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A Quick Guide to Summer Planting


Summer is finally upon us and whether we like it or not, the days are getting longer and the sun is getting hotter. But while the Florida heat and humidity may be too suffocating for the average human, there are those persnickety vegetables here that thrive in it. Keeping in mind that it’s mid-May, I’ve put together a list of fruits and vegetables that, if planted now, will reap the benefits of Florida’s summer sun.

[do action=”button” linkurl=”” target=”_self”]See list here![/do]


The jackfruit is one of today’s hottest vegan food trends. Not only is it tasty, full of fiber, and versatile, but it’s also a great source of B-vitamins. If you’re wondering what jackfruit tastes like, its taste is similar to chicken when green (or unripe), making this a fantastic and intriguing meat substitute. When ripened, it is quite sweet and its taste is a cross between a banana and a pineapple. Some of the more popular ways to prepare this fruit is in curries, in place of pulled pork in tacos, blended in smoothies or made into custards. The greatest thing about the Jackfruit is that is takes on whatever flavor you decide to use for your dish.

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Jackfruit trees grow exceedingly fast, are very low maintenance and prefer a humid climate and plenty of sun.


Eggplants make appetizing additions to many pastas, stir-fries and casseroles, giving these savory dishes a great meaty texture. Eggplants can easily be grilled, baked, roasted or pan-fried, making this another extremely versatile summer planting staple for your garden.

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Eggplants grow well in a variety of ways, whether in containers, raised beds or traditional in-ground gardens. They love humidity and grow best in extremely sunny, well-drained locations.


Ever versatile, mangos can work well in both savory and sweet dishes. From fresh salsas to cooling margaritas, chutneys that pair well with seafood or pork, or a warm delectable cobbler, there’s a reason why mangos are considered the king of all tropical fruits. So what better season to enjoy them than Summer?

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Mango trees do well in full sun and are draught tolerant, making this fruit tree relatively easy to grow in one’s own backyard.

They may not be the most traditional plant found in the garden but they are versatile and easy to grow non-the-less. Peanuts can be used in everything from making your own homemade peanut butter and oil, to soups, dips, and sauces. If you enjoy Asian cuisine then having peanuts growing in your garden will be extremely beneficial to you and your dishes. Don’t forget, you can always just simply salt and roast them for a quick and healthy summertime snack.

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You can plant raw green peanuts as seeds and then basically forget about them and in about three months’ time you’ll be able to harvest these legumes.


Yellow Squash and Zucchini:
Yellow Squash and Zucchini are essential staples of a summertime garden. Not only is it possible to be picking several squash a day throughout the summer but these vegetables are awesome additions to most summertime dishes. You can add yellow squash and zucchini to hash, creating a hearty meal for breakfast, sweet breads and muffins, stews, salads and zesty relishes.

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Squash need ample room to grow and really enjoy the warmer weather of summer. Since squash are heavy bearers, you most likely only need one plant to feed your family.


This superfood and modern miracle herb should be on your must plant list for the summer! This herb is used as a natural remedy throughout the world for its health benefits and powerful ability to enhance immunity, improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Ginger can be chewed raw, turned into a powder, made into tea, added into juice, or even turned into a dessert. The uses of ginger are endless so it would be quite beneficial to grow it yourself.

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You can get started by using store bought ginger root. Ginger is versatile in that it can be grown in pots or the ground. Ginger being a tropical plant, really enjoys humidity, filtered sunlight and moist soil, making Florida a perfect environment to grow this plant.


Okra is extremely popular in the South because in hot weather, it grows exceedingly fast. Okra is pretty easy to grow and since it produces beautiful flowers, it also looks great in the garden. Frying okra is the most common way to prepare this vegetable but you can also roast it, pickle it, and grill it. So embrace your Southern roots and add Okra to your growing summer garden!

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Okra is extremely easy to take care of. Make sure the plants have 3 to 6 feet to grow vertically and go ahead and reserve your sunniest spot in the garden for this plant.


Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes can be roasted, pureed, steamed, baked, or grilled. A popular trend is sweet potato fries, which offers more nutrients than regular potato fries. These vegetables really are the perfect combination of beauty, ease and taste.

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Sweet potatoes are tropical plants so they like the weather to be hot and humid. The plant produces a beautiful purple flower so you may want to consider planting these in a front yard garden. These plants require little water and are easy to grow.

…I hope this list gets you excited to start your summer garden and don’t worry if you’re a beginner, I couldn’t have chosen any easier produce to take care of. As an added bonus, I’ve made a Pinterest board of a ton of great recipes using all of the mentioned produce to get you even more jazzed about creating a summer garden! Feel free to ask me any questions or to send in photos of you in your beautiful garden! Oh, and don’t forget to watch out for those pesky mosquitos!

Happy planting!


  1. Is there anywhere in town to buy Organic starts for the plants you mentioned?

    • Mallory Winstead

      Yes! I’m glad you asked! You can find different types of starter plants at My Yard Farm, which is located on the grounds of Dandelion Communitea Cafe. I know for a fact that they have Mango starter trees, not too sure about the other produce listed in this post!

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