Blistering heat in the vegetable garden

GreenSerenity(8)June 13, 2013

Hi everyone,
I'm just about ready to conclude a very successful spring gardening season as the 100 degree heat is starting to set in, causing the lettuce to bolt, the leaves to wilt, and the insects to come in large numbers. My tomatoes have given me lots of fruit all through spring, more than we can eat!, but now the garden is out of balance with these temperatures and the fruits are pretty much all misshapen or covered in insect problems at this point.
Before I pull up my unproductive plants and get ready to start fresh for the fall, how do you carry your vegetable garden through the blistering heat of summer? I have three fairly large raised beds, and I'm considering growing a cover crop to enrich the soil and keep the yard looking green. What should I do in the garden between now and when the heat starts to let up?

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PKponder TX(7b)

I am so sorry that there have been no responses to your question. My garden goes dormant, for the most part in the heat. It's more about watering, within drought restriction guidelines, to keep the perennials alive.

My biggest question is this. You have lettuce in June? :-)

Some folks bury their tomato stalks to start fresh for fall, just trim off the withered and yellow lower leaves and bury the vines.

Peppers and okra seem to shrug off the heat and thrive.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Thank you! I think I am about ready to just pull things up, save a little water, get rid of some pest populations and get ready for a new design in the spring.

And the trick for lettuce has been a little shade structure made of shade cloth and PVC pipe that fits down into the bed. :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:41PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

You can start a second veggie garden in September, ya know. Fall tomatoes produce until we get a killing frost, around late November or December for my area. Cilantro, dill and parsley do great during our 'winter'.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Oops, sorry! I meant to say fall. I look forward to September!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Second the pepper and okra... those do well in the heat. You can start some thing like green beans, squash, etc in August, and as long as they survive the heat at first, they will produce well in Oct.

But yeah, July and August are tough. I don't get much at all from my garden then.
I get most of my stuff in spring and fall. We have 2 growing seasons up north where they only have 1...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Black-eyed peas seem to like the heat too, although I know a lot of people don't care for them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 7:19PM
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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

Depending upon where you are, the fall tomato transplants need to be put out as early as early August. I know, it sounds ridiculously early to me, but....that's what I've been told. Okra & black-eyed-peas LOVE the summer heat. I think they're crazy, but I'll still harvest them. :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Don't pull out the tomatoes unless you have a serious bug infestation. Mulch them and you'll have a harvest in Sept/Oct.

Basil, peppers, okra, eggplant.

Start your seedlings under shade cloth to get ready for fall transplanting in Aug.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:19PM
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While my tomatoes cease yielding and my squash plants that manage to survive repeated vine borer attacks are barely hanging on by this time of year (expecting 106 deg. high today), eggplant is holding it's own and my okra and peppers are now kicking into overdrive. I've had very little success keeping tomato plants much past mid July, so I start a 2nd crop in flats in mid to late June. I've had very good luck with the Heatmaster variety (seeds saved from the Spring crop) and plant my 2nd crop using some shade cloth /fence protection in early to mid August and keep the ground moist and mulched since some of our hottest days are in late Aug - early Sept. in Austin.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 12:44PM
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