Vegetables You Can Grow in Summer
Summer is almost here, and if you haven't planted any summer veggies in your garden yet, then you have one last chance. It is great to grow your own vegetables, because you always have fresh food at home. Plus, you know that everything you eat is organic and healthy. I can keep on giving you reasons why you should grow your own vegetables, but that is not the point of this post. I will give you one more reason, though, because it is really important - if you have children and a vegetable garden, you can educate your little ones about food and what is what in the garden more easily. Food education is a very serious matter, nowadays, because most growing ups cannot differ a pear from aubergine, and a red apple from a tomato.
Anyway, let me give you a few examples of summer vegetables, which are good to have in your green space.
Lettuce can be grown all year round, but only indoors. Otherwise, if you plant it outdoors, you can only grow it from late spring to late summer, or until the weather is warm. There are different types of lettuce and you can choose the one you like the most. Just mind that all of them like regular watering when there is no rain. You can check the soil yourself with your finger, by sticking it into the soil. If you feel moisture under the surface, you may not water. But if the dirt beneath the surface is dry, then water. The good about lettuce salads is that when you cut a leaf, it grows up again. If you decide to grow some type of this leafy vegetable in containers, consider that the pots should be at least 12 inches big. This vegetable is a great meal for the summer, as it can be combined with other healthy products and it will not make you fat.
Zucchini are very easy to grow. They need some space, though, as they like crawling a little bit. They are generous plants and don't need much cares. What you should know is that before you plant a young zucchini plant, you have to be sure that all frosts have ended. The best time to plant this vegetable is late May, so don't waste much time. You will be able to harvest it from July to late October. Zucchini is also a light vegetable, which can be eaten raw on salads, or cooked. I personally like them sliced and grilled, served with a sauce of yoghurt, olive oil, garlic, dill, black pepper and salt. Salad made of raw zucchini, with mint, lemon juice and olive oil is also a delicacy. Lovers of chilli, can also add one chilli pepper to the raw salad.
Pea Shoots are just like lettuce, when you cut them they keep on coming back. They are awesome in salads, and even as a side dish. Pea shoots are favourite food for lots of pests, so it will be best if you plant the seeds indoors and transplant them in the garden later. You can plant peas from late March till July. And harvest from June to October, depending on when you've planted. The good about pea shoots is that you can either pick the young plants, or let them grow big and pick their shoots and fruit. Peas is famous for it contains high amounts of fibres, which help the human body fight unpleasant bacteria, and prevent lots of diseases.
Tomatoes are quite popular as vegetables, but they are actually fruit. They can be grown in 12 inch pots, but it is best if you plant them outdoors on a sunny spot. Tomatoes grow really tall and need to be supported with stakes. You should know that when they start flowering, you have to check them for side shoots and remove those to boost the growth of fruit. Tomatoes need regular watering, too. It is a good practice to plant companion plants next to them, such as borage, in order to protect them from pests. Lettuce planted close to tomatoes will have protection from burning sun rays and will grow strong. Read more about growing tomatoes with companion plants here.
It is good to grow vegetables, but it is also good to have some herbs in your green space. Mint is a popular herb, which is good for cooking lamb, pork, salads, desserts, and other meals. Tea made of mint is very good against coughs and lung problems. The best about mint is that is can be grown in shade and in containers. Be very careful, if you planted in your garden, because it can be rather invasive. You must also prune it from time to time, in order to prevent the plant from getting leggy.
Parsley is another herb that can be grown in shade and doesn't need much cares. It is extremely easy for growing and you can planted in containers. Parsley contains a lot of Vitamin C and is really healthy. It is a good addition to salads and other meals with meat and vegetables.
You can find more information about growing herbs in this infographic.
There are a lot of types of onions, and they all can be grown in summer. They are extremely good companions to tomatoes and other summer vegetables, as their strong odour keeps pests away. Onions are a main ingredients to a lot of cooked meals and salads. Plant small baby onions from late February to April, and harvest from July to August.
Growing your own tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and other vegetables is great and nothing can't be better. A vegetable garden requires cares and regular maintenance, but even if you don't have time for them, you can delegate the chores to some of the numerous gardeners in Earl's Court or in your area. As simple as that, you can have an organic vegetable garden and lots of free time to spend with your family.
Stay healthy, food educated and strong by simply growing your own vegetable garden. Good luck and happy gardening.
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