A raised bed vegetable garden with wax beans, lemon balm, mint, red leaf lettuce and tomatoes in a backyard garden

Heat-loving crops

The sun is shining, and temperatures are rising!  At last, summer is here!!   Growing fresh fruit and veggies from your garden can be a challenge if you live where it gets hot as all get-out!  Fortunately, there are several crops that will not only survive but thrive in the heat. Check out the suggestions below for a summer full of fresh tasting goodness straight from your garden.


A classic Southern crop that tastes best when grown fresh at home.  Okra loves hot summers and will provide loads of fruit to harvest.  In fact, pick the young and tender ones for the best flavor.  The more you pick the better as you’ll encourage more production.


Summer isn’t complete without fresh corn on the cob.   Give your corn plants space to pollinate and grow.  An added bonus of growing corn is that they can provide a little shade for crops that may need a break from the hot summer sun.  Sweet corn is ready for harvest when the kernels are firm and sweet to taste. 


Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew require a few months of hot summer weather to mature.  These vining plants will need room to grow and keep an eye on watering as the melons grow larger.  Too much water may hinder the sweetness of the fruit!


Yard Long Beans are a fun crop to grow that also doesn’t mind the heat of summer.  Also known as the Asparagus Bean, the long and slender pods will reach up to 18” in length.  Provide climbing support for the vines as the beans grow and elongate.


You can grow these heat lovers in the garden or a container!  Make sure your plants are safe from frost before planting and provide support if necessary. Peppers are commonly grouped into two categories: sweet or hot, making them an easy and versatile crop for all to grow.  You’ll find that peppers can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors so have fun when deciding what to grow.


Tomatoes are delicious fresh off the vine and can provide months of produce fit for salads, sauces, and canning.  The number of varieties of tomatoes are endless.  Keep a look out for varieties that are described as heat tolerant or resistant on the tag or seed packet.  Provide support and proper air flow for the best results.


Another staple for hot summer success is the eggplant.  They can be grown in the ground or containers, making them a versatile selection.  There are several varieties available ranging from the larger, traditional types or a more slender version that is a bit showier. Harvest when young for the best flavor and to encourage more production.

Sweet Potatoes

Once the last frost has passed and the ground has warmed, get your sweet potatoes planted.  They take months to be ready to harvest so it’s important to pay attention to the days to maturity if you have a shorter growing season.

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