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What Summer Crop Should You Add to Your Garden?

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Summer Crop CucumbersAs August is under way, some people may be starting to grow weary of the summer crop staples such as tomatoes, squash, and peppers; however, it seems like a good time to show some appreciation for one of these summer crop all-stars…the cucumber. Later plantings of this particular cucurbit can be a challenging task as the heat and pest pressure bear down on young transplants, but cucumbers are a truly refreshing treat this time of year for those lucky enough to get a late crop established.

The cucumber is believed to be native to India and evidence indicates that it has been cultivated for 3,000 years in Western Asia. It wasn’t until the early to mid-1500s that it made its way to North America. The three main categories of cucumbers, which different varieties are broken down into are: slicing, pickling and burpless. Slicing and burpless cucumbers are typically bigger and have better characteristics for fresh consumption. While pickling cucumbers can be eaten fresh as well, they have characteristics that make them better for…you guessed it, pickling!

As mentioned earlier, cucumbers can be quite refreshing on hot day and that is because they are made up of mostly water (around 95%), much like a watermelon. Also, like every other fruit or vegetable, cucumbers contain a lot of great minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Vitamins B, C and K are found in cucumbers as well as potassium, copper and manganese. Cucumbers also contain polyphenols and other compounds that may help to reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer.

Summer is still in full swing and so are summer garden crops!

Another summer crop plant that we love is the “sugar snap” pea.  This pea is not only healthy, but flavorful, too! It is the type of garden plant that can add nice texture and a fresh element to any summer entrée. Sugar snap peas are different in that the peas stay inside the pods, which allows them to remain crisp and delicious until picked from the plant.

The last veggie we think all gardeners should add to their garden summer crop is spaghetti squash. These different squash types provide a more round appearance and a great, versatile veggie that you can use for a variety of different summer entrees! In fact, cooking spaghetti squash is easy for any cook! All you have to do is cut your spaghetti squash in half and place it in the oven for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. After it is done cooking, take a fork to use the same fork to pull out the strings of the squash, which will look like spaghetti.

If you have any questions about other great summer garden plants, leave a message with us at Farmview Market!