The cool weather of early spring is gone, the heat of summer makes its way in, and you still haven’t started your vegetable garden. Not to worry, you still have time to plant veggies, even during warm weather. Learn about the many vegetables to plant in summer for late summer or fall crops.
We often think springtime is best for planting fruits and vegetables for a summer harvest, like sweet corn, watermelon, and tomatoes. Fortunately, different veggies have different planting times based on their hardiness, making gardening more manageable and ensuring you harvest fresh veggies at varying times of the year.
Cool-season vegetables like chives, Brussels sprouts, radishes, leeks, turnips, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, collards, and cilantro do not tolerate hot weather. However, many veggies thrive in warm soil and heat. Summer crops are easy to grow and a great way to extend the growing season with a fall harvest.
Growing Summer Vegetables
Since not all plants are hardy enough to handle the heat of the mid-summer sun, it’s essential to choose your summer vegetable wisely. Learn which veggies thrive when you plant them in the middle of the season and growing tips for the easiest vegetables to plant in a summer garden.
There are also some perennial flowers that bloom all spring and summer that you can enjoy along with your veggies. Add some lavender and catmint for their pretty blooms.
As a bonus, these plants also repel some insects to keep them away from your vegetables. Rosemary and basil are some herbs to grow in summer that also repel unwanted bugs.
What Vegetables to Plant in Summer
Many heat-tolerant plants are perfect for growing in the summer garden. Find out what vegetables to plant in summer for harvesting before the first hard frost.
What can be planted in summer? Warm weather vegetables are perfect for planting in the summertime. In the USA, vegetable varieties to plant in summer include winter squash, summer squash like zucchini, okra, eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatillos, tomatoes, corn, and all types of peppers. It’s also New Zealand spinach growing season.
Summer is the perfect growing season for squash as this veggie enjoys warm temps as long as you keep them watered. Cowpeas, lima beans, southern peas, and other bush varieties are also heat-tolerant plants and are the best vegetables to plant in July in some areas.
Easy Vegetables to Grow in Summer
One of the simplest veggies to grow in summer is the sweet potato, and you don’t need store-bought seeds or plants to produce them. Discover how to regrow sweet potato plants to grow in the garden.
Slice a healthy sweet potato in half and insert toothpicks around the perimeter of the middle of each section. Fill a jar with water and submerge the cut section of the potato in the water by balancing the toothpicks on the jar rim. Set the water jar on a sunny windowsill and wait for the sweet potato slips to grow in two to four weeks.
Harvest the slips by carefully twisting them off the potato and placing them in another jar of water. Leave them for a few days until they begin to grow roots, and then transplant them into the garden. Sweet potatoes are usually ready for harvesting in early fall.
Spicy Vegetables to Grow in Summer
For seeds to plant in summer, hot peppers are a good choice. They are fast-growers, thrive in the heat, and there are many types to choose from, including jalapenos and habaneros. Here are some tips for growing a hot pepper plant.
There is a vast range of hot peppers, from poblano, Anaheim, and serrano to cayenne, tabasco, and banana peppers. They are all great candidates for the summer garden.
Hot pepper plants are annual, and they want slightly acidic soil that is rich, moist, and well-draining. They thrive in full sun, and they are easy to grow from seed indoors or outside in the garden. Hot peppers continue to fruit until a hard frost.
When caring for pepper plants, allow them to dry out between watering and give them an inch of water each week. Avoid overfeeding these plants, which leads to extra leaves and fewer fruits.
Tips for Growing Okra During the Summer
What vegetables to plant in summer? If you enjoy something a little out of the ordinary, the best time to plant vegetables like okra is the summer. This southern staple is simple to grow, and it is perfect if you live in an area with hot summers. It’s time to plant okra in zone 7 when the temperatures warm in early spring.
Okra is a fast-growing plant that produces seed pods in about two months. They grow 3 to 5 feet tall and wide, and each plant provides 20 to 30 okra pods. Many okra varieties come in varying sizes, from the small Baby Bubba hybrid to the large Cow Horn heirloom.
These veggies love growing in full sun and acidic soil. If you live in an area with a short growing season, plant seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost for fast germination. Otherwise, plant them directly into the garden bed.
If your soil is naturally rich, fertilization is unnecessary. Water your okra plants regularly until they establish, and then water them once every seven to ten days. The best time to pick okra pods is when they are young since large pods are stringy and tough.
Growing Green Beans in the Summer Garden
Green beans are excellent vegetables to grow in summer. They grow quickly, and each plant provides you with a half-pound of fresh and tasty green beans. Try planting and growing green beans in the veggie garden.
Green bean plants have fragile roots, and planting bush beans from seed by direct sowing is better than transplanting seedlings. Choose a sunny area of the yard when preparing the garden since these plants require six to eight hours of full sun every day.
Before planting green beans, set up a trellis or other support form to give your plants something to climb through the season. Sow seeds three inches apart with rows 18 inches apart and grow them in slightly acidic soil. Consider using floating row covers to protect young plants from pests.
Green bean plants want warm soil, and spreading mulch around them helps keep the ground warm while retaining moisture. Harvest the beans when they are four to six inches long and slightly firm, and continue harvesting until the first frost.
Preparing a Tasty Side Dish with Veggies from the Summer Garden
Starting a garden in summer is only half the fun since harvest time keeps your pantry well-stocked with fresh organic vegetables. This vegan spicy side dish brings three of our favorite summer garden veggies together, and it’s super healthy.
Prepare the veggies by cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet and add the sweet potato chunks. Cook them over medium heat for ten minutes, and add the green beans, hot pepper, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper.
Cook on high heat for five minutes while stirring, and add a half cup of cold water if the veggies become too dry. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for ten minutes, and serve immediately.
We tend to think that all plants like the same growing conditions, but some vegetables need early spring planting, and others prefer growing during the summer. Knowing the difference between cool weather veggies and warm season crops goes a long way to producing a healthy garden.
We hope you enjoyed discovering which vegetables to plant in summer for a productive fall crop, and we’d love it if you’d share our summer vegetable planting guide with the gardeners in your life on Facebook and Pinterest.