What to Plant in Early Summer (Revealed)

What to plant in early summer

Timing is important when it comes to planting. That’s why you should know when to sow the seeds so you can have healthy plants.

In this article, we will talk about summer planting. So, want to know what to plant in early summer? Read on to find out.

What to Plant in Early Summer?

Depending upon where you live, the best plants to start growing in early summer include: winter squash, watermelon, okra, eggplant, Swiss chard, cucumber, basil, pepper, lavender and sunflower. This is when the soil still has some moisture leftover from spring and the temperature hasn’t peaked.

Why Timing Is Important

If you sow the seeds too early than their recommended planting time, they will become leggy plants. But if you sow them too late, they will have a hard time growing right. 

Timing is everything when it comes to planting. 

Let me elaborate

Different people have different personalities. The plants are the same. Different plants need different types of care. 

When you buy seeds, there is always a list of instructions on the label covering the following:

  • How to plant them
  • When to plant them
  • Where to plant them
  • What to plant them with
  • How to take care of them

In essence

You have to follow the instructions if you want to have healthy plants. 

Young woman watering plants in garden

For fruits and vegetables, this would mean that you can harvest really delicious produce when timing is right. 

Moving on

Early summer is actually when the flowers are at its most beautiful and the grass and leaves are at its most lush.  

But it’s also planting season for a bunch of fruits, vegetables, and other types of plants. 

It’s also great for…

Succession planting. This is the process of seeding crops days after harvesting another. The goal is to have a steady stream of produce to harvest. 

Since spring and early summer are ideal time to harvest, it also follows that you can start planting days later. 

What you should know:

Planting in the summer means that you have to provide a lot of TLC (tender loving care, to those who don’t know) to the plant because the soil is no longer moist and the heat of the sun could be scorching. 

At least, in the early summer, the soil will still have that moist soil leftover from spring. As for the climate, it’s not too hot yet. 


Temperature will surely start warming in early summer, which is usually in the second half of June. 

The important thing here is that you water the plants appropriately. 

By the way

It’s important to note that planting also depends on the weather in your region. Just keep that in mind while we give you a rundown of the plants that are generally planted in early summer. 

The Best Plants for Early Summer

This is a list of an assortment of plants that would be best planted in early summer. Some of them can be harvested in just a few months, the others will be good early next year. 

Here they are:

1. Winter squash

Winter Squash

It’s called winter squash not because it is planted in the winter. On the contrary, it should be planted in early summer. 

The plant is called winter squash because of its thick rind, which will allow you to keep it for a longer period of time without rotting. 

Planting winter squash

Winter squash grows best with three months of uninterrupted frost-free weather. Hence, why you sow it in early summer. 

Winter quash is delicious and contains a lot of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. 

2. Watermelon


This is a refreshing fruit that you can just slice and eat or make into a juice or shake. It’s delicious! 

It’s healthy, too. It’s good for the skin and hair, and it contains compounds that could prevent cancer. 

Planting watermelon

This fruit requires a lot of sun, which is why you need to start growing it in early summer. Just like the winter squash, watermelon needs at least three months of heat so it can germinate properly. 

It also needs a lot of space and a lot of water. 

3. Okra


So, a lot of people are not fans of okra, but it’s really healthy. It has a lot of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. 

For fans of okra, they can just steam it and it’s ready to eat. For those who are not fond of this vegetable, maybe gumbo is more their speed. Okra is an essential ingredient in gumbo. 

Planting okra

Okra is quite easy to grow. It can even grow in poor soils. It certainly loves heat, which is why it’s best sown in early summer. 

This crop demands heat, which is precisely why it should be planted in early summer. This way, at the peak of the season, the warmth will speed up the germination process. 

4. Eggplant

Close up of Aubergine at a market stall

Did you know? An eggplant is actually a fruit. It’s often used as a vegetable but it is a fruit. 

It has protein, fiber, and vitamins C and K, among many other benefits. It also has anti-cancer compounds as well as antioxidants. 

Planting eggplant

Like most of the crops in this list, eggplant is a hot-weather plant. It needs full sun while growing up. That means six to eight hours of sunlight. 

Soil should also be moist so that the plant will grow healthy. When you take care of the eggplant plant, you will be rewarded with a delicious and versatile fruit. 

5. Swiss chard

Swiss Chard

This is not just a good-looking leafy vegetable, it’s quite delicious, too. You can add it in salads or soups. 

Just like most leafy vegetables, Swiss chard is healthy. You get doses of vitamins A, C and K when you eat Swiss chard. It is also rich in iron, magnesium and potassium. 

Planting Swiss chard

When you plant Swiss chard in early summer, you can start harvesting in the fall. That’s how fast Swiss chard grows. 

But you have to take good care of it. This particular plant needs nutrient-rich and well-drained soil. It needs a full sun, too. 

6. Cucumber

Cucumbers on white background - studio shot

Here’s another healthy vegetable, which is actually a fruit. It is used in salads and sandwiches. Cucumber juice, smoothie and shake are also really delicious. 

The fruit is rich in vitamin K and also contains vitamin C. Cucumber also has magnesium, manganese and potassium.

And don’t forget!

Cucumber is also often used in people’s beauty regimen. Many facial masks are made from cucumber. 

The most popular use of cucumber is slicing it and putting round slices on the eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Planting cucumber

This plant needs less-acidic soil that is also well-drained. It needs plenty of sunlight, too. 

As long as you have those important components, the cucumber will grow with little care. 

7. Basil

Studio shot of fresh basil

This culinary herb provides fragrance while also improving the taste of many dishes. It can also be eaten raw. 

Basil also has health and medicinal values. 

Planting basil

Basil is a warm-weather plant, which is why you should plant it in early summer. It grows best when planted onto a soil that is around 50℉. 

It needs heat to grow really well. So, make sure it will get six to eight hours of sunlight. 

8. Pepper


There are many kinds of pepper with a variety of tastes–from mild to dangerously hot. 

It’s an important product in the culinary world because it makes a dish more delicious. Pepper gives any dish a much-needed kick.

It’s also worth noting that peppers are healthy, too. It’s rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, potassium, and more. 

Planting pepper

Just like its taste, pepper likes it hot–as in it thrives in hot weather. Pepper prefers a long growing season, which is why it is advisable to plant it early summer. 

It needs to be watered regularly. As much as possible, peppers should have an inch or two of water every week. 


If you notice, the list consists mostly of fruits and vegetables that you can eat. 

It’s always nice to be sustainable at home, hence, the eight crops that you can grow at home and put on the table. 

Let’s complete the list with a couple of decorative plants. 

9. Lavender

Lady sniffing lavender

Lavender is one of the most beautiful flowers out there. It is not just beautiful, it is also really fragrant. That’s why it’s a common ingredient in perfumes and essential oils.

Plus, the lavender has therapeutic benefits. 

Planting lavender

Lavender needs full sun, so you need to plant them where the flowering plant can enjoy six to eight hours of sun. 

It also grows best on neutral soil. 

10. Sunflower

Field of sunflowers

Sunflower is also known as sun worshiper. Understandably, it loves basking in the sun.

It’s truly gorgeous and it has medicinal qualities, too. The seed is also edible. 

Planting sunflower

Plant sunflower in the early summer so it will germinate properly. When it is fully grown, it also thrives best in the summer.  


Early summer is usually pictured to have blooming flowers and really lush leaves and grass. But that’s not all. Early summer is also a great time to start planting hot-weather plants. 

Of course, there are specific plants that are best planted in early summer. The good thing about this period is that the soil is still a bit moist from the spring season but it is already warming up.

So, what to plant in early summer? You could plant melons, okras, sunflowers, and a lot more!

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