The Way to Grow Your Own Sweet Summer Compounds

Summer is the height of gardening. Farmer’s markets and roadside stands are full of fresh produce, while home gardens are at the peak of production. It is a time when eating healthy and fresh is simple and enticing.

To reach this point, you have to start early — in late winter and early spring. That is the opportunity to plan for those important first steps that have to be done before you even think about planting your first seeds.

Related guides: How to grow the summer crops, plant by plant

SURROUNDS Landscape Architecture + Construction

Get began. Snow might be covering your yard, or rain might be keeping you indoors, but it is still possible to get a leap on starting your summer garden by determining what you want to increase and, perhaps more significant, where on your yard you wish to grow it.

Winter or early spring is also a fantastic time to map out a garden design and determine your deadline for preparing the garden beds and performing the all-important planting.

How to grow the very best crops of summer

Watermark Landscapes

Giannetti Home

Select a spot. Almost all summer crops require lengthy, sunny days. Consider the sun patterns throughout your garden. You might want to rearrange present plantings or even redesign hardscaped areas to get your edibles in the ideal spot.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Don’t be afraid to think beyond the standard garden patch in the garden, and do not think you have to limit each one of your edibles to just 1 area. If your sun-drenched spots are in present decorative beds, tuck your berries and vegetables in one of the flowering plants and shrubs, if they’re in your garden or backyard.

Shirley Bovshow

A bonus is the flowering plants will help attract beneficial insects, and the ripening fruit will provide an unexpected burst of colour among the other plants.

More on mixing flowers and vegetables

Shepherd Stoneworks

The Great Canadian Landscaping Company Ltd..

Consider adding raised beds. Many edibles are low-to-the-ground plants. That is fine for a farm, however designwise it can be a bit dull for a house landscape. Raised beds include some design interest into a space and make it a lot easier to take care of the plants and pick the fruit and vegetables. They can also keep a number of the more competitive growers from taking over the rest of the yard.

Beertje Vonk Artist

Determine when to start planting. Just as with cool-season crops, frost dates are significant. For nearly all summertime edibles, sowing seeds or setting out transplants is not recommended until at least a week after the last expected frost.


Digital Soil Tester – $18.75

Prepare the soil. For the best results, start two to three weeks before you plan to plant. A great first step would be to check the soil’s pH levels wherever you plan to plant. Most edibles prefer a pH level that is neutral to slightly acidic, so you’ll have to amend alkaline soils.

You are able to send the soil to a lab, but testing kits such as the one displayed here are readily available at nurseries, home centers and garden supply shops.

Once you’ve determined the garden place and pH levels, work adjustments to the soil. To get a brand new garden bed, first use a spading fork or rototiller to loosen the soil to about 10 inches deep; this step is not required for an present mattress.

In both new and present beds, spread organic soil amendments, such as compost or mulch, across the present soil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Insert in a comprehensive fertilizer and any alterations needed to correct the pH level.

See how to construct this raised bed garden

Amy Renea

Incorporate the amendments into the soil with a spading fork or rototiller. Level the mattress, then water well.


Thermometer Fork – $23.96

Require the final actions. Although daytime temperatures might be warm, check to find out if your soil is also heating up for summertime. If your soil is not warm enough, many seeds might either rot or simply not sprout, and transplants will languish. Most seed packs or plant descriptions will give you the minimum soil temperature needed for seed germination.

If you would like to speed up the warming process, consider using plastic mulch. Black plastic has long been the standard option, but a range of coloured plastic mulches are now available, including clear plastic. Many tomato growers swear by red plastic mulch to boost yields.

Notice: Don’t use organic mulches too early in the summer; they keep the soil cool instead of warming it up.

Paintbox Garden

Start seeds early. Sowing directly in the garden works well for most crops, however if a growing season is brief, you might want to start seeds indoors or in cold frames until you transplant .

If seed starting is not something, or if you want just one or two of each edible, it might be better to wait and receive transplants from a trusted nursery or garden center. Some edibles, like several berries, are offered just as plants.

Look for plants with sturdy stems and good growth. Blossoms aren’t necessary; seedlings with no will normally do better as transplants, as they’re still putting their energy into growth instead of fruiting.

The way to grow berries

Aloe Designs

Keep it in bounds. If you are a beginning gardener, then start small with your favorites. You will not be overwhelmed by the maintenance or the crop.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

If you are more experienced, you face a dilemma each year. You need to grow your favorites, but then there are those other choices out there, both in new varieties and unusual offerings. How hard is to add just a couple more plants?

About midsummer, once the squash is not threatening to take over the garden, you’ve made enough jam to feed an army, and you’ve run out of people keen to take your fresh vegetable supplies, you see you might have overdone it.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Obviously, you will need to contemplate either cutting back to the next year or finding many more friends. In the meantime, if starting a personal food stand in front of your residence isn’t working for you, food banks are often searching for fresh fruits and vegetables. Look in the Plant a Row for the Hungry program on your community Too.

Can you grow your own veggies? We would really like to see your garden (or even front-yard) garden!

More guides to developing the summer crops

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