Veggies that don’t fry in 103 degree heat…

June 28, 2009

So if you live in Dallas, DFW, you're probably wondering right about now why you thought trying to maintain a vegetable garden here in the summer was a good idea! But really, there are a number of crops that can not only make it through these unbearable rain-free heat waves, but actually thrive.

While your spring planted tomatoes are most likely starting to go into heat-delay (meaning the fruit they've already set is going to be what you get at this point) other plants like peppers, okra and cucumbers often won't start fruiting until temperatures warm up. Now is the time to direct seed a second round of crops like squash, zucchini, bush beans, black eyed peas...and you can plant a second round of transplants of tomatoes, eggplant, okra and peppers right now. There are even a couple of greens that will make it through the summer here and continue producing long after your regular salad greens bit the dust. Swiss chard and sorrel are probably the two best.

Cucumbers...are happy and vigorous even in the heat. These cucumbers were seeded in late March.

Cucumberbed Cucumbersclose 

What do do with all those cucumbers? Well, cucumber sandwiches everyday of course, not to mention you must stock your fridge with a continuous supply of cucumber water. Here I used some of the lemon cucumbers I'm growing...yum...


Peppers and Okra are in full gear...the hotter the better...

Okra_clemson_spinless Pepper_banana

And while we can't manage summer crops of most salad greens here, we can hang on to some Swiss chard and even a bit of sorrel. Thanks to the giant beet-like tap roots on Swiss chard, it's able to make it through the tough summer heat. Now it's not going to look its absolute best come July and August, but keep it watered and it will continue producing for you. If you're not crazy about spinach or other large greens, give Swiss chard a try. It has a milder sweeter flavor and the stems are also edible. Julie's resurrected sorrel, still going strong. Showing a bit of heat stress, but hanging in there nonetheless...

Swiss _chard_summer Sorrel_summer

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