It is hot people! I mean seriously the heat around these parts is absolutely awful! It’s not JUST the heat but the humidity offers little help to the situation. The garden is moaning and groaning just the same as we are. Many of our spring crops have died or became unproductive and have been pulled. Others succumb to disease and you know they had to go! So our garden beds look a bit bare after weeding. It can be a bit discouraging. We are in those dog days of summer where it’s so hot that many plants just will not grow – so what do you do? Over the next few weeks we will be exploring this topic by sharing with you what we have done to work with the summer heat.
Plant Heat Tolerant Plants
Believe it or not there are plants that flourish in the summer heat and humidity. We got smart this year and anticipated a need for summer lettuces and we researched just what would grow in ninety plus degree weather. We found many options out there! This does take a moderate amount of planning since waiting till the heat is upon you is simply too late. We planted several heat tolerant leafy greens in the spring with everything else and they did all right I guess you could say until the weather hit eighty-five degrees. At that point these plants just took off! Making it clear that heat is what they love. One such of these plants is Malabar Spinach. It is a star of Bain Home Gardens so I’m sure you have read about it before on our blog post. This vining plant is actually not spinach at all but because it can be used as a substitute it has adopted the name. We grow the green and red varieties and we have found both tasty but the growth of the green variety has been absolutely PROLIFIC! The taste is not for everyone but if you are using it in smoothies or juicing you likely will not notice much of a difference. I personally use it for everything! Stems are thick and are great for juicing or smoothies and the leaves I use in salads. While spinach and most lettuces have bolted from heat this plant is taking it all in giving us tender salad greens all summer long!
Among other heat tolerant plants are beans. We planted so many varieties of beans this year from Oriental Yard Long Beans to Garbanzo beans! We were more impressed with some than others but the key is that they grew in the heat!
We also planted lots and lots of okra. Of these we planted three different types and all are holding up very nicely to the dog days of summer!
Finally we planted lots of herbs and many have held their own against the summer heat such as our five varieties of Basil, Cilantro, Thyme, and Rosemary.
Check back with us next week as we continue our series on working with the summer heat. Till then stay hydrated and try not to get discouraged – we can do this!