Whether you’re growing watermelon, cantaloupe (also called muskmelon), honeydew, or other melons, you’ll be thrilled with their delicious flavor fresh from the garden. We grow several varieties of melon each year, and harvested a 21-pound watermelon a few years back!
Varieties: Ahhh, where to begin? We love cantaloupe, and Hale’s Best Jumbo cantaloupe is our favorite. The fruit is sweet and thick, with a small seed cavity. Cantaloupe grows on a vine, so you may want to support it with a trellis to save space.
Planting: Melons of all types like to be planted outdoors in warm soil. They’re heavy feeders, and appreciate soil that’s mixed with your homemade compost. Here are some tips on when to harvest your watermelon for the best, sweetest fruit.
Peppers love hot summers, and there are so many fun varieties of both sweet peppers and hot peppers that you can try many different types every year.
Varieties: Oh my goodness...there are so many types of peppers to plant! I’ve started growing some in the front yard because we ran out of room in the backyard.
California Wonder is my favorite type of sweet pepper. They grow into a large, uniform shape that’s great for making stuffed peppers. When unripe, they’re green and when fully ripe, they turn red.
There are about a million types of hot pepper, and we like to try them all. The best way to do this is to get the Chile Pepper Collection from my friends at Botanical Interests. You’ll get an assortment that goes from really hot to scorching!
Planting: Whether you’re growing sweet peppers or hot peppers, now is the time to get those seedlings in the ground.
Planting: Most winter squash have long vines and don't like to be transplanted. Start the seeds directly in the garden, giving them plenty of space to spread out. Not sure when to harvest? Here's how to tell when your spaghetti squash are ready to pick.
Recipe: Spaghetti squash is easy to cook in the Instant Pot. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and put in the IP with 1 cup of water. Cook on High Pressure for 7 minutes and do quick release. Done!
Okra, like eggplant, is a vegetable that likes hot weather. It’s tough to start them from seed (they only have a 50% germination rate), so get seedlings from the garden center if you can.
Varieties: Clemson Spineless 80 is a reliable variety. It’s called “spineless” because okra plants have tiny hairs (spines) all over them that can cause an allergic reaction. You may want to wear gloves when harvesting them.
Planting: Okra plants can get big and bushy, so give them about 2 feet of space to spread out.