Planting season is almost here, and if you are like me, you are looking forward to the things you can grow in your garden this summer. While you can garden and grow things year round in many places, there are some crops that just grow better in the warm weather. In many areas of the United States, you can expect a warm summer growing season, so you have several options of plants and crops that thrive in hot temperatures. Here are 4 warm weather crops you should plant this spring.
Who doesn’t love a red, ripe, garden fresh tomato? There’s just nothing like it! They are great in salads, on a BLT sandwich, or eaten raw. They are full of lycopene, which our bodies need. Tomatoes are one of the easiest summer crops to grow, and one of the reasons many people start gardens to begin with! Tomatoes thrive in hot weather, so if cared for properly, you can expect a bumper crop! If you can’t eat them all before they go bad, you can make and can your own tomato sauce, salsa, or tomato juice. Use caution not to let late spring frost get to your tomato plants, as it will kill them.
This is another summer treat that I look forward to all year. Squash plants love the sun, and will do well in the hot months Squash freezes and cans well, so if you have an over abundance, you can slice and freeze them to enjoy them in the winter. Squash plants like lots of sun, and won’t survive a frost. Use care to protect them from late spring frost, and make sure the soil they grow in can drain well. Standing water will not help them to thrive!
Another summer garden staple is the pepper. Bell peppers in shades of red, yellow, orange, and green, hot peppers like the jalapeno and habanero are good hot weather crops. Peppers are full of antioxidants and vitamins, and they freeze well, too. Chop them up and freeze them and use them as add-ins for omelets, soups, and casseroles. You can start the seedlings indoors about 6 weeks before they need to go in the ground, which is another reason they do well in hot weather. They can be protected from late spring frost and cool temps until they are strong enough to go outdoors to grow.
Ahh, the taste of crisp, juicy corn on the cob. This picnic and BBQ treat reaches harvest time by the 4th of July. The early summer heat helps it to thrive, which is why it is one of the easiest summer crops to grow yourself. Corn is a self and cross pollinator, so be cautious about just growing one variety, unless you want to make your own new hybrid! Plant your corn in rows, and let it get to about 5 feet tall, which will give a great harvest. Sweet corn freezes and cans well, so you can enjoy it on the cob or off all year long!
These are just a few of the hot weather crops you can grow for your family, or to share with others. All it takes is warm weather, sunshine, water, and patience! Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the fruits of the summer sun!
What are your favorite warm weather crops to plant?