Fresh, cool cucumbers. Crisp green beans. Tomatoes! If you're planning on growing a vegetable garden this summer, whether in a few pots on your balcony or a full blown mini farm in your yard, here is a handy list of resources to make your summer vegetable garden a success.
Tomatoes will always be the highlight of the summer garden as far as I'm concerned. Here's what you need to know to grow the best tomatoes ever.
- Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes: What's the difference, and how do you choose the right type for your garden?
- Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes: A quick and easy guide to growing tasty tomatoes.
- Tomato Growing Tips: Ten useful tips from Organic Gardening Magazine.
- How to Grow Tomatoes in Containers: Useful tips for yard-less gardeners.
- Master Tomato Gardening in Containers: A tomato guru shares her tips for growing in containers.
- How to Prune Tomatoes: Get better yields and keep your plants under control.
- Upside-Down Tomatoes -- The Upsides and Downsides: Thinking about growing your tomatoes upside-down? Read this first!
- America's Favorite Tomatoes: Mother Earth News dishes on the best tomato varieties.
- Tomato Leaf Spots: Is it early blight, late blight, or septoria? Photos to help you diagnose the problem, and how to handle it.
- Tomato Horn Worm: What are they, what to they do to your plants, and how can you get rid of them organically?
Cool Cukes (and Other Cucurbits)
There is nothing as cool and refreshing as a cucumber, fresh from the garden. And who doesn't love the bounty that even a single zucchini plant can provide? Here are some of the best sources I've found for growing cucurbits in your summer garden.
- How to Grow Cucumbers: Great advice from the University of Illinois Extension, including recommended varieties.
- How to Grow Cucumbers in Containers: Great tips from the Ohio State Extension Service.
- A Cucumber Plant Made for Container Gardening: Fern from Life on the Balcony shares a perfect container cuke.
- Cucumber Beetle: What they are, and how to get rid of them.
- Powdery Mildew: A common problem when growing cukes and summer squashes. Organic solutions for preventing and treating powdery mildew.
- Easy Summer Veggies: Zucchini!: Tips for growing zucchini in your garden.
- How to Grow Zucchini (and other summer squashes): Tips from the University of Illinois Extension Service.
The Best Beans
I don't think beans get nearly enough respect among the other summer veggies. While tomatoes get tons of praise for its diversity in colors, forms, and flavors, the bean is ignored. No more! The diversity in beans is astounding, and there are so many terrific heirloom varieties that one never needs to be bored.
- Heirloom Beans: Insightful article about why more people should grow heirloom beans, and a useful list of recommended varieties.
- How to Grow Organic Beans: Different types of beans to grow, and how to grow them organically.
- How to Grow Pole Beans in a Container: Useful tips for growing in pots.
- Mexican Bean Beetle: How to identify this bean pest, and how to get rid of it.
I have to admit that I started growing eggplants because they are just so pretty -- both the blooms and the fruits are very attractive. But they're delicious, too, and easily grown in just about any size garden.
- How to Grow Eggplant: A quick primer on growing eggplants.
- Growing Eggplant: Tips from the University of Illinois Extension Service, including recommended varieties.
- Great Eggplant Varieties: More recommended eggplant varieties.
- Help! My Eggplant Won't Set Fruit! : It happens. Here's how to get everything back on track.
Whether you like them spicy or sweet; green, red, yellow, or purple; in containers or in the ground, peppers are a must for the summer garden.
- How to Grow Peppers: Advice from the University of Illinois Extension, including recommended varieties.
- How to Grow Peppers in Containers: Fern from Life on the Balcony shares her tips.
- Types of Hot Peppers: If you like peppers that bring the heat, this article is for you.
A Labor Day barbecue just isn't complete without some fresh, sweet, juicy ears of corn. Here's what you need to know to grow your own.
- How to Grow Corn: Advice, tips, and recommended varieties for growing corn in your garden.
- How to Grow Corn in Containers: Yes, it can be done! Here's how.
- Three Sisters Garden: How to grow a garden of summer goodies -- corn, squash, and beans.
- Corn Earworm: This can be a real pest if you're growing corn. Here's how to get rid of corn earworm.
- Homegrown Heirloom Corn: This post from The Daily Green looks at a few different heirloom corn varieties, and how to grow them.
While there are many other things to grow in the summer garden, these veggies are the stars of the show. There is nothing like a ripe tomato or a sweet ear of corn straight from your garden. In our increasing quest to eat local, a garden is as local as you can get. Happy gardening!