Updated: Aug 8
Summer is in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to assess your vegetable garden. While much of the hard work happens in spring, there’s still plenty to do in mid-summer. Read this guide to help you stay on top of your garden so you can have the best harvest possible.
At this point in the gardening season, you may notice that you have some empty spaces in your garden beds or a few empty pots that are calling to be filled. It’s not too late to plant some fast-growing plants in your summer vegetable garden.
Arugula, Kale, Lettuce, Spinach and Bok Choy are fast-growers that will add some nutrients and greenery to your summer dishes. Arugula will be ready to harvest after 3-4 weeks, bok choy, 45-60 days, and lettuce, depending on the variety, will be ready in 40-60 days.
Boost With Fertilizer
For many plants in your vegetable garden, mid-summer is a great time to fertilize. A proper dose of fertilizer can boost vegetable production and improve blooming beauties. You’ll have to take extra precautions when wielding fertilizer in the heat of summer. Apply your fertilizer early in the morning or after the sun has gone down. Applying in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest runs the risk of burning the tender leaves of the plant.
Check for Bugs
Take this opportunity to check over your garden for any bug infestations. Bug problems during this phase of the growing season can lead to a diminished harvest or no harvest at all! Check your garden during the summer and look for these common pests found on vegetables and flowers.
Aphids will feast on a tree or plant and rob it of its precious nutrients, causing stunted growth. They also sometimes carry viruses, which can be deadly for plants. Treat aphids with insecticidal soap and neem oil.
Tomato Worms can be quite the nightmare for tomato lovers everywhere. These green worms also love munching on potatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
Japanese Beetles favor deciduous trees and shrubs, so keep an eye out for signs of these destructive bugs. Apply neem oil to tackle these pests.
Spider Mites will cause problems particularly when a plant is very dry and lacks air circulation. You can prevent them from becoming an issue by being proactive with proper watering and thinning out plants to encourage air movement.
Enjoy the Harvest
While gardening itself is so rewarding, enjoying the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labor is one of the best moments of having a garden. This time of year is when many of your efforts will pay off in the form of tasty treats. While some vegetables in your summer garden will be obvious when ripe (squash, cucumber, tomatoes), you should know the signs of ripeness for everything you plant. It would be a waste for your lovingly-grown vegetables to go to seed, so stay on top of things so you can enjoy an amazing summer harvest.
We here at Lehigh Valley would love to hear more about your garden progress. If you have more questions about your summer vegetable garden in Allentown, come visit us! We’re always here to give guidance or help you choose the right products for your outdoor space.