The No. 1 Vegetable to Plant Right Now

Everyone keeps asking me what to plant now, so I made a list of my favorite summer vegetables to grow. I ordered it from least practical, easy and rewarding – to the most!

Can you guess what will be my #1 recommendation?

All these are fairly easy to grow in the Israeli summer but some are more challenging for beginners.

So here’s the list:

6. Watermelons and Melons: These are just so much fun. It is wondrous to watch those enormous fruits developing. However, they take a ton of space. The vines will creep for 2 meters easily and they can climb. Be aware that you might get only 1-2 fruits per plant, after 3-4 months of waiting.

One watermelon is all we got from this huge vine, but it was very exciting to watch it grow!

5. Peppers: This is an attractive plant and a favorite salad vegetable that’s easy to grow and stake up. However, it takes a particularly long time to yield fruit – at least four months. Homegrown peppers are generally smaller than store-bought.

4. Eggplants: the leaves, flowers and fruits are very beautiful IMO and the plant thrives in Israeli summer heat. But consider the question of how much eggplant you can eat. That’s why I usually limit it to one per season.

3. Tomatoes: This one’s No. 1 for lots of gardeners for being easy to grow and producing delicious fruits. I grow lots every year. The drawbacks are that they get unwieldy and less-than-picturesque by mid-summer. Seasoned gardeners use trellises and cages to support the plant and ripening fruits, but these might be too much trouble/cost for beginner gardeners.

Random stock photo of tomatoes that didn’t grow in my garden

2. Cucumbers: These climbers are super easy-care, heat-loving and they grow fast. They will produce fruit within 6-8 weeks after you plant seedlings – much faster than any of the above options. Quick results is a boost for beginners. The main drawback is that you will have to provide a fence or mesh for them to climb on.

And now… drumroll…

My No.1 recommendation:

Zucchini – I love, love, love growing zucchini.

These zucchinis are happening in my garden right now. I planted this as a tiny, 4-leaf seedlings on March 16 (less than 6 weeks ago)

Here’s why:

  • they grow fast and produce fast (you will usually pick within 6 weeks of planting a seedling)
  • they produce a lot of fruit. You can easily get 20-30 off a single plant, from April to September
  • they don’t climb or creep or require any special support- just give them a square meter of space (or a big container of soil)
  • the yellow flowers are huge and wonderful to wake up in the morning
  • the flowers are delicious too. In Australia they sell them in gourmet markets for $1 each
  • some kids don’t like zucchini but it’s very easy to conceal in ground-beef dishes and baked goods for a nutritional boost

So….. what are you growing this summer?

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My name is Naomi and this is my tiny little farm in the heart of the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. I enjoy growing, making and processing as much of my families own food and household essentials as possible, while nurturing a biodiverse ecosystem filled with beauty and life. 

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4 Comments

  1. Dr Rae HB Fishman on May 5, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for this article. I forgot how delicious zucchini flowers are. I’ve had great success growing red peppers from their own seeds, especially the long rather than the rounded variety. I buy the first fruits as soon as they are on the market, just scatter some of their seeds onto tilled soil. They grow quickly, and it was always a great treat for my children and their friends to see the cycle of life in our own garden.

    • Bloomah on May 6, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Great tip about the peppers. I want to try that with the banana-shaped hot peppers they sell in the supermarkets here. they’re not too hot but have a nice flavor. They don’t sell them as seedlings so I will try growing from seed.

  2. Chana Leah on July 2, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Do zucchini and pepper plants grow successfully in a more humid climate?

    • Bloomah on July 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      As far as I know, peppers will thrive. Zucchinis will probably also be ok but you’d have to watch for fungal issues from dampness.

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