Growing Veggies in the Heat, Yes, It Can Be Done!

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Okay, I’ve had quite a few questions over the past week. It seems people think when the high 90s start around here all hope is lost for any kind of veggie garden. Not true at all! We even grew lettuce through the 2010 & 2011 drought.

For fall tomatoes in our area of Texas where summers can get quite hot and not much rain finding the right variety can be tricky. First you need to start off with healthy soil, then you need the right variety.

In the late summer I plant Celebrity (determinate) & Better Boy (indeterminate) which does okay. I hear people swear by Heatmaster (determinate) but I haven’t tried because our nursery always sold out. They said its a hard variety to get ahold of. I am determined to try it one day. Super Fantastic (indeterminate) is a wonderful all around tomato. I mainly see them around here more in the hotter months. I’ve tried it it does great, but vines get long and fruit gets big. So support well. Same goes for Porters (indeterminate). Was actually developed here in Erath County and handles our weather all through to hard frost if you keep watering it.

I’ve also been told there are two heirloom varieties that do good in the heat of our summer. Bloody Butcher (indeterminate) & Super Sioux (semi determinate) I have tried Bloody Butcher but mistakingly planted it in a part of the garden that didn’t drain well. It didn’t like the few times the sprinkler was left on all night and then took two days to dry up. Whoops! Want to try again. If I can find them that is. I just heard of Super Sioux and going to try to beat the rush when they get their one shipment in next week. Really hope I can try it.

As for lettuce Cimmaron, Deer Tongue, Black Seeded Simpson, Butter Crunch, & Red Sail do great all through our very hot 100 degree summers. Just water in morning and evening. Not too much though or you might get a slimy rot starting at base of plant. Just make sure its enough soil never dries out all the way. Might need a little light feeding for example Garrett’s Juice if you see it slowing down.

Cut with scissors like giving a hair cut. Be sure you replant a new patch every 3 – 4 weeks and you will keep going all through summer & fall. Cover when we have frost and you will have lettuce in winter too!! There are a few other varieties we have tried for late summer but these lettuces I’ve listed are our tried and true go to varieties.

So don’t listen to the people who say it can’t be done. Show them it can with the right varieties for your soil and your climate. Amaze them!! It can be done! And don’t forget to mulch!!!

Notice on photo. High today was 102. Its only showing 31% humidity because ground is still moist from morning watering and hydrometer picking that evaporation up. That tomato plant is an Early Girl. She’s still going!!! Just not as pretty as she once was.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Deb on July 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    This I need to know!

    Reply

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