Zucchini and summer squash are the easiest vegetables to grow from seed. A couple of plants will produce more squash than most families can eat! This is probably why there’s a gardeners’ holiday called “Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”.
Varieties: Cocozelle is delicious and buttery. It's beautiful, too: the dark green fruits have light green vertical stripes.
If you haven’t grown Brussels sprouts before, you are in for a treat. These “baby cabbages” grow on a single stalk like a tiny palm tree.
Varieties:Long Island Improved is my favorite variety. It's been a reliable producer since it was developed in the 1890s...yep, 130 years ago!
Planting: This month, start seeds indoors using DIY Seed Starting Mix, and transfer out to the garden in September. Don’t worry if you get a cold snap before you harvest in December—a light frost actually improves their flavor.
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 in September.
Planting: Okra plants can get big and bushy, so give them about 2 feet space to spread out.
Parsnips are persnickety…they’re hard to start from seed, but can’t handle being transplanted. This is why you don’t see parsnip seedlings at the garden center. Also, the seeds don’t keep from year to year, so you need to buy new seeds each year.
The reward for all this coddling is sweet, buttery parsnips. Roast them in the oven and you’ll see why I go to all the trouble to grow them.
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!