Choices for Summer Vegetable Gardens

Kathryn Fontenot, Koske, Thomas J.  |  10/4/2004 4:25:33 AM

Okra and cherry tomatoes are among the few heat-tolerant garden crops.

There are not a whole lot of heat-loving vegetable crops. Some choices to consider are as follows.

In late spring-early summer, you can plant collards, Swiss chard, vine crops such as summer squash, cucumber and pumpkins, or crops like okra, malabar vine, spinach and southern peas. The other garden crops are a big risk.

If you plant tomatoes, plant only the heat-tolerant varieties like Bella Rose, Solar Set, Sunchaser, Phoenix, BHN-190 or 216, Sunmaster or Sunleaper. You might also try cherry tomatoes for summer fruit.

Mostly, however, I would take a break from gardening until starting the fall crops in August-September. You can use the fallow time to clean out weeds like nutsedge with a glyphosate herbicide and let the insect pests find somewhere else to graze. The key to nutsedge management is not letting the plants form "nuts" in mid- to late summer. You must cultivate well or spray them out.

Fall planting will start soon enough in this hot time of the year.

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