Growing summer vegetables is becoming increasingly popular, and we’re seeing many people taking an interest in it for the first time! The best thing about vegetable gardening is that even first-timers can achieve incredible results, so long as they understand the basic requirements. If you stick to a consistent care routine and know which problems to look out for, your harvest will be well worth the effort!

 

How Do You Take Care of a Summer Vegetable Garden? 

Summer vegetables need lots of sun—about 6–8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Fast-growing vegetable plants need a lot of energy to fuel that growth, and since they get their energy from the sun, you can expect much stronger, healthier growth when you plant them in full sun. If your garden bed doesn’t get enough sun, you can grow vegetables in containers and place them somewhere with more light. 

Once your summer vegetables have settled in their sunny new home, you’ll have to focus on these four care tasks until the end of harvest season:

  • Consistent watering
  • Fertilizer
  • Pest and disease control

 

It’s easier than it might seem! Growing summer vegetables is just a matter of knowing what your plants need and knowing the signs of an unhappy plant. 

Mother Nature Greenhouse -How to Care for Your Vegetable Gardens in Summer-watering vegetables

Summer Watering 

The hot summer sun beaming down on the garden soil all day tends to heat up and dry out pretty quickly. Keeping a consistent watering schedule is essential, especially for thin-skinned veggies like tomatoes that are susceptible to splitting. If your vegetables are in pots, you’ll most likely need to water them daily, as the soil dries out much faster in containers. Spreading mulch across the soil surface around veggies grown in garden beds will help slow moisture evaporation, so you can get away with watering every 2–3 days.

Pro tip: Watering early in the morning helps keep your plants hydrated for longer, and that cool moisture will help insulate their roots from summer temperatures. 

Mother Nature Greenhouse -How to Care for Your Vegetable Gardens in Summer-adding compost to vegetable garden

Fertilizer

Summer vegetable plants soak up lots of nutrients from the soil; this is necessary to perform their basic functions like spreading roots, growing leaves, blooming, and producing crisp, juicy fruits. Some nutrients also help to prevent vegetable plant diseases. Regularly topping up the soil with fertilizer will ensure there’s enough good stuff for your plants to absorb for better growth and stronger defences.

Different fertilizers formulated for specific kinds of plants will vary in the ratios of nutrients in their formula. Choose a formula that’s approved for use in vegetable gardens. If you’re growing tomatoes, using a fertilizer fortified with calcium will help prevent blossom end rot. Water-soluble fertilizers will work instantly, whereas granulated formulas deliver a controlled release of nutrients over an extended period. 

You can’t explain the satisfaction of harvesting your first homegrown vegetable you need to experience it firsthand

Pest and Disease Control

Several different pests can go after your summer veggies. The best thing you can do is keep on the lookout for signs like chewed leaves, sticky residue, and visible swarms of bugs. You can treat most garden pests with natural pest control methods like insecticidal soap or neem oil. Remove any heavily damaged parts of the plant. Follow up with repeat applications of insecticidal spray every few days until the problem is solved. 

Most plant diseases can be treated, but some—like verticillium and fusarium wilt—can only be prevented through crop rotation and diligent sanitization of tools. Copper-based fungicide is a great natural solution for eliminating many common pathogens and fungi. Symptoms usually present as discolouration or wilting leaves, but it’s a good idea to identify the disease affecting your summer vegetables before choosing a method of treatment. 

Mother Nature Greenhouse -How to Care for Your Vegetable Gardens in Summer-checking corn plant for pests

If you’re having trouble identifying a pest or disease in your garden, you’re welcome to bring a photo to the garden centre, and we’ll help you troubleshoot the issue!

 

Growing summer vegetables is such a worthwhile project. You can’t explain the satisfaction of harvesting your first homegrown vegetable—you need to experience it firsthand! Mother Nature Garden Centre has plenty of vegetables for sale in Powell River, and we’ll be happy to set you up with all the necessary supplies you need to make your first summer garden a success.