With summer approaching it is time you started on the summer vegetables and fruits for your kitchen garden. By now the spring veggies and fruits are almost done and if you want to have a perennial garden, you will need to start early enough to get the maximum output from your summer garden.
So start early to enjoy fresh organic fruits and vegetables through out the year and be aware that some of the summer favorites are corn, beans, tomatoes, okra, eggplants and cucumbers.
The vegetables you choose and the time of planting would depend on the climate zone you live in. In case of summer gardens you are looking at vegetables that love the long warm days and are not fond of cold soil which means that the frost will most likely kill them.
They should be ideally planted after the expected last frost date. This will ensure that they get a warm soil environment for proper germination or root growth in case of saplings being planted. Also check for maturity period on the seed packet so that you have enough time to let the plants grow and enjoy their produce for a long time.
If you have a short period of frost free weather, i.e. the time period between the last frost date and the first frost date is not very long in the area you live in, you can gain advantage by planting the seeds indoors in pots earlier that you would in the garden.
When the time comes they can be transferred to the garden. In some cases it may be wise to let them grow in containers as the container soil is usually warmer than the ground soil. And if you are lucky to have long frost free periods you can benefit with a double crop by planting your garden for a second time around the summer equinox.
Summer varieties of squash are an all time favorite. They need plenty of sun and a drained soil. If you have a small garden you can opt for the bush varieties that need about 3-5 feet of space and also for the vine varieties need about 5-10 sq ft of space. Harvest the fruits before the first frost.
You need a lot of space, if you are planning to grow corn, primarily to facilitate pollination. They benefit best when grown in a square space with corn plants about a foot away from each other.
The sowing needs to be completed 8 weeks before the first frost date. Corn needs regular watering and an organic fertilizer when the tassels make an appearance. Watering is essential as the plant has short roots. It does need a lot of care but nothing beats a fresh cob of corn.
Cucumbers are a great kitchen garden vegetable to grow during the summer months; they are a cool and delicious addition to your kitchen produce. It needs a lot of sun and a good amount of water too with the prerequisite of a rich soil. Vines produce much more compared to the bushes. Do remember to provide a trellis for the vine variety and harvest the vines regularly to ensure continuous production.
Some other hot favorites are peppers, zucchini bush beans, eggplant, okra and tomatoes. They are all present in the summer kitchen garden and they are plants that keep on producing all through the summer.