Best Garden Crops to Plant for the Summer

Posted on 05/01/17 by Simply Organic Turf Care

Warm May temperatures are the perfect time to plant your organic garden. The dangers of frost are gone, and the ground is warm enough to germinate seeds quickly. Follow these tips to fill your plot or containers with a bounty of summertime staples.

  1. Salad Greens. Spinach, mesclun, lettuce, and arugula are a just a few of the salad greens to plant in your garden. Pick your favorite, or try a mix to make a variety of salads this summer.  Leafy greens grow best in soil with organic matter from your compost pile and continuous access to water. A soaker hose or dripper line is a good investment. When harvesting salad greens, be sure to use a knife or scissors to make a clean cut.
  2. Strawberries. This attractive perennial thrives in a sunny spot. Strawberries are happy in containers or gardens but need regular watering and fertilizing. Dig a hole big enough to spread out the roots of each strawberry plant. Prevent roots from drying out by making sure the hole is deep enough.
  3. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are easy-to-grow garden favorites available in many colors, shapes, flavors, and sizes. Plant tomatoes in a container or garden plot with 8 hours of sunlight a day and water twice a week. Use stakes and wire to keep the vines, leaves, and fruit off the ground.
  4. Basil. Basil is the perfect partner for tomatoes. A warm-season herb, basil is a welcome addition to sauces, soups, and salads. Basil is easy to grow in the garden or containers as long as the soil is moist. Pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer.
  5. Cucumbers. Pickled, tossed in salads, or plucked fresh from the garden, cucumbers are a delicious addition to your garden. Cucumbers need plenty of sunlight and fertile soil with good drainage.  Two cucumber plants can produce enough fruit for a family of four throughout the summer.  Cucumbers will climb if given support like a trellis. Collect cucumbers frequently to help plants produce throughout the season.

Gardening is credited with lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and providing low-impact physical exercise. Harvesting a bounty of pesticide-free fruits and vegetables is plenty of reason to get your hands dirty.