Wondering what to do with your big backyard? Sure, inflatable pools, grills and playgrounds all sound fun. But you can also try your hand at gardening to make yard-to-table meals for the whole family all summer long.
First, pick a good spot or two. Some fruits and veggies grow better in full sunlight, while others need a little shade. Give the desired area some tender loving care by pulling up any weeds and sprucing up the soil with manure or compost. Finish off your garden with a good raking to get it ready for planting.
You’ll need to follow the instructions on the seed packets closely to determine spacing, sun or shade needs, watering instructions and more tips for getting the best results.
With the basics out of the way, now it’s time for the fun part: what should you grow? There are so many options, so we’ve compiled a list of the best fruits and veggies to grow at home during the summer months.
Summer Squash: Very Easy
This veggie (technically a fruit) freezes well, so you can grow plenty over the summer months and store the extra for the cold, winter months when you’d rather be indoors than outside in the garden.
If you’re not feeling confident about your green thumb just yet, summer squash is a good starter because it’s easy to grow, you just need multiple plants to pollinate between. Follow Joe Gardener’s instructions to get on your way to a delicious harvest.
Cue the refreshing snacks and salad toppings. Slice them to pair with your favorite veggie dip or hummus, or make cucumber sandwiches for lighter lunches.
How you eat them is up to you, but when you grow them is dependent on the season. Cucumbers love the heat, and like most of us who spend a lot of time under the summer sun, they also need proper hydration. Just make sure you’ve got space to make sure they can vine. Learn more about how to grow vining and bush cucumbers.
Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries): Easy
Filled with antioxidants, berries thrive in the summertime. Make pies, jam, dessert toppings or simply enjoy them fresh as a side dish or healthy snack. All berries need full sun and acidic soil to get the best, juiciest results. Read more about how to prep your garden to grow berries.
While it’s easy to grow berries, wildlife also enjoys them as much as you do. Use netting to keep friends out or be prepared to share.
What’s more nutritious than a green veggie? A green veggie that’s homegrown. Skip the preservatives and packing from canned beans, because you can grow them yourself from spring through the end of summer.
Make a casserole, or enjoy them roasted, steamed or sauteed with your favorite seasonings. Be prepared: beans also climb, and you need a ton a lot of them to make a meal. Watch this video for simple tips to making your own backyard bean stock.
Imagine the perfect red slice on your grilled burger, or a freshly chopped tomato on top of a salad or taco. Delicious, vine-ripe tomatoes need warmth and nutritious soil to thrive, so early summer is the best time to grow them at home.
They aren’t difficult to grow, but they do need a lot of water to thrive. Water them in the morning and be sure to give them space. Learn how to plant and care for a variety of tomatoes to get started.
These are some of the best fruits and veggies you can grow in your garden during the summer months. If you like your harvest, share with family, friends and neighbors. The only thing better than growing your own food at home is sharing it with the people you love.
When you’re ready for a bigger challenge, you might want to consider upping your gardening game next season with a raised garden bed. If you’re still renting and daydreaming about having a big backyard of your own, schedule a tour today. Owning a Starlight home can be easier than you think.