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Do you have plans of making your own summer vegetable garden? Then you may want to use this article as a guide. Summer is indeed an incredible season to create your vegetable garden, especially if you prefer having your own fresh produce harvested, so you can use them in any food or recipe.
Learn about the different vegetables you can grow during the early and late summer and how you can care for them through this article.
12 Vegetables You Can Grow During the Summer Season (Hot Weather)
Every vegetable has a specific range of temperature wherein its growth will be at its best. If you plan on making your own garden that will thrive in the hot weather or the summer season, then choose the most appropriate plants. Among the vegetables you can grow during this season are:
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are actually different from usual and regular ones as the former prefer warm weather and soil. With that, they are definitely perfect for the hot summer season. The tropical plants are actually sensitive to the cold and tend to thrive well when you plant them around a month after the last frost season.
You can actually easily grow sweet potatoes and expect them to mature quickly to abundant pretty vines spreading as widely as possible. You just have to make sure that the soil and the weather are warm.
A wise tip is to plant the sweet potatoes in soil that drains well. Mix in some compost, too. They also tend to grow and survive well when planted close to parsnips, thyme, and dill. Avoid planting sweet potatoes close to squash, though, as the vines of the two tend to spread, resulting in overcrowding.
2. Sweet Corn
While slightly tricky and challenging to grow compared to other summer vegetables, sweet corn is still one of the best vegetables you can grow during the hot summer season. You just have to research a bit about the best place and time to plant the sweet corn, so you will enjoy delicious crops the entire season.
When growing this corn, remember that it requires plenty of space and proper pollination so it will produce successful crops. Plant them in short rows – around a foot apart as it can lead to successful pollination.
Water the plant regularly, too. Remember that it is a plant with shallow roots. It can’t tolerate soil, which is completely dried out so never forget to water it.
3. Green Beans
Growing green beans during their natural season, which is around the mid-summer to early fall, is beneficial for gardeners as this means that they can enjoy the most tender and sweetest produce. They are not fond of the frost, which means the beans thrive well during the hot summer season.
One advantage is the ease of growth. It is even possible for you to do succession planting, which involves putting seedlings in the soil or ground every few weeks. You can do this until the middle to late parts of July depending on your exact location. Doing so can help you enjoy prolonged period of harvest for your beans.
4. Zucchini and Summer Squash
Summer squash and zucchini love the heat. It comes in different types including the yellow and green zucchini, as well as the crookneck, zephyr, and pattypan. Pick a sunny spot that has well-draining and rich soil.
It is also advisable to plant the them in hills or rows. Direct sow the seeds once the temperature of the soil gets to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
One more thing to remember when growing the squash is that it needs around an inch of water or two every week. It is also necessary to do drip irrigation as it is required in lowering the risk of having foliar diseases. Also, note that female flowers bearing fruits should follow the male ones.
It also helps to provide the squash and zucchini with sufficient protection prior to the first frost. Extend the growing period, too, by planting zucchini in pots then transferring them into a warmer spot.
Peppers are available in several varieties, including spicy hot peppers and sweet bell peppers. Regardless of your chosen variety, you have an assurance that they will thrive and survive in the summer heat, provided you give them proper attention.
Certain variations of pepper require a small stake or tomato cage so they will stay upright no matter how heavy the fruits are. Also, peppers require deep watering consistently. Do not let water get into their leaves, though, as they may suffer from certain diseases because of them.
Moreover, plant them in a place where they can receive full sun. You should also do so along with other vegetables, like squash and carrots. Another tip is staggering the planting of peppers, specifically both during the early spring and the month of June, so you can enjoy the harvest of healthy pepper plants up to the early fall.
Fresh homegrown tomatoes are among the fresh produce you can harvest that has the best flavor. That said, you will further enjoy your gardening hobby by including tomatoes in your collection. One thing to note about tomatoes is that they need a few months of warm summer for them to bring out a fruitful harvest.
When growing tomatoes, take note that they are heavy feeders. This means you have to provide them with rich soil and fertilizer. It is also advisable to pick a location for them that supplies them with full sun.
Water them regularly and apply supplemental fertilizer so they can deliver the highest yields. Also, make sure to wait until the nighttime temperature is 55 degrees F or more before you transplant them indoors. These plants also require a stake, cage, or trellis as a means of supporting their fresh fruits.
Cucumbers are also among those vegetables that love the heat. They can improve the taste and add some crunch and green to salads, snacks, and pickles. To achieve great results when growing the cucumber plant, direct sow seeds only when the soil’s warmth reaches around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Train the vining green cucumbers on a trellis or fence. Give the cucumber more than enough room so they can sprawl, too.
One more thing that the cucumbers need is regular water. By watering your cucumbers regularly, you can prevent their fruits from losing their shape or becoming bitter. Encourage new fruit, too, through by having them frequently harvested.
Another easy-to-grow vegetable during the summer that will make your gardening experience truly fun is eggplant. It thrives well in the heat. If you live in a place with a cooler climate but want to grow eggplants, then it is advisable to use methods that can enhance the heat to support their growth.
You may want to use black plastic mulch or a cloche as a means of warming the soil where you plant it and speed up its growth. Eggplants also need rich soil, sufficient water, and a lot of sun. Having the fruits of your eggplants harvested while they are still young is also advisable to enjoy the best taste and flavor.
Even if peas are typically crops that grow during the cold weather, you are allowed to replant them during the mid to late summer. By doing that, you will get to enjoy the moment of having these crops harvested fresh for fall. To determine the perfect time to plant and cultivate peas, find out the average first frost date.
You should then subtract the number of days it will take for the peas to mature. You can often find this information on the seed packet. Give it one more week to germinate then soak the seeds in water overnight so you can speed up the germination process.
Make sure to provide a shade for the new seedlings, especially during the hottest moment of the day. It is also advisable to mulch using organic matter as it can decrease soil temperature. Also, ensure that you water the plants well, so they can continue developing pods and flowers.
You can also grow melons during the summer. If you plan to grow melons, then remember that melon requires plenty of heat, as well as rich soil, fertilizer, and water for it to produce ripe and succulent fruit.
Look for a spot for your melon that faces the south to reflect heat and provide the vines with enough room so they can sprawl easily. It is also helpful to use methods that enhance heat as a means of warming the soil and making the growth process even faster. Some examples would be black plastic or cloche.
Another of the most popular summer vegetables is spinach. Just make sure to put it in a spot that lets it receive a bit of shade from the afternoon sun. It is advisable to directly sow the seeds in a seedling tray or container.
Expect the seeds to germinate within just five to twelve days depending on your area’s climate and variety. Also, note that the spinach tends to bolt if you sow it during the early or mid-summer.
However, you can also sow winter varieties of spinach during August or early parts of September so you can harvest its leaves slowly during winter and autumn. Just make sure to protect the plants from frosts.
Okra is also another vegetable that you can easily grow in warm regions. The reason behind this is that it can tolerate drought and heat. It would be best to sow seeds directly in a well-draining and rich soil outdoors once the soil temperature gets to around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, note that despite being tolerant to drought, it can still deliver better yields once it receives regular water. Make sure to harvest okra several days after flowering. This is the time when they still have small pods that guarantee the perfect texture.
Summer Vegetables Growing Tips
Now that you have an idea about the specific vegetables that thrive well when grown and cultivated in any garden during the summer, it is time to be familiar with the different tips you should apply.
This means choosing varieties guaranteed to survive well in the specific area you are in. In case you have a shorter growing season, then pick varieties and types that quickly mature. If you live in an area, which has a particularly hot weather, then go for heat-tolerant varieties and have them planted and cultivated in your garden.
Provide sufficient water
Note that vegetables need a lot of water, especially during dry spells and when the plants are still in the stage of developing their roots. With that said, ensure that you choose a place for your vegetable garden, which is close to a source of water, like a water spicket, well tap, or rain barrel.
You may also want to install an irrigation system in case you have a large layout. Irrigate them in the morning, so you can prevent foliar illnesses and minimize evaporation. Drip irrigation also aids in conserving water and lowering the risk of disease caused by overhead watering.
Another tip is to lay down or spread around an inch or two layers of mulch. This could be organic matter or compost that you should spread around the plants, specifically their base. Adding mulch in your garden is necessary for keeping the soil cool and preventing weeds and evaporation.
Make sure that some plants have shade
Some crops, like greens, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, and peas, still require partial shade even if they are meant to survive the hot weather. The shade is necessary during the hottest hours of the day. If you are growing such crops, then ensure that they are protected from extreme heat, like a shade cloth.
Harvest at the right time
Schedule the harvest of the crops either early or late. The reason is that you can expect them to remain fresher, crisper, and tastier compared to vegetables and crops that you decide to harvest at the time when the sun is at its hottest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which vegetables grow in summer?
There are many vegetables that you can grow during the summer. Among the most recommended summer vegetables for gardeners are eggplant, cucumbers, beans, corn, squash, okra, sweet potatoes, and lettuce.
What grows in hot weather/summer season?
Apart from the vegetables mentioned earlier, there are also other plants that you can grow in your summer garden. Among them are greens as well as plants that you can use for salad, like cabbage, watercress, asparagus, beans, and lettuce. Dill, parsley, green onions, and strawberries also love warmth as well as well-lit places.
What are the summer fruits and vegetables?
You actually have plenty of options when we talk about summer fruits and vegetables to grow in any garden. As for summer vegetables, the ones you can choose from include cucumbers, beans, carrots, corn, squash, salad greens, broccoli, chard, spinach, herbs, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes.
When it comes to summer fruits, the ones you can enjoy include watermelon, peaches, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries.
There are definitely several vegetables that you can easily grow in your garden during the summer. Just make sure that you research the specific plants you intend to cultivate in your vegetable garden.
You should know exactly how to care for the vegetables you have chosen to cultivate to guarantee their healthy and productive growth and a happier gardening experience. It will also let you enjoy delicious food and recipe using the fresh, green and healthy crops in your own garden.