4 Easy Tips to Start a Basic Summer Vegetable Garden

summer vegetable garden

Ready to start or grow your garden, but it’s summer and you’re not sure what to plant? No worries. All you need to know on what to plant in a summer vegetable garden is in this article.

A summer garden provides more than just tasty treats, it can also offer beauty and relaxation. With the right plants, you’ll find yourself spending more time outside and enjoying your space all year long. So let’s dive into what to plant in a summer vegetable garden.

summer vegetable garden

Can you start a garden in the summer?

Yes! You can start a garden nearly anytime, but the summer months are a great time to grow in most places.

Find out your growing zone, and then you’ll be able to find plants that will do well in your area during the summer. This is essential when you start a summer vegetable garden because some vegetables, like peas, don’t do well in higher temps. A little bit of research can go a long way in gardening.

Which vegetables grow in summer?

Be sure to check your local growing zone to get an exact list of vegetables that grow well in the summer where you live. But in most areas, these heat-loving plants will grow well:

Tomatoes

My tomatoes really struggled this spring because it was unseasonably cold and they were not thrilled. But as soon as the weather turned and we started having days in the 80’s and above, they started thriving! Tomatoes love hot weather, and so they’ll flourish in most growing zones during the summer months. A quintessential addition to the summer vegetable garden.

While you can try to plant a tomato seed in the ground and let it grow, it’s usually best to either start your tomatoes from seed indoors in the spring or purchase a tomato plant from a local gardener or store. Especially if it’s already summertime, then you probably don’t have time to grow a tomato from seed yourself. Best to get a plant that’s already established you just need to plant it in the ground.

Peppers

Peppers love hot weather too! Similarly to tomatoes, they do best in the summer and will also generally need to be planted as a whole plant. If you’re brand new to gardening, you can purchase a pepper plant at a local shop or even a big box store.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers grow like weeds in the summer, and they are so easy too! Unlike tomatoes and peppers, you can simply plant your cucumber seeds in the ground and watch them flourish. They are also a great choice if you want to try your hand at canning and preserving. Making pickles out of cucumbers is one of the easiest things to can.

Green beans

Beans also grow well in summer, and like the cucumbers, you can direct sow your seeds right into the ground. My favorite variety is the purple podded bean. They are so beautiful with their deep purple color, taste delicious, and look gorgeous hanging from a trellis.

Corn

“Knee-high by the Fourth of July” is what my Pop Pop always said, and considering he was a farmer his whole life, I think he knew what he was talking about. Corn grows in the summer, and there is nothing tastier to me than some sweet corn slathered in butter right on the cob. However, I am growing glass gem corn this year to make popcorn for my kids.

Melons

Watermelon is one of the most essential flavors of summer, right? And that’s mostly because that is when they grow and thrive. How cool would it be to harvest your own watermelons right out of your own garden? Just make sure you give them plenty of space because the vines can be pretty long.

When should I plant summer vegetables?

Most people actually plant their summer vegetable garden in the spring. You can begin to plant summer vegetables as soon as the last frost date has passed. But all of the vegetables I listed above can be planted during the actual summer in a lot of growing zones. Just be sure to double check your own weather and climate first.

As a guide, I love Clyde’s Garden Planner.

I keep it right with my seed stash to check whenever needed.

How often should I water my garden in summer?

How often you should water your summer vegetable garden will really depend on where you live and what your climate is like. Most summers I do not have to water my garden often at all, maybe just once a week if that. But this year, spring has been so dry I’ve been out there watering nearly every day!

Watch your plants and feel your soil to know when to water. If they start to look a little sad or droopy then they definitely need water! To prevent that give your soil a little feel everyday. If you stick your finger in the soil and it feels dry, then water. But if it feels moist, then you’re ok. A thick layer of mulch will help keep your soil moist and prevent water evaporating as quickly.

Growing a summer vegetable garden is so fun, and there is just something so rewarding about eating something you grew yourself. Hopefully this gave you a quick guide to getting started, but if you’re ever in doubt, just try a Google search and just go for it!

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