Summer is the height of the growing season when the vegetable garden comes into its own. While some vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and autumn, others such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers need hotter weather in order to thrive.
Here are the best summer vegetables to grow, along with some tips to get you started.
- Tomatoes – It’s hard to beat the taste of fresh home-grown tomatoes. These favourite vegetables require several months of warm summer weather to produce a bountiful harvest. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, needing rich soil and fertilizer to thrive. Choose a site that receives full sun and provide regular water and supplemental fertilizer for the highest yields.
- Peppers and Chillies – This versatile warm weather vegetable comes in hundreds of different varieties, from mild to screeching hot, to suit every taste. Peppers thrive in a sunny site with rich well-draining soil. Add an all-purpose fertilizer like Talborne 3:1:5 Fruit and Vegetables to the soil at the time of planting and keep plants evenly moist.
- These heat lovers are a favourite crunchy addition to salads, as well as for snacking or pickling. Train these vining plants on a fence or trellis, or allow them plenty of room to ramble. Make sure plants receive plenty of regular water to keep fruit from becoming bitter or misshapen. Harvest frequently to encourage new fruit.
- Brinjals – This delicious vegetable is prolific and easy to grow when planted during the heat of summer. Provide plenty of sun, rich soil, and regular water. Harvest fruits when they are young for the best flavour.
- Beans – grow climbing beans up a tepee or trellis with climbing nasturtiums to attract pollinators. Why not encourage the kids to make a tepee (where they can hide) and pick the beans.
For a good yield, all these veggies need their flowers to be pollinated by bees, which gives gardeners an excellent excuse to plant pollen and nectar-rich flowers and herbs alongside them. The result? A garden full of flowers, buzzing with bees and lots of veggies to harvest.