Now that the 4th of July is a recent memory, it is safe to say that summer is finally here. Here in the Northeast, the 2017 gardening season was off to a slow start. May and June were wet and on the chilly side. Peas and other spring crops like lettuce, took a while to get going this year.

It’s not too late to start a veggie garden.

Actually, it is a perfect time to start growing some vegetables. The soil is warm, the days are long, things grow fast. Here are 3 edible crops you can start right now, in early July, and have delicious success this summer.

Bush beans grow fast in warm soil.

Beans. I love to grow bush beans, my favorite variety is Jade. They are slim, tender and delicious, kids love to eat them right off the vine for a sweet treat. They take around 50 days to harvest, great for late summer and fall eating. Just 4 or 5 bean seeds will grow into plants that will provide you with many meals. You can keep on planting them until the end of the summer as they grow fast in warm soil.

At Mount Kisco Childcare Center, we’ve created a great bean salad recipe that the kids love to put together and eat. Its an opportunity to use lots of green beans if you have a large harvest.

Cucumbers are another fast crop that loves the heat. Once they get started, there is no stopping them. Cucumbers play a role in the bean salad recipe, but are also delicious sliced with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and some hot pepper flakes. Cukes will climb a fence or trellis if you have one.

Can you spot the cucumber hiding behind the leaves?

Zucchini, along with all varieties of summer squash, can also be planted now. The zukes are like cukes, they grow fast and furious all summer. Both plants are part of the cucurbit family, which also includes pumpkins and watermelons. Hot sunny days are great for both zucchini and cucumbers, keep your eye on them and harvest before they grow too big!

Zucchini bread is an easy and tasty way to use up extra zucchini. I like to add zest of a large lemon to the recipe for added flavor.

When your summer harvest of beans, cucumbers and zucchini rolls in, you’ll discover the spectacular convenience of having super fresh food just outside your door.


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