Summer is the season of warm weather and long days outside. We’ve put together our best tips for caring for your garden in the coming months, as well as what fruits and veggies will be ready for harvesting.

Summer gardening

When to pick your produce

In the summer months, it is often best to harvest produce in the morning before the heat of the day sets in. Additionally, some fruits and vegetables are best picked when they are fully ripened, whereas some can still ripen after harvesting. It is important to know in which stage of growth to harvest your plants.

Regularly harvest

In the summer heat, many plants will grow and ripen quickly. Some plants, like green beans or tomatoes, might stop producing if ripened produce is not picked. Therefore, it is important to harvest often in order to promote continuous growth and production.

Keep plants hydrated

With summer comes sweltering heat and less water, especially in the drier parts of the country. One way to help your plants conserve water is to spread a layer of mulch around all of your plants. This will keep the heat out and allow less water to evaporate from the soil.

Watch out for weeds

By keeping your garden free of weeds, you are ensuring that your plants are not competing for valuable water and nutrients. This helps your plants to thrive throughout summer.

What to harvest


Aubergine, or brinjal is best harvested when it is ripe, meaning when it has reached a deep purple colour and the skin is glossy. Make sure to harvest it before it over-ripens, as in these cases it can become bitter and less palatable.


Beans can be harvested young and eaten as baby beans, or when they are mature. Just keep in mind that beans mature extremely fast, so keep an eye on your plant to make sure you don’t miss the harvesting window.


Just like beans, beetroots can either be harvested early as baby beetroots or left to fully mature.


These can be harvested off the vine as soon as they are the desired size. Make sure to pick cucumbers regularly to encourage continuous growth.


If you live in a particularly warm part of the country, you might be lucky enough to have a litchi tree in your garden. Harvest litchis using garden shears to cut them off the tree at the stem, which helps reduce the risk of damaging the fruit.


Papayas are ready to harvest after the skin has turned from green to yellow or orange. The fruit is sweeter the more of the skin is coloured, so try to pick your papayas when they are between half and two-thirds yellow or orange in colour.

Patty pans

Considered a summer squash, patty pans come into season in the coming months. They are ready to harvest when the skin is yellow in colour and they are between 4 and 10 centimetres wide.


Another plant that can be picked early or left to ripen is peppers. Green peppers are great in stir fries, and picking them early allows more fruit to grow continuously. Yellow and red peppers are much sweeter and are delicious eaten raw.


Tomatoes need to ripen on the vine, therefore if you pick them while they are still green they will never turn red. However, the key to harvesting tomatoes is to pick them just as they are turning from orange to red, as this will ensure that they last as long as possible and are not over-ripe.


If you happen to grow watermelons in your garden, you will know that they come into season in summer. This refreshing fruit is ready to harvest when the skin becomes dull green in colour.

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Featured Image: Elaine Casap Via Unsplash