In the spring, we gardeners are excited to get into the dirt and start planting. We’ve been a bit cooped up over the winter. we pour over a spring garden guide making plans, and just can’t wait to get out of the house and see things start turning green.
But summer is a funny time.
It’s scorching hot, it’s hard to get out there and keep up with harvesting those veggies you planted back in April, to say nothing of keeping the weeds down.
You’re not feeling very enthusiastic anymore, and yet, you know that if you don’t get back out there and plant, you’ll regret not having more veggies to carry you through the fall, when the weather starts cooling off and gardening gets fun again.
The key is to keep things simple and manageable when you’re thinking of summer vegetables to grow. And of course, to get out in that garden in the morning before it gets too hot!
Summer Vegetables to Grow
Direct Sow in Your Garden
For those of us in plant hardiness zones 7a and higher, we’ve still got plenty of time to grow a lot of summer vegetables, and can easily get second or third crops going. Do be aware of the days to maturation of the varieties you choose to plant, as this may be a huge factor in your success depending on when exactly you plant, and when your area’s first frost date is.
Beans. Choose heat-tolerant green or wax beans. Planting now will give you nice, early fall crop.
Southern peas. Purple hull peas tend to take 55-70 days to maturation depending on the variety, giving you plenty of time to get a crop in before fall. As a bonus, purple hulls fix their own nitrogen, and are virtually maintenance free.
Corn. Be sure to grow an early maturing variety of corn for your summer/early fall garden, and you can get another crop of everybody’s favorite summer vegetable!
Summer squash and zucchini. If you keep succession planting going, you can have fresh squash and zucchini for Parmesan roasted summer veggies right up until your first frost – or beyond if you cover your plants with floating row cover or old sheets at night.
Cucumbers. If you haven’t had enough pickle making, and cucumber salad yet, there’s plenty of time to start a new crop! As always, be sure to choose varieties that give you plenty of time to harvest before first frost.
Varieties to start indoors
There are also a lot of vegetables that you’ll want in your fall garden, but can’t tolerate the outdoor heat right now. July is a great time to get them started indoors.
- Brussels Sprouts
These are all vegetables that take quite a while to mature. Since they enjoy cool weather, you most likely won’t want to plant them directly in your garden, but they do need to get started so they have time to reach maturity before it gets too cold.
This, I’m sure is an incomplete list of summer vegetables to grow, but even at that, you’ll have a lot of produce coming out of your garden in a few weeks!
Get Your Garden Cheat Sheets!
Want to know exactly when, where, and how to plant your vegetables? Sign up to get our FREE companion planting guide, and garden planting cheat sheet printable.