Summer vegetables cool the taste buds and provide seemingly endless recipe opportunities for summer tables. Since many vegetables grow quickly, even those who missed spring planting can enjoy the results of a summer vegetable garden. Succulent summer vegetables bask and thrive in the heat. Delicious traditional vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and peas, grow in the summer. Or plant dasheen and sweet cassava for exotic flair and flavour.
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Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) grow well in warm soil. With necessary drainage and a consistent supply of moisture, cucumbers grow large, moist and sweet in the summer. Avoid clay soil and overwatering. Plant cucumbers no later than the middle of summer. Sow cucumber seeds early indoors to transplant once the soil warms.
Exotic Summer Varieties
Cassava and boniato are tubers that will give summer gardeners new ideas for summer meals. Tapioca comes from cassava, which can grow up to 8 feet in height. Plant 12-inch cassava cuttings 5 inches in mulched and moist summer soil. Boniato is native to tropical regions and does well in summer gardens. This burgundy beauty likes regular watering, but not soggy soil. Water deep in the ground rather than on the surface.
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Summer herbs release the flavours of fresh vegetables and add cooling elements to summer recipes. Vegetable Gardening Online recommends planting herbs including, but not limited to, basil, rosemary and thyme in the summer. Grow these herbs from seeds in sunny gardens. Pinch to control growth. Thyme makes nice edging in the garden. Harvest leaves as needed by snipping to promote growth.
Rocket lettuce, or arugula, is a hardy, fast-growing vegetable. Give arugula adequate moisture in most soil types. Grow arugula in the summer, but plant it in the shade to keep it from going to seed too quickly. Harvest arugula leaves or pick the entire plant. Do not harvest after flower stems rise up from the middle of the plant.