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  • Writer's pictureKassi Kuppinger

What Plants are Best for Summer Gardening?

It's that time of year and everyone from experienced gardeners to novice gardeners are wondering what they should plant. With so many different options on the table, sometimes it can be difficult to narrow down what to plant in your garden this season. We are here to help you narrow down some of the options.

Best Vegetables for Summer Planting

While there are many different kinds of vegetables that grow well in Colorado, here are just a few of our favorites!

Harvesting potatoes


Many different potato varieties love the intense heat of Colorado summers. They are simple and easy to grow too! All you need is a little patience while these rooting vegetables mature. Check out some more tips on how to grow potatoes!

Harvesting carrots


Carrots are another great garden vegetable to plant if you live in Colorado. Make sure to amend the soil though! These rooting vegetables have a hard time pushing their way through the clay-heavy soil, so ensuring the soil is light and soft will dramatically improve the quality of your carrot crop!


Long-yard beans and green beans also grow exceptionally well in Colorado. Pole beans will also yield a steady crop throughout the entire season, while bush beans will produce a quick, one-time crop. If you don't have much room in your garden, bush beans also make for a good container gardening plant!

Harvesting peas


Whether you are interested in shelling peas, sugar snap peas, or snow peas, all of them grow well with minimal care required. Just plant them in a spot with full sun exposure and a trellis for them to grow on, and you'll be set for the season!


These heat-loving fruits have so many delicious uses in the kitchen. From homemade salsa to fried green tomatoes and so much more, tomatoes are a crop that are sure not to disappoint. Make sure you fertilize with a calcium-rich fertilizer to avoid blossom end rot!


Bell peppers are fun to grow and provide you with a deliciously sweet veggie to add to any salad. While bell peppers grow well in Colorado, hot peppers thrive! So if you enjoy a little spice in your life, check out some of our favorite varieties of pepper plant!


Many different varieties of squash, zucchini in particular, grow amazingly well here in our arid Colorado environment. If this is one of your vegetables of choice, be sure to check on them often! They grow quickly and can very easily grow to a size too large to eat!


Whether you enjoy pickling your cucumbers or using them in your salads, there are plenty of delicious varieties to choose from. These vining plants can be left to trail along the ground or can be encouraged to grow up a trellis.

Harvested corn


This low-maintenance veggie is very a popular choice for many gardeners! The tall stalks are fun to watch grow, and it also makes a delicious addition to any meal!

Best Flowers for Summer

There are also countless varieties of annual and perennial flowers that thrive in the Colorado heat. While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, these are some of our favorites and varieties that are sure to not disappoint.

Purple Iris


Coming in a large variety of sizes and colors, irises are a perennial flower with big, bold, and beautiful blooms. They love the hot sun and have long-lasting flowers for you to enjoy. Healthy irises will multiply from year to year, and every couple of years they can be divided and spread to other areas of your landscaping! Learn more about other varieties of blooming perennials!

Pink peonies in a vase


Peonies are known for their big, ruffled blooms and overwhelmingly delicious aroma. These perennial plants come in hundreds of varieties and make for lovely cut flowers. They love the hot sun, though they will tolerate some shade as well! Check out other blooming perennials!

Lavender bush


Lavender grows extremely well in Colorado. Not only does this perennial plant love the hot sun, but it is also cold hardy, drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, deer repelling, and attracts beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies! Not to mention its blooms last all summer long!

Purple lupine


Lupine is a beautiful flowering perennial plant that can often be found growing high in the mountains. They come in many breath-taking colors and attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds! See some of the different colors and varieties here!

Petunias in a hanging basket


Petunias are lovely annual flowers that prefer full sun. They are very popular in hanging flowers baskets or porch pots and bring a beautiful and bright splash of color. Pinch off dead flowers and trim back leggy parts of the plant to encourage more blooming and bushy growth! Here are some care tips for your annual flowers!

Marigold flowers


These flowers grow in a small bushy form and exhibit bright yellow and orange flowers throughout the summer. While they are an annual flower, they do reseed themselves and often come back year after year! Their pretty petals also make for a lovely garnish on a salad or other spring dish.

Pink and red geraniums


These lovely flowers are often seen as hanging flower baskets or in flower pots on patios. They handle the hot, bright sun very well, and have many different beautiful colors to choose from!

Do I Need to Water More Over the Summer?

With the hot and dry nature of Colorado summers, your plants will definitely need a lot of water. Perennial plants in full sun may need to be watered twice per week depending on the plant, and annual flower baskets may need to be watered every day to every other day during the most intense parts of the summer. Read more about caring for your annual flowers here! Your garden vegetables will need similar care, needing water every day to every other day. It is also very important to fertilize your flowers and vegetables. With so much water being a necessity, many of the nutrients in the soil can get washed away, and with no nutrients, your plants will not perform very well. So be sure to get a fertilizer appropriate to the plants you have and fertilize accordingly. Many plants may need fertilizing every two weeks in order to perform as expected, but always read the instructions on the container or consult with one of our garden center professionals!

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