I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to get my summer veggies planted. The winter leftovers and salad gardens have all been pulled out to make way for new goodies. If you’re looking for some ideas on what to plant for the summer, I have some standbys that always grow well for me. The best part is they can be eaten in a number of ways and they can also be stored for later use too.
The easiest way to go about starting onions in your garden is by purchasing sets at the local gardening center near you. There are red, yellow, and white onions sold in sets, which are basically very tiny onions bundled together in a small bunch. Most varieties take a couple of months to fully mature. You can harvest them and hang them in bunches, put them in a cool dark place to make them last a bit longer, or you can make dehydrated onions. I generally store mine with bulbs of garlic and potatoes. They all seem to get along very well and don’t get all moldy or start sprouting fuzzy white hairs before I get a chance to use them.
Out of all the varieties of corn, I like sweet corn best of all. It comes in white, yellow, and even a mix of both colors of kernels. It’s exceptionally tasty on a hot summer day and goes well with anything you cook on the grill, which is always a favorite summer time hangout place for my family. Corn can usually be planted as soon as the ground warms up to at least 50 degrees. Put a little bit of fertilizer on your new corn plants after they reach about 12 inches high. A few weeks after you start to see silk form at the tops of the plants, you should be ready to harvest your corn.
As for green beans, there are bush beans and pole beans. The type you choose to plant might be determined by how much room you have available. If you are growing plants in 5 gallon buckets, then the bush variety might be more what you are looking for. Pole beans climb very high and will need some sort of support system set up to ensure they don’t start crawling all over the ground and rot your beans. You can plant bean seeds or purchase plants from a garden center or at the local farmers market. Most bush bean varieties take around 50 days and pole beans tend to take a bit longer.
Deciding what types of tomatoes to grow can be based on what you want to use them for. If you eat a lot of sandwiches or just want some slicing tomatoes for dinner, then choose a variety that produces large round tomatoes. Those who eat a lot of salad might pick out cherry or grape tomato plants for their garden. I like to have a couple of each of these types of tomato plants, plus a couple of Roma tomato plants too. I find I can use any type of tomato to make juice, spaghetti sauce, or taco sauce, so the more the merrier!
I think zucchini is one of my favorite plants for a summer garden. I don’t usually have the patience to start zucchini from seeds, so I buy small plants from the greenhouse in town. A great thing about zucchini plants is that they love the heat and do well in it. Plants will blossom after about 6 weeks and you’ll start to see little zucchinis forming on the vine once the flowers have died off. Most varieties of zucchini taste best when they are between 6 and 8 inches in length. Zucchini cupcakes anyone? Did you know you could eat zucchini flowers? Try Lisa’s Fried Squash or Zucchini Blossom Flowers.
Think about your Personal Needs
When deciding what to plant in the garden, think about what types of veggies you like and the kinds of meals you prepare. There’s no sense in taking the time to grow something you won’t use or don’t like. For instance, I like the way celery looks and it has many wonderful beneficial properties, but I can’t stand the taste of it. It’s also a good idea to utilize your garden space to its fullest potential.
What are your favorite summer veggies for the garden?
Summer Gardening Tips and Tricks
- Mid-Summer Gardening Tips – Hot Sun, Dry Soil – MomPrepares
- Gear up for the Summer Gardening Season – Black Fox Homestead
- Planting Your Summer Garden – Let This Mind be In You