While many gardeners start their warm-season vegetable gardens after the last frost in spring, it's not too late for you to enjoy the delicious taste of summer right off the vine. Play catch up by purchasing starter plants available at your local home improvement store. Plant the veggies in nutrient-rich soil, water them liberally, and you'll be harvesting bounty from your garden in no time. Here are three fast-growing summer veggies sure to please your palate.
Sweet Summer Corn
Although you'll want to give most of your veggies a head start with starter plants, corn can be planted from seed throughout the warm-weather season. For best results, choose a midseason or late variety, and plant the kernels in parallel rows to encourage pollination. Wait to harvest the corn until the ears are plump and the silks have withered. The sugar in corn changes to starch minutes after it's picked, so rush the shucked ears into a pot of boiling water to experience the extraordinary taste of fresh-picked sweet corn.
A home garden favorite, tomatoes ripened on the vine have a taste that puts store-bought veggies to shame. Bury your starter plants deep into the soil to strengthen their growth. Stake the plants as they start to produce their bounty, and keep on the lookout for the damaging tomato hornworm. Pluck these voracious green caterpillar pests from the plants as soon as they appear, or they'll gobble up your luscious tomatoes in record time.
Snap Happy Beans
Plant pole bean plants six inches apart in a tidy row, and you can begin harvesting them in as little as 45 days. If you don't have space for pole beans, pull those flower pots out from storage and use bush varieties to start a container garden. Beans produce pretty flowers before generating their tasty seed pods, so place the container where you can watch them grow. One or two plants will turn out enough green beans to satisfy your appetite well into fall.