Categories: Organic Gardening

5 Secrets to Jump Start Your Summer Garden

5 Secrets to Jump Start Your Summer Garden

Photo courtesy of West Cliff Creative

Jump start your summer garden with a handful of easy to follow tips and a copy of Grow What You Love!

*Giveaway is Closed*

Grow What You Love book is designed for both beginning gardeners and those looking to fine tune their existing garden. The tips below are just a taste for starting your garden this spring. You’ll find more detail and inspiration in the book.

Learn more about the Grow What You Love book here.

Photo courtesy of West Cliff Creative


Grow What You Love

Find the things that make you happy and grow them! Whether it’s basil for your favorite pesto, succulents for your windowsill, or pineapple sage for pollinators and cocktails. Whatever it is, start here. Choose one or two or a handful. Cultivating the things your love means every minute counts that much more and it’s time well spent.

Discover Something New

I always go back to the tried and true varieties that grow best in my garden, however, I also enjoy trying one or two new varieties each season. Seed catalogs are a wonderful resource for discovering new varieties.

Photo courtesy of West Cliff Creative

Keep it Simple

Think containers, filling nooks and crannies with life. Grow the things that elevate your aesthetic such as the flowers and flavors that put a skip in your step. A little can go a long way, setting you up for success.

Know Your Frost Dates

Pencil in the frost dates for your region and plan to vegetables and flowers accordingly. You’ll need start plants with long growing seasons, like tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers indoors, and plan to plant them out once chance of frost has past and temperatures rise. Crops like radishes and turnips can be directly sown in the garden as soon as soils can be worked in spring and up to your first fall frost. Look to organizations like the USDA or NOAA to determine your frost dates.

Follow Nature

In nature, water runs downhill. So too should water in your garden. Make sure the containers you’re working with provide adequate drainage, ensuring soils can breath. When working with containers, begin the season by repotting or refreshing last years soil with new, organic potting soil. Top dress raised beds and in-ground plots with compost or mulch over an inch or two of composted manure.

Consider adding companion plants, flowering herbs, and/or edible flowers to your veggie garden, and use interplanting concepts found in Grow What You Love. Companion planting helps protect your garden naturally and provides essential habitat and forage for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Transplanting Seeds Vs Direct Sowing

Seeds 101: Seed Selection & Terminology


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Buy a copy of Grow What You Love here.

Photo courtesy of West Cliff Creative

Photo courtesy of West Cliff Creative

Grow what you love and pass it on. ;)

Grow What You Love Book Trailer
Inside Ricky's Flower Market


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About the Author: Emily Murphy

I’ve learned there’s something wonderfully powerful in the simple act of growing. Here, in our gardens, we can repair ourselves and our plots of earth with our own two hands. GROW WHAT YOU LOVE and GROW NOW!


  1. Toni Sprouse March 6, 2018 at 9:29 am - Reply

    My hopes are to involve my grandchildren in planting and harvesting this year as much as possible so that they can grow to love and appreciate self sufficiency.

  2. Debbie Rea March 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    My hopes for my summer garden are to grow more organic celery, onions, and potatoes, have disease free tomatoes and cucumbers, and a larger harvest from snow peas and broccoli. Your book is sure to help me because I love to grow edibles.

  3. Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh March 2, 2018 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Love your recommendations for companion plants because I am into herbs and they make such great companions! Can’t wait for my book to arrive!

    • Emily Murphy March 2, 2018 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Thanks so much, Marcy! And I agree – herbs are fabulous all around. ;)

      • Emily Murphy March 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

        Love the qualifier – “disease free” tomatoes. Isn’t this the truth? Have you asked at your local garden center or chatted with neighbors as to the best varieties for you particular region? Just a thought. Best of luck with your garden! ;)

  4. Linda March 1, 2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

    I want tomatoes this summer. We’ve had trouble with them before. I this book has some tips.

    • Emily Murphy March 1, 2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

      Hi Linda, I sure hope so! There’s no better tomato than one that’s homegrown! Maybe you simply need to find the varieties that work best with your climate and growing conditions? Best of luck and thank you!

  5. Kate Russell March 1, 2018 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Working on a foodscaping book myself, I would LOVE to see your ideas and recommendations. (And recipes!)

    • Emily Murphy March 1, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Thank you, Kate! I’m excited to see your foodscaping book! Fabulous topic and so important. ;)

  6. Carol Yemola February 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    I want to get an early start on my garden this year and I am hoping that this book will give me a couple of great ideas to try out.

  7. Caitlin Clineff February 26, 2018 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    I only have one large planter to work with, but I grow herbs and perennials – food for me and the pollinators! Great article.

    • Emily Murphy February 27, 2018 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Caitlin! I love this combination too. Hard to go wrong and both bring so much joy. ;)

  8. bn100 February 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    grow some veggies

  9. EMC_Maine February 26, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I’ve got lists and charts for companion planting this year. I’m having fun which is kinda the point, right?!

    • Emily Murphy February 26, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Yes! Fun is good. ;)

      Just do what seems to make the most sense in the moment, try the plants on your list, and see what happens. I’m sure your garden will thrive (and you along with it). All my best!

  10. Laurel Hounslow February 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I love that you say it in a way that works for everyone. I so often feel left out in my Zone 3 isolation! But that’s mostly early season envy when I am waiting for the last frost and hiding my husband’s trowels.

    • Emily Murphy February 26, 2018 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Laurel, do you really hide your husband’s trowels..? (You’re cute.) I can imagine that in Zone 3 you need to be creative and patient! lol. But still, you grow a garden. I need to see more pics! xo

  11. Karen Jones February 26, 2018 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    I am just so excited to get back into gardening! I had to stop for a few years due to an illness & then helping my sister during her illness. It sucks to be getting old, but gardening is my favorite thing to do, I have been reading everything I can find, just waiting for spring! I am glad I found your site!

    • Emily Murphy February 26, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I’m happy you did too! Best of luck with everything and looking forward to hearing how your garden grows! Emily