Your Edible Summer Garden

Summer is the perfect time for an abundant vegetable garden, especially when it comes to warm weather veggies, like cherry tomatoes or heat-loving herbs. There’s still time to get started on a summer garden that will provide with an abundance of fresh produce your family can enjoy. Many vegetables have short growing times, and can be planted and harvested in only a few short weeks.

Edible Summer Garden

Happy harvest

For continuous harvesting throughout the summer months, sow your edibles at two or three week intervals. Seedlings of tender vegetables can be planted directly into your garden beds. Prepare the soil by digging in generous amounts of compost and add Palmers General Garden Fertiliser. Then sow your favourites – like beans, peas, carrots, courgettes, beetroot, cucumbers, peppers, spring onion, sweetcorn and tomatoes. For herbs, try oregano, sage, basil, mint, rosemary and thyme. Water your edibles regularly to help plants beat the heat, but avoid soggy soil, which can cause plant diseases.

Edible Summer Garden

Lush lettuces

Lettuces or spinach are easy to plant in pre-prepared garden beds, or a range of containers – ready for abundant summer salads. They are one of the few vegetables that are happiest when not placed in full sun so in hot weather make sure they get a bit of shade throughout the day. If you are going camping or to the bach for the summer holidays, taking containers of lettuce with you is so easy and super convenient for picking just what you need for the days meals. Try our Fast Food Lettuce pack for the idea take with you salad solution.

Edible Summer Garden

In season now: Beautiful basil

Fresh herbs are an excellent way to add flavour, aroma and colour to your cooking. What’s more, they grow easily and don’t take up a lot of space. One of our favourites during summer is basil. For easy access, try small pots positioned on the deck, or even along the kitchen windowsill. Herbs produce better if they are trimmed regularly, so prune away to create a healthier and bushier plant.

Top tip: Like a marriage made in heaven, basil and tomato are quintessential Italian ingredients. They work together fabulously in the garden too, so plant them close to each other to improve the health, taste and vigour of both crops.

Recipe: Basil pesto

Edible Summer Garden

A thriving batch of basil often produces more than you can use before it spoils. Our solution? Homemade basil pesto! Basil pesto is super tasty and incredibly easy to make. Its great dolloped onto baked potatoes, tossed through pasta, spread on pizza, or as a dip for crackers and crudités.

Prep time: 10 min
Makes: 1½ cups


  • 2 packed cups basil leaves (or try half and half with basil and spinach)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup good-quality olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts


  1. Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times. Add the garlic and parmesan and pulse again. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady, small stream. This will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  3. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air so, to store, cover tightly with plastic wrap. The pesto will stay greener longer that way.