Hot Weather Loving Plants

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Planting vegetables at midsummer can be tricky for many reasons. Earlier we mentioned some that can be planted during this time period because they are impervious or not overly affected by frost. However, in some areas, the concern is more about plants that can thrive in very hot temperatures – not cooler weather. If you live in one of the southern parts of this country, then that is a bigger problem, and one that needs to be addressed. Here are several vegetables that can be planted at mid-summer, especially if you live in a warmer part of the country:

Okra – Okra can be planted up through August and September, as it can tolerate very hot weather. There are a number of different types of okra, but aim for the Emerald, Clemson Spineless and Cajun Delight varieties. This vegetable is very good for you, and contains a number of different vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, vitamin A and potassium, making it a good addition to any garden. Okra can be breaded and fried (which isn’t so good for you) and added to soups and stir-fries. Its leaves are a healthy addition to salads as well.

Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes can be planted up through July, which doesn’t quite fit into the “mid-summer” category. However, they can tolerate very hot weather, especially if you plant the Vardaman, Centennial and Beauregard varieties of sweet potato. They contain plenty of carbohydrates and vitamin A, among other nutrients, and can be used in casseroles, turned into French fries, and even served baked.

Southern Peas – Several varieties of Southern peas like cow peas, black eyed peas, field peas and Texas cream peas enjoy and even thrive in hot weather. They can be planted throughout the summer and even into the fall without having any difficulties producing. Yes, you can plant these types of peas in mid-summer, August, September and even October, which will give you a chance to balance out your harvests and not leave you with a giant pile of vegetables in the fall. There are many different ways in which these peas can be served, including boiled, mashed, and in soups, salads and other dishes. The nutritional content of Southern peas depends largely on which specific type they are, but all contain plenty of protein, carbohydrates, iron, zinc and other minerals.

Peppers – Thanks to many different hot-weather loving types of peppers, you have your choice between sweet, bell and hot ones to plant mid-summer. All three of these can be planted throughout the summer up until August. Consider adding hot peppers like Habanera, Jalapeno, Long Cayenne, and Hungarian Hot Wax; sweet peppers like Banana, Cubanelle and Mariachi; and bell peppers like Red Knight and California Wonder to your garden. All of these will thrive in hotter climates, and will keep producing peppers throughout the fall. There are many different ways in which these peppers can be used once they are grown. They can be made into salsas, served in salads, and added to many different dishes.

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 Pic by NatalieMaynor