A green bean slowly growing at the Big Tex Urban Farms.
This has been a summer for the ages. I personally can’t remember a hotter and drier stretch. It may seem impossible but believe it or not, there is still produce that can be planted in your late summer garden if you have not already waved the white flag of surrender and you don’t mind watering! Here is my list of the most heat-durable veggies that are appropriate to plant now, along with a few quick garden tips as well.
Veggies to Plant Now:
- Beans of all types – I recently planted black-eyed peas, purple hulls, and climbing yard-long beans. All three are super heat-tolerant and will produce big yields in the fall season. You can also plant regular green beans now for a fall yield, but it is still too early for peas and sugar snaps.
- Okra – About as heat tolerant as it gets! Okra makes beautiful yellow flowers and will produce continually through the worst of the heat if irrigated, which makes it one of the best summer veggies.
- Peppers – Smaller peppers like jalapenos, shishitos, serranos, and others may keep setting right through the heat. However, they will yield greatly in the fall if planted now. Bell peppers and larger types will not produce much if at all, but if planted now, they will set great in the fall.
- Winter Squash – You should get these planted right away so you have just enough time to get a good fall set. Pro-tip: to help speed up growth, try to plant transplants if you have them!
- Malabar Spinach – This spinach is a very pretty, vining plant. While it’s not a true spinach, it does have edible leaves and produces big yields. It’s also a heat tolerant plant that can give you greens in a time when little else will.
- Eggplant – Again, plant transplants now for a fall harvest! It’s a bit too late for fall tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and melons. It is key to remember to get those in the ground in early July so that they can get a good yield in the fall.
These hot habanero peppers in the Texas heat seem very fitting.
Tips for beating the heat in the yard:
- Try to mulch all plantings. Mulch helps retain water and cools the soil. This is a huge help in temperatures like these. If you are not planning on planting anything in your veggie garden, cover your beds with a thick layer of mulch to preserve your soil and prevent weeds.
- Identify places to plant trees in the fall. Trees planted on the south and west side of a house will provide shade and can help reduce energy usage. Trees planted anywhere will help shade the ground and prevent erosion in super dry times when vegetation dies off.
- Think about ways to eliminate yard and turf areas. Traditional lawns are very thirsty and require constant water, care, and intensive resources, especially in times like these. Consider replacing some of the turf areas with flower beds with native and adapted plants. Additionally, try setting up Xeriscape areas with rock gardens, or build mulch-covered walkways with benches and patio areas.
That is all I have for now guys; I hope you enjoyed my tips and ideas! Let us all hope for an early Fall.