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There are few activities more relaxing than an afternoon in the summer garden. Connecting with nature by seeing, smelling, touching, and gardening comforts and heals an anxious mind.

Growing your food is a simple way to flavor your home and kitchen. Rather than trek or drive to a grocery, simply reach out your hands and pluck your own home-grown ingredients.

In this article, we discuss 20 of the best plants for summer gardens. Read on to discover what you can spruce the garden up with this summer!

What Are The Best Plants for Summer Gardens?

The best plants for summer gardens include extenuations of late spring planting as well as new rounds of planting plenty of leafy greens, root vegetables, both small and large. Summer gardens are also ripe for melons, berries, and fruit-bearing trees such as apples, peaches, and cherries. A plethora of herbs and flowers are also trademarks of summer gardening.

Top 5 Vegetables to Grow This Summer

Leafy greens and red beets, freshly picked.

1. Eggplant (aka Aubergines)

The eggplant is a warm-weather crop that thrives in high temperatures. It does best if planted in companion-style with other plants like legumes, tomatoes, or herbs. 

Eggplants require moist soil and this can be achieved by mulching to cool the soil from the heat. 

They take approximately 70 days from seed to harvest. But, if kept longer they have a larger yield. The plants are heavy feeders and require a lot of care with the addition of fertilizers and manure.

2. Squash and Zucchini

This is a traditional summer crop that is very peculiar because it comprises many varieties. grows very quickly for about 60 days and is harvested all through the summer. 

Squash seeds will not germinate in cold soil and the plants have separate male and female flowers. That said, an insect moves the pollen from the male flower to fertilize the female flower. 

Use a soil thermometer to measure the temperature and plant the seeds in ‘hills’ about 6 feet between and place 4 seeds close together in each hill. The squash should be well watered and fertilized to produce a bountiful harvest. 

The squash leaves and flowers are both very nutritious and safe to eat but be sure to check the right recipes before

3. Bell Pepper

The bell pepper is also known as capsicum, or sweet pepper, and is grown for its thick mild fruit. contain antioxidants and can be eaten either raw in salads or cooked in dishes. They are good summer vegetables and very nutritious with a lot of vitamins.

4.  Bok Choy

Bok choy is known as Chinese white cabbage, with a literal meaning of “white vegetable.” It’s a cruciferous vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family. 

The plant has a round tender bulb and dark crinkly leaves and crisp, white stems. The entire vegetable is edible but can be grown for medicinal purposes as well. 

They are best sown in late spring or summer. You can sow the seeds and transplant them when they are 2 inches high or sow directly in your garden 1-2 inches apart.

5. Beet 

The beetroot is the root of a beet. The beetroot and leaves are both eaten as medicine and the leaves are eaten as vegetables. 

They can be consumed raw, cooked, or steamed in the form of salads. Beetroot dark pigment is used to color tomato paste, jams, sauces, and even strawberry ice cream. 

Top 5 Fruits to Grow This Summer

Light red and pink blackberries ripen on the vine.

1. Strawberries 

Strawberries are succulent bright red, juicy, and sweet fragrant fruits, consisting of 91-percent of water. They are also rich in antioxidants and can be used for medicinal purposes.

They are easy to grow and rewarding as the taste is way better than those in the store. This is because the sugar in the berries converts to starch after being picked. 

Strawberry plants can thrive in any climate and soil but will require about 10 hours of direct sunlight.

2. Blueberries 

This is a bluish-black rounded berry or purple in color. They are high in nutrients and fortunately, they require little effort to grow. The plants will yield more fruits if planted in direct sunlight, but not exposed to harsh dry winds.

Blueberries are mainly consumed in jams, cakes, or smoothies. They contain a small crown in the upper part that differentiates them from the black currant.

3. Prickly pear

Prickly pear fruit is the edible fruit of a paddle cactus and is very common in summer in many food markets, they are very juicy and quite delicious. They originate from Mexico, where they are considered medicinal. 

The prickly pear contains 85% water, making it suitable for dieters as it has almost no calories. The fruit has thorns and requires proper clothing or gloves when cutting. You can either choose to plant the seeds or cuttings as they are both easy to grow.

4. Blackberries

Blackberries are sweet blackberry fruits, mostly grown commercially to make jellies, blackberry wine, or vinegar. 

They are easy to grow and can produce an abundant harvest, with enough for picking every couple of days during the summer. 

They require full sun to yield the best berries and plenty of moisture.

5. Muskmelon 

These melons are the perfect summer treat, they taste so sweet and refreshing. Muskmelons can help to lower blood pressure, they are low in calories and sodium, and free from saturated fat and cholesterol.

Keep in mind that they are warm-weather plants and will not tolerate any frost. They also require full direct sun and warm but moist soil.  

Muskmelons need a lot of water while growing. In addition, they take between 60 to 100 days.

Top 5 Herbs to Grow This Summer

A small wooden box on a wooden table holds several small green herbs ready for planting.

1. Rosemary 

Rosemary is an aromatic and very distinctive herb, and it’s easy to grow and care for. The herb hails from the Mediterranean and does very well in warm Regions and hot seasons. 

It has evergreen needle-like leaves and blue flowers. Should be grown in well-drained soil in full sun.

In addition, Rosemary has many culinary uses as well as health benefits. 

2. Parsley 

Not only is parsley good for garnishing and making Salads, but it’s also good for health as it contains vitamin A and C. The foliage grows really greatly and beautifully making it a great compliment to flowers like a petunia. 

Always check the soil as it requires moisture to maintain its green leaves. That said, ensure your soil is full of nutrients before planting.

3. Sage 

These are evergreen herbs with pale grayish velvet-soft leaves and purple flowers. Growing sage is easy, they need 5 or 6 hours of sunlight and well-drained sandy-loam soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

4. Mint

The Mint plant is particularly known for its cooling sensation. Even more, The plant has a lot of health benefits also.

Further, research has shown that most health benefits come from applying it to the skin, and inhaling for example smelling mint oil has been proved to increase alertness and decrease anxiety and fatigue. 

Mint thrives very fast in healthy soil with no competitor species. Planting in medium-sized pots is also advisable.

5. Oregano 

This herb is a flowering plant in the mint family native to the Mediterranean. They require full sun to produce their strong flavor. 

Oregano can easily be planted from seeds or cuttings from a good healthy and well-established plant. They make a good companion plant for just about any vegetable in the garden. 

Trim them after a few inches of growth to make them bushy. 

Top 5 Flowers to Grow This Summer

Marigolds, bright orange in color with a splash of yellow around the tips of the petals, several green buds are nearly bloomed as well.

1. Petunia 

Petunias are among the most popular flowers in the world. They have a pretty bloom and long flowering periods. And of course, the flowers come in many different colors and can make your front lawn really beautiful. 

Some people hang them in baskets. Petunia has very tiny seeds, almost dust-like, and will need a lot of light to germinate. But, it’s easier to buy young plants from a nursery that sells petunia. 

If you decide to plant from seeds, start the seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring week. They require full sun or they will become spindly. They don’t tend to do well in shades.

2. Geranium 

Geraniums are preferably grown in pots because they require moist, and also well-drained soil. If grown indoors they should be placed in an area with a lot of direct sunlight. 

This is a summer flower and must be protected from cold. Further, when planting You may choose to propagate your cuttings 

3.  Begonia 

These flowers are smaller but pack a big punch of color and interest, they are also perennial plants but are widely grown in many regions as annuals. 

The one principal appeal about Begonia is that they produce spectacular flowers in shady conditions where few flower plants will thrive. 

They need sunlight although some varieties might not tolerate the scorching sun.   

4. Orchid 

Those who love Orchids can tell how sensitive and exotic these flowers can be. They are different and diverse with blooms that are often colorful and fragrant. 

Caring for the orchid plant is not as hard or impossible as some people tend to think. They require moderate watering and a substrate of peat. 

A healthy orchid needs fertilizer. Banana peels are a good source of nutrients for the orchids. 

5. Marigold

Marigolds are among the most popular summer flowers and can be easily grown from seeds. They have a bright blossom that will fill your garden with that cheerful color. 

Marigolds are widely cultivated for garden aesthetics and landscaping. Vast quantities are used in wedding decorations, festivals, and religious events.

Written by: Sherry Nekesa

Suggested Reading: 20 Best Plants to Grow This Autumn

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