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The Hot Weather Vegetable Garden

Even during some of the hottest times of the summer, South Texas gardeners can keep busy. Lucky for us there’s still time to plant three great hot weather vegetables!

By mid-June tomatoes, squash, beans and sweet corn are nearly done, but our desire for gardening is not. So what’s a gardener to do in the garden patch?

Even during some of the hottest times of the summer, South Texas gardeners have lots to do in the garden, especially if you start early in the morning. So dust off your tools and put on your gardening gear — you’ve got a job to do.

Lucky for us there’s still time to plant three great hot weather vegetables: okra, peppers and eggplant.

Recommended Selections

  • Okra – ‘Oscar’, ‘Emerald’, ‘Clemson Spineless’, ‘Cajun Delight’, ‘Dwarf Green’, ‘Lee’
  • Peppers – ‘Long red’, ‘Thin Cayenne’, ‘Hungarian Wax’, jalapeño, ‘TAM’ mild jalapeño, ‘Hidalgo’ serrano
  • Eggplant – ‘Florida Market’, ‘Black Beauty’, ’Classic’, ‘Black Magic’, ‘Ichiban’

Growing Okra in farm garden at Los Angeles

Homegrown organic peppers

eggplants growing in the garden

Cultivation

All three have similar cultivation requirements.

Planting

Turn the soil in the bed as deeply as possible. Incorporate 1-2 inches of well decomposed compost. Space the plants 18-24 inches apart and the rows 30 inches apart.

Watering

Water three times a week for the first two weeks to establish, then twice a week in the absence of rainfall. Try to limit water on the foliage, drip irrigation is a better alternative.

Fertilizing

Fertilize with ½-1 pound of synthetic fertilizer or 2-4 pounds of organic fertilizer.

Staking

Peppers and eggplant benefit from cages or staking.

Weed Control

½ – 1 inch layer of organic mulch. Do not over mulch. A little goes a long way.

There is still time for additions to the vegetable garden. Enjoy these hot weather vegetables right up to the first frost.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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