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Vegetables

In general, vegetables can be divided into two groups: cool-season vegetables and warm-season vegetables. The latter, perfect for summer planting, require longer periods of sunlight, warmer temperatures and warmer soil to survive and thrive. They are also especially sensitive to frost, which is why it's particularly important to plant after the last spring frost date.

Warm-season vegetables include:
  • Beans (lima beans and snap beans, specifically)
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Corn (requires a lot of room)
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
Vegetables to avoid during the summer—the cool-season vegetables—include lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and peas. They can't tolerate the summer heat, so don't plant any of these veggies in your garden this season.

In terms of laying out your garden, a good rule is to plant the tallest crops (beans and corn) on the northern side, because this will prevent them from shading the rest of your vegetables. Just south of them should be your next-tallest crops (tomatoes and squash), followed by the lowest-growing crops (beets and carrots) on the southernmost section.


Herbs

Like vegetables, some herbs grow better in the summer warmth than do others. If you're thinking of adding fragrant herbs to your garden, here are some of the best for the season:
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme
Not only are these herbs delicious on their own, but they can also complement the taste of your summer veggies, as Jamie points out. "Basil is a perfect flavor match with tomatoes," he says. "They are easy to look after, and they contribute to so many different dishes in the kitchen."


Get tips to keep your garden thriving all summer long.

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