Vegetables that Love the Heat

Vegetables that Love the Heat

An article by Travis Key from Lazy Dog Farm

Summer brings sunshine, warmth, and the promise of abundant harvests in backyard gardens. However, for gardeners in regions with scorching temperatures, growing vegetables that can withstand the heat becomes crucial. As the summer temperatures increase, it’s important that we transition and focus on more heat-tolerant vegetables that thrive in intensely hot weather. Below we’ll explore some of these heat-tolerant crops that are perfect for your summer backyard garden.

Okra

Okra is a heat-loving vegetable that flourishes in temperatures above 85°F. This Southern favorite thrives in hot and humid climates, producing tall, sturdy plants adorned with beautiful yellow flowers. Okra pods are best harvested when they are young and tender, making them ideal for frying, grilling, or adding to soups and stews.

In addition to being heat-tolerant, okra is also one of the most drought-tolerant plants you can grow. It doesn’t need a ton of soil moisture to remain alive and well. But be aware that low soil moisture can cause okra pods to become tough. So, it will benefit from some watering, just not nearly as much as other plants in your backyard garden.

Eggplant

Eggplant is a heat-loving vegetable that thrives in temperatures ranging from 70°F to 95°F. With their glossy purple skin and meaty texture, eggplants are versatile additions to summer menus. Varieties like 'Black Beauty' and 'Ichiban' perform exceptionally well in hot climates, producing bountiful harvests of delicious fruit throughout the summer months.

You may notice that some of your eggplants will get scorched or sunburned when summer temperatures become extreme. But the “fruits” that are covered with foliage are protected and usually very high quality. Feeding regularly with AgroThrive Fruit and Flower will ensure you have plenty of leaves to protect the eggplants and ensure a quality harvest.

Peppers

Peppers, both sweet and hot varieties, are well-suited to hot weather conditions. From bell peppers to jalapeños and habaneros, these vibrant vegetables thrive in full sun and warm temperatures. Peppers require consistent moisture to produce juicy, flavorful fruit, making them perfect candidates for drip irrigation systems or regular watering routines during hot spells.

Hot peppers will tend to be even hotter if soil moisture is low during the middle of summer. This can make a jalapeño taste more like a habanero. Peppers will also benefit from frequent feeding with AgroThrive to maintain a dense foliage canopy, protecting those delicious fruits from being scalded by the sun.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are heat-loving root vegetables that thrive in warm soil and sunny conditions. These nutritious tubers can be grown throughout the summer months, with varieties like 'Beauregard' and 'Georgia Jet' performing particularly well in hot climates. Sweet potatoes require well-drained soil and regular watering to develop their sweet, flavorful roots.

In addition to being a great food crop that stores for a long time, sweet potato plants also make an excellent ground cover. We like to call them the “edible cover crop.” If you don’t feel like being in the garden much during the middle of the summer, just plant some sweet potatoes and let them cover your garden soil. They’ll not only keep the soil from baking in the sun, but they’ll prevent weeds from thriving as well!

Cowpeas

Also known as Southern peas or “field peas,” cowpeas are drought-tolerant legumes that excel in hot weather conditions. These heat-loving plants produce an abundance of nutritious pods filled with flavorful peas. Varieties like 'California Blackeye' and 'Mississippi Silver' are well-suited to hot climates, providing gardeners with a bountiful harvest of protein-rich legumes.

These tend to be an acquired taste for some. Many southern gardeners have been eating cowpeas their entire life, so they appreciate the nutty flavor. Other gardeners who are used to only eating sweet peas may require a bit of acclimation to these. But once you realize how easy they are to grow in the summer months, you’ll be on board!

With the right selection of heat-tolerant vegetables, your backyard garden can thrive even during the hottest summer months. From okra and eggplant to peppers, cowpeas, and sweet potatoes, these resilient crops offer delicious flavors and abundant harvests, even in the face of scorching temperatures. By providing adequate moisture, proper mulching, and regular feedings with AgroThrive, you can enjoy a bountiful summer garden filled with heat-loving vegetables.

Thousands of gardeners have been tuning in to The Lazy Dog Farm YouTube channel where Travis covers a variety topics ranging from how to successfully start seedlings to how to make a flavorful hot sauce that packs a punch. Accompanied by his wife Brooklyn and their two boys, the gardens on their 2 acre homestead in southwest Georgia are always filled with a wide variety of vegetables that are enjoyed fresh or preserved for later.


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