The Best Vegetables to Plant in the Summer Months
Spring may be the more common time to plant a vegetable garden, but it is not the only time. Both fall and summer offer plenty of options for planting. These summer vegetables are great for those who may have a delayed planting season due to later winters or for whom fall tends to get an early start.
Missed the spring planting season, here’s some easy vegetables to plant in summer
If you have been thinking about planting a garden, but felt as if you couldn’t due to missing the planting season, these vegetables to plant during the summer months might just be what you are looking for.
What Do Summer Vegetable Plants Need?
Summer vegetable plants are really no different than those that are planted in the spring or fall. The only real difference is the heat and sunlight involved. However, when you plant, you will want to be doubly sure of the amount of sunlight your summer vegetables need.
Because the light can be so harsh during these months, giving your plants the wrong amount could spell disaster for your plants. You will also need to ensure plenty of water, especially if you live in a very hot, dry environment.
Finally, a good organic compost mix is a must-have for starting summer vegetables.
What to Plant
- Cucumbers are a great plant that grows very well during the summer months. In fact, they can have quite the long growing season.
- Because they grow on a vine, you can save space in your summer garden by training their vines to climb. You can teach them to climb a trellis or even a simple 2×4 beam to help keep your crop up off the ground.
- Give them full sun and water heavily and you will be eating fresh cucumbers all summer long.
- While it is best to plant tomatoes immediately following your last frost, they can be planted and can thrive during a summer planting if you have a longer growing season.
- They enjoy full sun and need to be watered regularly during the heat of the summer.
- If you do not have a long growing season, but still want to plant tomatoes during the summer, consider planting patio or bush tomato varieties. These typically have a shorter season making them perfect for planting during the summer months.
- Beans of all types grow very well during the summer months and can lead to a very long harvest depending on your growing season.
- You can plant beans anytime the soil has warmed above 60°F. Even better is that since they grow upwards like cucumbers, they do not take a large amount of space.
- Pole beans, wax beans and red/purple types of beans do especially well during the heat of summer.
- Regular potatoes prefer to be grown in cooler weather, but sweet potatoes thrive in warm soil and heat.
- They are generally planted a full month or more after the last frost date.
- To help them grow, plant them near dill or thyme and give them a moist, well drained soil. Use an organic compost to help nourish them as they are growing and you’ll enjoy a nice sweet potato harvest in just a few months.
Black Eyed Peas
- This crop is part of a group of peas known for growing well in the heat. After all, they are a favorite in the Southern US for a reason.
- Plant black eyed peas a full month or more after the last frost date has passed.
- Keep their soil moist to protect from drying out and be sure to be careful not to water the plant itself. Instead, water directly into the soil to help protect your fragile plant.
- Okra is another heat loving plant and as such should be planted directly in the soil several weeks after the threat of frost has passed. While you can transplant okra plants, it is best to sow them from seed as they have extremely fragile roots.
- This summer vegetable requires a very rich, composted soil that you will want to prepare before planting. Plant them in an area where they will receive full sun and harvest them often.
- Okra is harvested when the pods reach 3-4” and are harvested often until the plant stops producing.
- Eggplant is another heat-loving summer vegetable and is harvested in late summer. With this plant, you will want to make extra sure that you keep the roots moist.
- It may love heat, but it does not love dry. Eggplant does best when mulch is laid around it on the ground. Doing so helps the soil around it to retain the moisture the roots need.
As you can see, planting vegetables in the summer months is not unheard of. In fact, these are only a few of the vegetable plants that do well in the summer months.
They can be planted later in the year and love the heat that the summer months provide.
Tasty Recipes Using Summer Vegetables to Try:
- Maori Boil Up, a New Zealand favorite
- Easy to make and refreshing Pimm’s Cup Cocktail
- Easy Chicken Cacciatore, otherwise known as a Hunter’s Chicken Stew