What to Grow in a Greenhouse in Summer

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Having a greenhouse can be a rewarding experience, and it doesn’t just come to use during the spring! A greenhouse can be used to grow big, beautiful plants and vegetables all year round. But what plants do you grow in the summer?

What to Grow in a Greenhouse in Summer? Since greenhouses are such great environments for plants, you can grow a wide variety of plants in a summer greenhouse. These can be hardy, cold-resistant plants like kale and chard, but can also (and mostly will) include heat-loving plants like tomatoes.

Growing the right plants in your summer greenhouse can give you a few extra especially well-nourished veggies come harvesting time. If your greenhouse is your only source of fresh veggies, it can still produce during the warmer months, despite the high temperatures it will generate. You just need to find the right plants. Read on for a list of those plants.

Growing Vegetables and Herbs in a Greenhouse in Summer

Growing vegetables and herbs in a greenhouse in summer is a great way to supplement your healthy eating. It’s much easier to grow vegetables in a greenhouse as temperature, bugs, and watering can all be controlled much easier than outside.

Peak summer sun can be overpowering for some plants and vegetables, consider how much sun does a greenhouse need here

This can make for a great yield and a healthier meal – who doesn’t want that?

If you are wondering what to plant this summer then this list of common vegetables and herbs for growing in a greenhouse over summer is a great starter for you.

Get Your Summer Greenhouse Seeds

If you are looking to start planting then consider picking up some of these seeds to get your summer garden growing. (Amazon seed links below)

Herbs

Some herbs grow in hot or dry climates, making them ideal for the conditions inside of a summer greenhouse. Some of them are for taste, some of them are for smell, and some can do both! This list of summer greenhouse herbs will get your imagination going and give you some hints on what to grow this summer.

Lavender

The smell of lavender is absolutely delightful. I would describe it as sort of a mellow vanilla smell with a kick of pollen mixed in. It strikes the nostrils with a force like no other, and if you tend it enough, it can leave you smelling like it for hours!

Lavender is often grown in the warmer climates of places like southern France, and will absolutely flourish in a summer greenhouse.

For a real treat, dry out lavender petals and use them in your tea. To be honest, they don’t taste as good as they smell. They’re a little bitter, actually. But with honey, you can drown it out. And the aroma they produce will add to your teatime experience.

Basil

Growing up, I used to eat basil from the garden straight off the stock. If you’re looking to do this, sweet basil might be your best bet. Sweet basil comes on strong and dies off with a sweet, oniony taste. That’s not to say it tastes like onions- that’s just what the taste reminds me of.

Basil grows great in the warmer temperatures of your greenhouse and will adore the sun. Not to mention, basil always seems to be one of those plants that get too much attention from caterpillars and pests. I can’t pick a basil leaf without finding a little hole in it somewhere.

In a greenhouse, you delete some of the need to protect your plants from harmful insects. Fewer insects mean fewer insecticides and other nasty things. Fewer chemicals mean a more natural, organic crop.

Oregano

Oregano is a fragrant, strong herb that can be mixed in with everything from rice to meat dishes. Oregano is often used in Italian and Latin cooking and can be eaten straight off the stem.

There’s an age-old saying with oregano that can be applied to many things- in general, people either love it, or they hate it. It’s a very strong taste, almost to the point of being pushy. Too much of it, and it can completely take over whatever dish your making. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you commit to a shelf full of Oregano.

Mint

Mint. Is. Spectacular. I can’t put it emphatically enough. Many people don’t like the taste of mint straight off the stem, but it has a myriad of uses besides being eaten raw. I like to mix mint into my tea, and in lemonade, it provides a strong, sugary taste with an added kick.

Mint tastes like heaven. Of course, this is just my humble opinion, but I can fully recommend growing it and tasting it for yourself. It grows like it’s got nothing better to do, and is an easy plant for people with a not-so-green thumb. Just tasting a leaf of mint seems to give me a bit of a head high- it really is that good.

Mint is basically the ideal greenhouse plant. It loves warmth, likes sun but will tolerate some shade, and will grow like wildfire. Keeping it in a greenhouse may indeed be your best bet if you want to keep it from taking over your whole garden bed.

Stevia

Wherever basil will grow, stevia will too. Stevia likes warm temperatures and will thrive if you give it the right care and attention. I’ve even known stevia plants to grow without a lick of attention- needing only the natural rain and soil we had on our property.

Stevia is a great mixer for everything from lemonade to alcoholic drinks. If you’re watching your sugar intake, stevia can be a great substitute. Straight from the garden, it tastes almost sweeter than sugar, and its leaves are a real treat to eat.

I would highly recommend plants like stevia and mint to people with children. Stronger, umami plants like basil and oregano can repulse children, but sweeter plants are a great way to get them interested in plants and gardening. It’s what attracted me as a child!

Hot Peppers

Never doubt the power of a little hot pepper plant. Hot pepper plants will grow like nobody’s business if given the chance and yield edible, spicy veggies almost effortlessly. They have seemingly infinite uses and can be grown in the hot conditions of a greenhouse.

I would highly recommend chili peppers to anyone who likes spicy food. These little hotheads grow like wildfire, and their tiny stature makes them ideal candidates for drying out. Grind them up, and you’ve got an ideal addition for everything from tacos to ziti to Chinese food.

Not to mention, you can make one coveted culinary ingredient out of chilis. Well, maybe not coveted, per se- but you get the point. Chili oil goes great in almost any food, and when I’ve got some on hand, I find myself putting it in everything from my Hungarian vegetable stews to the wine I’ve got brewing.

You’ll also find people surprisingly receptive to buying dried chilis. I find they sell like they’re a delicacy- if it’s a selling plant you’re wanting.

Habaneros are another great choice for those looking to grow a spicy veggie in their greenhouse. Habaneros are incredibly strong and spicy and will add a kick to any food. Not to mention, it’s easy to extract the seeds for another year’s growing.

And finally- the humble jalapeno. Jalapenos grow spectacularly well- and oh man- do they kick. Eating one straight is like receiving a swift slap to the face. They go great on nachos, in stews, and chopped up as a taco topping. Drying them out is easy and fun, and will give you a nice cupboard spice.

Eggplant

Eggplant is built for the heat. Eggplants are a nice, heat-loving plant that will supply you with hearty vegetables for use in any number of recipes.

When I was a kid, my mother used to take the eggplants from out garden and use them in eggplant parmesan. They’ve got a savory taste- almost meaty- but they get juicy like nobody’s business when you put them in the oven for a while.

Eggplants are the garden gift that keeps on giving.

Melons

Everyone loves a melon. From watermelons to canteloupes, people eat melons like there’s no other fruit in the world. And they grow spectacularly well in the warm environment of a summer greenhouse.

Melons are useful in any number of dishes- from fruit salads to fruit bowls. We like to save our watermelons for harvesting on a single day, and invite all our friends over for a watermelon party.

Combine with other fruiting plants (most of which will grow exceedingly well in a greenhouse) and you’ve got a recipe for greatness on your hands.

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Strawberries

We know strawberries for their fickle taste in temperatures. Around where my family and I live, they throw a yearly strawberry festival- no doubt because if you get them to actually grow there’s some celebrating in order.

Strawberries will die like flies at the sight of one little frost- but did you know that they love to bathe in the heat and light? The conditions of a greenhouse appeal perfectly to a strawberry’s sensibilities, and can make for a great crop come harvesting time.

So long as strawberries have a constant temperature, I’ve found you can grow them effortlessly. Back when I was living in the city, I used to grow them on my windowsill. I’d forget to water them, wouldn’t change out the soil, and sometimes let the fruit flies get to them, but I still got a few berries out of them.

If you take good care of them, they’ll yield like no plant you’ve ever seen. Plus, harvesting their seeds is easy if you know how to do it.

I would recommend strawberries because their potential uses are endless. I grow a few pounds of strawberries every year- not in a greenhouse, mind you- and while they spoil relatively quickly, I’m still using them all year round. I’ve got a dehydrator that I use to dry them out. Once dried, I mix them into my cereals for a touch of sugary sweetness.

The kids like to eat them too, which is better than seeing them chow down on a bag of potato chips (yuck).

Salad Greens and Microgreens

This is what I mainly use my greenhouse for. in any given year, I can get just about a hundred bags of microgreens out of my greenhouse. They love the warmth and the light, and oh boy, do they grow.

When I tell people this, they usually don’t believe me- but microgreens only take about two to three weeks to grow to full maturity. Start your beds at different times, and you’ll have a harvest coming around just about every week.

I grow arugula in my greenhouse, and it grows just spectacularly. I’ve got quite the square footage, so I can’t promise you’ll be able to grow like I do, but I can eat a salad made of my microgreens just about every day. They’re easy, cheap as dirt, and just plain know no bounds when it comes to growing.

Not to mention, they’re a good low-calorie option for anyone looking to lose a few pounds. A microgreen salad is something you might find at an expensive restaurant, and is nourishing and, as I’ve found out, filling too! If you’re just starting with a greenhouse, I’d definitely recommend growing as much salad and microgreens as humanly possible.

Green Onions

I put green onions on just about everything. Really, it’s almost shameful. My wife keeps telling me to get a little more creative- but I can’t help myself. They’re tangy, crunchy, and put the finishing touches on just about any dish.

Around where I live, green onions grow like they’ve got something to prove. You can find them in the sun, in the shade, under trees, and around swamps. There was a time when, in my rent-induced poverty, I would go searching for them (and cattails and berries) in the forests around the small town we live in.

These makeshift salads would hold me off till dinner when I’d usually break into whatever grocery store food I’d shelled out for.

The point here is- and I know I’ve taken my liberties getting around to it- you could probably teach your dog to grow green onions. They’re easy, delicious, and will serve as the perfect addition to soups, salads, meats- really anything.

Green onions will grow spectacularly well in the hot and humid environment of a summer greenhouse and don’t take much love and attention to really get going. Just water them when you can, give them a light space to grow- and they’ll treat you right. These are another plant you can dry and keep all year long, using them again and again in all sorts of dishes.

What Makes a Summer Greenhouse So Special?

Now that you know what types of plants will grow in a summer greenhouse, you’re likely wondering what it is that makes a summer greenhouse special. Why can’t you grow any old plant? Why should you stick to these?

Well, if you’ve ever been outside on a hot summer day, you know how unbearable temperatures can get. And with your greenhouse trapping those temperatures and circulating them around, it can see temps of a hundred degrees or more.

If that’s enough to make you sweat just reading, it’s enough to put your plants under some stress.

Tropical and heat-loving plants are bred especially for high temperatures and humidity and can take some dry soil conditions. These characteristics are essential for plants growing in the conditions of a summer greenhouse.

Summer greenhouses aren’t like open summer air. They get the same amount of light, but the heat trapped inside can get to be unbearable for many plants. Some plants are specifically adapted to this environment, and will actually grow better than if you had them outside. The plants we’ve listed are like this.

If you want to deviate from our list, feel free! Just make sure you research the plants you choose to make sure they’re adapted to hot environments. Anything that can withstand high temperatures, dry soil, and high humidity will, in general, thrive in a greenhouse. Just make sure you water them often and make sure to get some moisture on the leaves.

As for the special growing properties everyone gabs about- greenhouses are optimal because of the protection they offer from pests like rodents and bugs. Out in the open, you’ll likely have to share your delicious tomatoes with everything from caterpillars to fruit flies to deer. In a greenhouse, however, you’re safe.

That is, unless the deer in your area have figured out how to pick locks. In which case, I’d recommend handing over the tomatoes.

With few pests to control, you’ll be able to cut down on structural costs like fencing and fenceposts. Not to mention, you’ll see a sharp drop in the number of bugs trying to break into your stash of precious veggies.

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again- anywhere you can cut down on pesticides and harmful chemicals, you should. Getting the chemicals out of their diet is why many people take to gardening. By putting the means of production in your own hands, you take some of the uncertainty out of eating, and also give yourself a way to save a few bucks on fresh, organic food.

And isn’t that just spectacular?

Conclusion

All in all, if you’re looking to grow plants in a summer garden, you’re best to stick to more heat-tolerant variants. Plants like tomatoes, peppers, and melons will be great, but there are plenty of veggies you can pull off with the right preparation and care.

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