Rebecca B. Thomas
Extension Coordinator

Spring has arrived, and it’s time to start working on the summer vegetable garden. This is my favorite time of the year. 

To have a successful garden, select a location where plants can receive 7 to 8 hours of sunlight

Make sure the soil is well amended and well drained. When the plants are in the ground, water them regularly using a drip or soaker hose.

“Aside from that, it is wise to visit your garden frequently to find disease and insects and to check for water stress.”

To help Georgians get started on choosing which vegetables to grow this season,

Rebecca Thomas offers her top eight picks for the tastiest and simplest vegetables to grow.

Green beans can be planted in the early spring in cooler soils. Harvest them when they are young. They’ll be tender and less stringy.

Squash come in many shapes and sizes and are easy to grow. Allow a lot of space

between each plant because squash is a wide-growing crop. Germinate squash from

seeds or buy them as a transplant. Also, winter squash should be seeded in late spring.

Tomato plants can be started indoors from seeds or gardeners can buy them as

transplants from a local nursery. Stake tomato plants, and allow plenty of space for

air circulation.

Sweet corn is primarily wind pollinated. Planting in rows provides a higher chance of

pollination. Corn requires a good deal of fertilizer and water to survive. “I like it best

because if you harvest the sweet corn, the flavor and taste is different than what

you buy in the store,” Ms. Thomas says.

Eggplant is a unique vegetable that adds shape to your garden. There are multiple

varieties of eggplant, but black beauty is the most common. Be wary of flea beetles

that tend to riddle the plants with holes, making plants weak.

Bell peppers grow best as transplants and can be harvested from summer to the first

frost. Most can be grown without staking. They are great for cooking or fresh


Cucumbers are relatively simple to grow. Because they spread out as they grow on a

vine, it’s best to grow them on a trellis or fence to get them off the ground. They

require water or they will become bitter as they near harvest time.

Okra should be the last vegetable planted in a spring garden. It starts slow, but

takes off like a weed on hot, muggy days. It sets pods fast, so stay up with its

harvest. Pods that are left on the plant too long become woody and do not taste

very good.

Rebecca B. Thomas
Chattooga County Extension Coordinator
10011 Commerce Street, Summerville, GA  30747
Phone: 706-857-0744 / Fax: 706-857-0746
E-mail: /