Have you ever tried planting fruits and vegetables, only to find that they wouldn’t produce anything all year? Perhaps you even found it hard to get the seeds to sprout at all.
If that’s the case, then there’s a good chance you planted them in the wrong season. Different plants have specific requirements related to climate, temperature, soil type, and humidity that play a big role in the way they grow and produce fruit.
Before deciding which plants to grow in your food forest and what time of the year to plant them, make sure you research the individual requirements for each variety. Now that summer is almost here, we’ve prepared a basic overview of some of the main crops you can grow this season.
Most of these plants can be grown throughout North America, but we’ve included some varieties suitable for growth in other continents as well.
20 Summer Fruits & Vegetables (North America)
During summer, an abundance of fruits and vegetables are ripe for the harvest, no matter where you live. Look for the produce listed below at your local farmer’s markets, or grocery stores, or grow them yourself!
- Apricots don’t travel well, so keep an eye out for them in your local market
- Avocados have different requirements depending on the variety
- Beets have edible roots and leaves, so don’t throw the tops away
- Bell Peppers come in a range of colors that correspond to their ripeness – red being the sweetest
- Blackberries shouldn’t be rinsed in advance, or they may rot before you eat them
- Carrots are harvested year-round, but the best ones are found in the summer
- Cherries that are ripe will be easy to pluck without much resistance
- Corn always tastes best when freshly picked, so visit your local farmers
- Cucumbers are in season near the beginning of summer, just in time to beat the heat
- Garlic is most flavorful towards the end of summer
- Limes are one citrus fruit that tastes best when picked during summer
- Melons should be picked when they feel heavy for their size
- Nectarines taste similar to peaches but are smaller and less fuzzy
- Peaches are a summer favorite that grows best in warmer climates
- Plums need between three to six years before they start bearing fruit
- Radishes will stay fresher if they have their greens attached
- Rhubarb can be harvested in spring, but the season often extends into the summer
- Strawberries are often found at their peak between April and June, but this goes later into the year the further north you go
- Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes, try growing them around basil and onions.
- Zucchinis have delicate, edible blossoms that shouldn’t go to waste
20 Summer Fruits & Vegetables (Other Continents)
Many of these plants are less commonly found in North American fields and gardens. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow them at all. As long as you provide similar growing conditions to their native environment, these plants will thrive in your food forest. This can be achieved via greenhouses, or a climate suitable for growth.
- Baby marrow
- Bitter melon
- Custard Apple
- Dragon fruit
- Fuzzy gourd
- Mung bean
- Water chestnut
Many of these summer fruits and vegetables can be grown in food forests of any size, even in food forests that are grown with limited space such as; in raised beds or in container gardens.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing your own food forest, check out our blog or purchase a food forest landscape blueprint and get started on your path!