10 of the Best Vegetables to Plant in Summer

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If you haven’t gotten a garden started for the year yet, don’t fret. You can still grow your own food with some heat loving vegetables. These varieties are some of the best vegetables to plant in summer.

summer garden view with a variety of heat loving plants and sprinkler watering

What are the best vegetables to plant in summer?

If you are completely new to growing your own food, you can still get some summer heat loving plants in the ground now.

Look for transplants rather than starting from seed. For the past couple of years, I have purchased my garden starts from Azure Standard. And the quality of these organic vegetables is pretty amazing.

But just like any garden center, this will be limited to seasonal purchases.

Here are some tips for getting started with gardening with transplants.

Now is also a great time to start preparing for your fall garden. Determine when you should start fall garden seeds directly in the soil and indoor by your growing season.

Some of these fast growing vegetables might be a great option to consider as well.

one of the best vegetables to plant in summer is the tomato plant growing with a stake trellis


This is definite favorite vegetable to grow in the summer garden. Tomatoes grow really well in heat and do best once the overnight temperatures reach above 50 degrees F.

Tomatoes need at least 6-8 hours of full sun.

green and red hot peppers growing in the garden


From bell peppers to hot pepper varieties, these are awesome heat and sun lovers. They need about 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.

And do best in well draining soil.

zucchini plants in the garden

Zucchini / Summer Squashes

One of the best vegetables to plant for the summer garden! And typically they produce a good amount to harvest per plant.

Pro tip: when harvesting zucchini, select them when they are young and tender. And avoid letting them grow too large. Their skins become tough and non edible.

cucumber plant growing in the summer garden


Cucumbers need plenty of sun and regular water each week. If growing the vining varieties, it is important to give them a trellis of some sort for support.

Bush varieties are a great option for a container garden if you’re low on space.

green bean plant in the garden


Either bush beans or vining beans make an excellent choice. Bush beans produce all at once which makes them a great option for canning.

Pole beans produce less at once, but for a longer period of time. So they are a great option to choose for fresh eating.

If you want dried beans, they are left on the plant to dry and picked in the fall to be stored.

watermelon plant growing


Heat and sun improves the ripening and sweetness of melons. Melons require plenty of space for their large vines.

Pro tip: add some hay or straw under the melon once they start to grow to keep from from rotting on the bottom.

large row of potatoes in the garden


Potatoes need to be covered with a bit of compost or soil and free of sunlight to grow. However, the leafy plants need full direct sunlight to thrive.

They also take about 70 to 120 days until harvest time.

Planting potatoes in the mid/late summer makes a great fall storage crop. Dates for planting may vary based on growing zone.

two eggplants growing on plant in garden


Eggplants are a heat lover vegetable and make one of the best vegetables to plant in summer. They prefer temperatures to be between 70 and 85 degrees F.

And they require full sun.

a variety of herbs growing in terra cotta pots


Think of some of the varieties of herbs that come from the Mediterranean. Herbs like basil, oregano, and rosemary, lavender, and thyme, do great in the heat of summer.

Other herbs to consider for the summer garden are:

  • dill
  • mint
  • parsley
  • borage
  • chives
  • sage
corn growing in the summer garden


Corn is a perfect summer crop. It requires regular and consistent watering. Especially during dry weather.

What are your favorite heat loving vegetables to grow in the garden?

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