Between homeschooling 3 children, tending to 9 animals, and trying to beat the summer heat during the third trimester of pregnancy, it was essential to keep my summer garden simple this year. I still consider myself a beginner gardener and I get easily overwhelmed and discouraged when my gardening efforts don't pan out. So here are some very simple and rewarding plants that I love to grow during the summer months.
Bright and colorful, playful and fun...Zinnias just look like summer, don't they? Zinnias are annuals which means that they bloom for one season. They enjoy full sun, well draining soil and should be spaced just a few inches apart. Remember these simple things and they will produce heavily. They are great for beginners. In fact, they were the very first cut flower that I grew in my garden box.
My personal favorite. Cosmos come in a variety of colors but my preference is white. I grow several fizzy white cosmos every year and they make my house feel light and bright. No cut flower is easier to grow. There is no special soil prep required for these beauties. They can also tolerate high heat. Each plant produces a lot of flowers and the more you cut, the more they reward you with lovely blooms!
Happiness! That is what these yellow blooms bring to my garden space. Unlike the previous two cut flowers, most sunflower varieties do not produce loads and loads of flowers. I love putting my flowers in vases but sunflowers are the one flower I like to leave outside. They just glow out there in the sunshine. And the bees love them! There are many varieties of sunflowers and each will require different spacing. These are fun to plant with the kids because they sprout of quickly which gives the littles a thrill.
This year I decided to plant my veggies and fruit from an already established plant and not from seed like my flowers. This is great if your space is limited and you just want to get your feet wet with growing food. In my opinion the easiest vegetables to grow in the summer are zucchini and tomatoes. They almost take care of themselves. Just give them water and look out for bugs! We also planted strawberry plants this spring.
So there you have it!
3 cut flowers and 3 veggies/fruits.
Simple and rewarding.