Hi everyone! My name is Jillian Cota and I LOVE to garden. I may not be an expert, but I love to experiment in my own backyard, and I’ve come across a lot of cool tips and tricks to my garden (and yours) thrive and grow. Today, we are going to talk about some seeds starting you can do this summer as well as what kind of plants grow best this time of year. Let’s dive in.
First of all, I just wanted to talk about how much I love summer. I’m not a big fan of the temperature and the extra hot sunburns, but I absolutely adore the vegetables. For me and my family, we have good weather all year round (shout out to California living), so we are lucky enough to be able to plant all kinds of crops the rest of the county has to wait for.
My absolute favorite: baby tomatoes. My mom always plants Golden Nugget tomatoes and Sungold tomatoes in her garden and I just go wild for them. They are so juicy and savory, I just can’t stop myself from taking a couple handfuls when I come and visit.
With every season comes a clean slate for planting, and summer crops are a special selection I always look forward to. If you are planting in the month of June, I like to reference Urban Farmer, as they break up the United States into different planting zones that will help you know which plants will do best at any time of year. For myself, Zones 8-9 are applicable to my garden, so I will be writing about that in this article.
Best Crops for Summer Planting
First up, you can plant yourself a variety of Corn. This plant is fast growing and comes if different varieties like Buttergold, Sweet G90, and Honey Select Sweet. Corn is a fan favorite because they are easy to cook, a staple BBQ side dish, and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Have you ever made Elote? If not, you are missing out!
Next, we’ve got lots of herbs. Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Sage are classic herbs every American uses in their household, and is a great option to have if you don’t want to end up with an overload of food produce. I’m definitely not one to complain when I have 50 onions laying on my kitchen counter, but for households who may not have the space to store the fruits of their labors, herbs are a good way to go. Not to mention it brings depth of flavor to all your favorite savory meals.
If you are the type of person who likes to have an explosion of vegetables, then I definitely recommend you keep reading, because the rest of this article will be full of veggies. Summer Squash and Zucchini will be ready to harvest in July and August, and boy, does my garden produce a ton! Squash and Zucchini are so rewarding to grow because they sneak up on you. The broad leaves cover the vegetables as they grow which hides them from view. One week you will have lovely yellow flowers and the next, BOOM. Giant veggies up the wazoo!
Another surprising veggie that will sneak up on you is the cool and refreshing Cucumber. This one is especially popular with people who love to do canning, as you can use cucumbers to create delicious pickles. Not to toot my own horn, but I come up with some pretty delicious dill pickles. If pickling is of interest to you, you can always hop on over to Pinterest to get some fresh new recipes to try.
Last, but definitely not least, is the summer time classic treat, Watermelon. You can’t separate the two, summer and watermelon go hand in hand. You can choose from Honey Dew Stutz Supreme, Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon, and All Sweet Watermelon to name a few. If you do decide to grow these delicious fruits, be sure to add a little extra security around your garden. Local critters don’t discriminate between fruits and veggies, but for me personally, its is extra devastating when my melons get chewed on. So, do your research and be sure to fortify your garden so you don’t lose out on all your hard work.
Don’t let the summer heat discourage you from enjoying your summer crop. Get up earlier to water your plants, wear a wide brimmed hat with longs leaves, and if you can, get a cool neck wrap to keep your body temperature cool as you tend to your garden. It may be tough in the beginning, but I promise you, you will greatly enjoy all the crops you get to reap, and your tummies will thank you too. Good luck!