Dill flowers are attractive to many species of beneficial insects, making it a good choice for all gardens. Dill is used in pickling and making “dilly beans” and is excellent with roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) has a perfume-like fragrance and flavor, and it produces lovely blue flower spikes in midsummer. Use it in poultry, stuffings and vegetable dishes. Tri-colored sage looks beautiful in containers and tastes great, though its flavor is a bit stronger than standard sage.
Arugula’s spicy, peppery flavor is distinctive. The leaves are elongated with irregular margins and look beautiful in a salad mix. Harvest arugula frequently to increase the production of fresh, new foliage.
An Asian green with sweet, mild flavor, young bok choy leaves can be eaten fresh in salads while mature leaves can be steamed, sautéed or stir-fried. Cultivars tolerant of heat are best for warmer climates, as they are more bolt-resistant.
There are dozens of cantaloupe varieties on today’s market. Choose a variety best suited to your climate. Urban growers may want to choose a fast-maturing variety like Fastbreak or Lil Loupe, which also take a little less space.
Homegrown watermelons are as sweet as you can get. Smaller-fruited varieties like Petite Treat and Sugar Baby are good choices for smaller households. Yellow-flesh varieties have a sweet, mellow flavor and are good for gardeners wanting to try something different.
Cucumbers are prone to attacks from cucumber beetles, which transmit bacterial wilt. Choose resistant varieties whenever possible. Protect young plants with floating row covers but remove covers when plants come into flower to ensure ample pollination.
Butternut squash is a winter squash that is more resistant to vine borers than other squash varieties due to its thicker stem. The flesh is yellow with a sweet, nutty taste. It makes a great winter storage crop.