Garden Vegetables to Grow this Summer

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Slow start this growing season? Don't despair! If you didn't get a garden planted this spring, it's not too late to plant garden vegetables to grow this summer! Growing a garden is a great way to put healthy food on the table and keep your kids occupied in the final weeks of summer vacation.

My kids love to snack from our garden and sometimes even help me plant and weed. I've also found that when my kids are involved in gardening, they aren't as picky at the dinner table! Major SCORE!

Garden Vegetables to Grow this Summer

Garden Vegetables to Grow this Summer

To get your summer garden on, first, decide what to plant. Since a good portion of my growing season has past now, choosing veggies with faster maturity dates is important. Luckily, many plants will grow quickly enough to be planted before the first frost, and a lot of plants are even frost tolerant, so there are a lot of veggies that can still be planted now, even in July!

Vegetables to plant in a summer garden include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Bush Beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Kohlrabi
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Basil
  • Cilantro

Next, find seeds or plants for your garden. Finding seeds and plants can be a bit challenging this time of year, as many stores stock for spring and sell out by midsummer. Hardware and local nurseries are probably the best place to look right now for seeds and you might even find some plants on clearance! You can also order seeds online if you can't find them anywhere. Amazon also has many heirloom seed varieties available as well. While you're thinking about gardening, go ahead and order catalogs for next year! Here's a great list of free seed catalogs that I love and highly recommend.

How to Plant a Summer Garden

Now is the time to start cabbage family {cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, or cauliflower} seeds indoors. The cabbage family is frost tolerant, and vegetables like brussel sprouts even taste better after a light frost! Most people think of seed starting early in the spring, but if you can't find plants and want to grow cabbage family veggies, start them now! Don't delay - it's almost too late for starting seeds in my gardening zone, 5b. But you still have a week or so. For more information on seed-starting, read these helpful posts: 3 Free Containers for Starting Seeds and 5 Helpful Seed Starting Supplies. Once the seedlings are 3 weeks old, plant them directly in the garden.

Garden Vegetables to Grow this Summer - Kids love to help plant seeds!

Seeds to Sow Directly Outdoors

  • Summer squash
  • Bush beans
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Radish

This is easier than it sounds. Just head out to the garden and start planting! Make sure to read the directions on the back of the seed packets - plant to the right depth and use the right spacing. Since it's summertime, you'll want to do this on a cloudy day, most likely in the morning or early evening, to keep the soil cooler for the seeds.

Garden Vegetables to Grow this Summer - Let kids help to keep them interested

It's very important to keep your seeds well watered for good germination and then throughout their life cycle so they will produce well. Since the weather is normally hotter and drying in the summer, watering the summer garden consistently is very important.

Garden Vegetables to Grow this Summer - S delicious summer harvest

Then, sit back and watch your little seedlings pop up and grow! Engage and occupy your kids, watch and learn about bugs, and enjoy the fruits of your labor with veggies you made! There's not much better than home grown veggies and eating a meal you grew yourself!

Here are handy resources if you'd like to learn more about summer gardening:

Do you plant a summer garden? What's your favorite veggie to grow?

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I’m Michelle and I blog over at Simplify, Live, Love. I live in rural Eastern Iowa with my husband, 4 kiddos, 17 chickens 3 rabbits, 1 dog, AND a cat. We are self employed crazies trying to balance it all and live sustainably at the same time. In addition to blogging, I garden, can, homeschool, and teach online community college classes too! Hop on over for more on our crazy life in Eastern Iowa.

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