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Gardening: 6 Best Foods to Grow in the Summer

By    |   Friday, 29 April 2016 08:48 AM

Warm summer months are ideal for growing your own food crops. Growing vegetables in your garden gives you access to the best variety of the freshest foods for your family, and it can also reduce your grocery budget.

These six best foods to grow in summer are sure to beat anything you can buy at the supermarket.

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1. Tomatoes — Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can still grow tomatoes in containers. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a disease-fighting antioxidant, says Mother Nature Network. Garden-grown tomatoes have far superior flavor compared to store-bought ones. Commercially grown tomatoes are bred for uniformity of appearance that is appealing to consumers, but it comes at the expense of flavor, says a study summarized by the Los Angeles Times. Either start tomatoes indoors in late winter or buy transplants for setting out two weeks after your last frost date.

2. Beans — Pole beans can be grown vertically up a trellis, but compact bush beans are very easy to grow and don’t require any staking or support, says P. Allen Smith. For a prolonged harvest all season, sow some bean seeds every three weeks.

3. Eggplant — According to P. Allen Smith, these pretty plants thrive in hot weather and long, sunny days. They should either be started from seed indoors in late winter, or you cam buy plants to set out three weeks after the last frost date in your area.

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4. Peppers — Start seeds indoors about eight weeks before you want to plant in your garden or set out transplants about two weeks after your last frost, recommends Sunset. Peppers are among the best foods to grow in summer because they add color and flavor to your seasonal meals.

5. Cucumbers — When you grow your own cucumbers, there are many varieties from which to choose, from long, slender-slicing varieties to short, nubby pickling varieties. Cucumbers thrive in the heat, but they require consistent moisture and a trellis to support their long vines, says Sunset.

6. Summer Squash — Get ready for great flavor and high yields when you grow your own zucchini or summer squash. These don’t transplant well, says P. Allen Smith, so direct sow them where they are to be grown and provide support for vining varieties.

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Brande Plotnick is an ambitious home cook, gardener, beekeeper, writer, and speaker who started her website, Tomato Envy, to inspire others to find their deliberately decadent life at home. Brande’s down-to-earth style and approachable manner have been winning over the readers who follow her blog. Her work has been featured in Urban Farm Magazine, Natural Awakenings, Mother Earth News, and the Whole Seed Catalog.

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These six best foods to grow in summer are sure to beat anything you can buy at the supermarket.
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Friday, 29 April 2016 08:48 AM
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