy to grow under a full-sun exposure. You will only have to beat the birds at it during harvest time.
Inquire on the best variety for your soil and area conditions.
While they do better in some climates than others, eggplants are perfect full-sun summer vegetables with an early spring through late fall harvest.
Go for dark-colored planters to absorb sunlight and retain it and put it outside for pollination.
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Looking for some low maintenance gardening? Cherries are the way to go, with little to no pruning. You also get a free pass at one tree if you have varieties grafted or are growing sour cherries for baking.
Winter is the best time to prune your cherry trees.
7. Summer Squash
The squash plant craves sunlight like cucumbers, and growing them on a stand or trellis does a perfect job at maximizing exposure to the sun.
Most summer squash varieties do best when sown directly from seeds.
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Not ready for a shrub or tree yet? Don't fret. Grow some sun- and heat-loving melons on your garden. While you can also grow them in planters, melon vines can spread up to 20 feet, so opt for smaller melons for trellis and planters.
Water often until the fruit shows, after which you should hold off on the watering.
Like peppers, tomatoes will take in as much sun as there is, provided there is enough and regular watering.
Provide some form of support once the fruit has developed.
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If you are looking to try your hands at growing fruits, planting blueberries is a good start. While advanced work is required to make the soil acidic, the blueberry shrubs will produce for years.
Two or more varieties will improve pollination and hence a bountiful harvest.
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Blackberries and raspberries are backyard favorites, especially the new thornless cultivars which make harvest much easier.
Thin the plant enough during pruning to allow air and light to reach all parts.
The sweet smell of ripening peaches is all the more reason why you should plant them this season. Not to mention, they are small-sized trees that can fit in majority of backyards.
Prune to keep the height of the trees manageable.
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While new cultivars have been bred to be more resilient, apples remain a high maintenance summer fruit. They require covering, spraying, and big-time pruning. But let me tell you, the sweet fruits are worth every effort!
For small gardens, go for dwarf varieties to save on space.
Figs are unbelievably easy to grow, whether in containers or on the ground, especially with the new hardier cultivars available. Additionally, figs are pest-free in nature and low-maintenance as far as pruning is concerned.
Keep the planter small to confine the roots and ultimately control the size of the tree. This is especially helpful for purposes of moving the plant indoors during winter.
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When it comes to dry conditions and heat, okra plant steals the show. Control production and quality by harvesting the pods frequently – every two to three days will do.
While okra is adaptable and grows in most soils, it thrives best in well-drained and acidic soils that contain high organic matter.
Watch this video from Black Gumbo on what to grow this summer:
With the unique situation we are in, where we have much more time to stay indoors and at home, take advantage of the summer sun and make use of your garden or containers that are lying around. It's time to make something beautiful and, of course, edible.
Most importantly, these summer vegetables and fruits will surely make you enjoy your time in your garden.
What summer vegetables and fruits are you planning on growing this season? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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