On this week’s episode, Travis describes the top vegetables to grow during the warmer summertime growing season. During the summertime, the weather conditions are not ideal to grow many vegetable varieties in the garden. Along with the harsh weather conditions, pest and disease pressures are unbearable to manage as well. Therefore, growing healthy and productive vegetables is completely impossible due to the heat and humidity that causes an increase in pest and disease pressures. Some vegetables that you should definitely avoid growing during the summertime include cucumbers, squash, zucchinis, peas, and tomatoes.
The Top Vegetables to Grow
One of the top vegetables to grow during the summertime heat is sweet potatoes. When the vines are full they create a great foliage canopy that keeps the weed pressure down in the garden. Another great crop to grow during the heat is okra. Some okra varieties that we have available are Star of David, Jambalaya, Silver Queen, Red Burgundy, and Cowhorn. When growing okra, we suggest succession planting throughout the spring, summer, and fall to get maximum productivity. The third vegetable to grow during the summer months is eggplants. We have four different varieties of eggplants such as Nadia, Nubia, Purple Shine, and White Star. The last vegetable, Travis mentions has ideal to grow during the warmer growing season is peppers. We carry several pepper varieties that are all productive and contain excellent taste profiles. Some of these varieties include Beaver Dam, Anaheim, Gold Rush Banana, Bayonet, Jalapeno, and Aruba Cubanelle to name a few.
Other Crops to Grow in the Summer
Flower varieties such as Zinnias do wonders in the garden during the summer. We have several colorful varieties available such as White, Lime, Orange, Scarlet, and Coral. The trick to growing zinnias is to prune once every two weeks in order to continue having beautiful blooms until the frost comes in the garden. The zinnias also attract beneficial insects that in return helps with pest control pressure. Another popular crop that we recommend growing during the summertime that will also benefit your garden soil is cover crops. The warmer season cover crops such as Buckwheat, Brown Top Millet, Sorghum Sudangrass, and Sunn Hemp are perfect to grow in the vegetable garden. The Buckwheat provides benefits to the garden such as weed suppression, increases soil drainage, and provides a significant amount of organic matter in the soil. Compared to other cover crop varieties, the buckwheat grows the fast which allows it to be incorporated back into the soil for quick turnover and replanting of vegetable crops. The next variety to plant if you have sandy loam soils is Brown Top Millet. This cover crop is best known as “green manure”, this millet can improve soil tilth, water absorption, and soil quality. Another warm-season cover crop is the Sorghum Sudangrass, which creates a dense mat of vegetation within the vegetable garden. The sudangrass contains deeply penetrating roots that loosen the soil which provides an increase in aeration and soil drainage in the vegetable garden. The last cover crop that does best in the summertime is Sunn Hemp. The Sunn Hemp is another cover crop that provides weed suppression and an increase in organic matter. As well as, an increased supply of nitrogen into the soil which is beneficial when growing several vegetables during the fall, winter, and spring. All of these cover crops can be either broadcasted or planted with our Hoss Garden Seeder. Along with all the cover crops, they should be incorporated back into the soil before they go to seed in order to prevent any reseeding issues in the future growing seasons.