Enjoy Some Heat Loving Plants This Summer

Some of the most popular veggies haven’t even begun to show us what they can do in the backyard garden. While some plants thrive in the milder temperatures of spring, others prefer the scorching heat of summer. Today, I want to encourage you that you may not have even begun to see what some of your plants will do, and I hope to give you some ideas of what you can plant now that will love the warmer weather to come.

Plants That Turn It On When The Weather Heats Up

Bell peppers, cucumbers, okra, melons, eggplant, basil, and mint all love the heat. So do flowers like sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos. If you haven’t been seeing much action coming from these plants, just be patient. Once it warms up they will take off.

It is also not too late to plant a lot of these as well. If you don’t have these plants in the ground, now is the time to get them planted. It is the perfect time to plant them. My favorite plants to get in the ground when the weather heats up are some of the most delicious veggies and fruit to come out of the garden….and also the easiest to grow!

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE IN THE GARDEN THIS SUMMER:

  • Okra
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber

And the best part is that if you plant them now, there is still plenty of time for a productive season. These are all fast growers that start producing quickly. Planting watermelons in early May will give you lots of fruit by the end of July, and cucumbers will be ready to harvest in less than 60 days.

As the weather begins to heat up, it is the perfect time to get some to these garden favorites in the ground. And to note, starting them as transplants from the nursery instead of as seeds will cut down the length of time to harvest by half. There is just no reason not to plant these heat lovers now!

Plants That Shouldn’t Be Planted Once It Warms Up

Veggies like tomatoes and peppers need a long growing season. It takes a Classic Beefsteak tomato over 100 days to be ripe for picking. If you plant in May, you won’t harvest your first tomato until August. And by then, you will be ready to get your fall garden underway and the pests will be at their peak. Other plants that prefer to be established before the weather warms up are peppers, squash, zucchini, green beans, and corn. It is simply to late to start those now for a productive season.

Don’t Forget Heat Loving Companion Plants

What would the garden symphony be without some herbs and beautiful flowers? You can read all about my favorite warm season herbs HERE, but if you don’t plant any herbs this season besides basil and mint you will be one happy gardener. Both are pollinator attractors and pest deterrents. You will need both for your organic summer garden to thrive. And now is the perfect time to plant them. Basil can be harvested just days after planting and will keep on coming all summer long. When you get tired of eating it, just leave it to flower for the bees. It is beautiful, fragrant, and irresistible to the pollinators. Mint is the wild child of the summer garden, and I love her for it. Check out my favorite things to do with fresh mint HERE, then get some planted!! You will love her too!

Sweet and Purple Basil are my favorite varieties to grow.

The cherry on top of the garden sundae is the beautiful flowers that you plant with your herbs and veggies. They will make you smile and have you wanting to be out in the garden more than you ever thought possible.

My Favorite Heat Loving Flowers

  • Zinnias
  • Marigolds
  • Cosmos
  • Sunflowers
  • Pentas

These flowers are perfect for bouquets that can be cut straight from the garden, and they will keep on blooming all summer long. It is like the hot weather causes them to get so excited they multiply overnight. It really does seem that way. You don’t want to miss out on this gift of the garden season. Zinnias are my all time favorite, but they are all beautiful. And nothing works harder in the summer garden than a marigold. They are the ultimate pest deterrent!!

Beautiful zinnias

This month we begin enjoying the fruit of your labor in the wild child garden. And by July, the fall garden plans are in full swing. If you aren’t overly impressed with your garden’s performance this season, it might be time to look at your soil. Your soil is the foundation of your backyard garden. It is everything! And yet, it is the most overlooked part of the garden. Now is the perfect time to build your garden soil for what we call the “do-over” season in the south Louisiana garden (zones 8-9). You can start growing some of the heat loving veggies, herbs, and flowers that maybe weren’t successful this spring in the next month, so get busy now getting your soil right. Then you will be able to create a beautiful symphony in your backyard garden. Once you take this course you will never see organic gardening the same again. You can get all the details HERE.