Summer is a terrific time for vegies especially if you choose the right things to suit the season and the site. There are vegetables that suit warm summer conditions and grow extremely fast and crop well.  Other varieties commonly called cool climate vegetables such as cauliflowers and Brussel sprouts need cool weather to grow and will run to seed if planted in planted when it is too hot.

 In some areas summer may mean more rain and steamy conditions while in others places it can mean dry periods and extreme summer heat.  Most vegetables produce best at top day temps of 23°C to 27 C; but some  like tomatoes and chillies can do well with day temps over 30°C.


Popular summer vegetables
Some of the summer vegetables that we grow in our summer gardens are shown below; planting all these vegetables early in the season gives good results in most places.  Sometimes later mid or late summer planting may leave you with lots of leaf and little crop if the temperatures in your area start to cool early for autumn.
Beans – thrive in warmer weather in fact climbing beans are best planted early summer in cool climates. Beans perform much better than peas as temperatures rise; peas suffer in the heat and humidity of mid-summer - although snap peas are an exception and worthy of consideration too.

Capsicum – although they thrive in warm sunny conditions capsicums can get sunburned in extremely hot suns. Try green, yellow, and purple varieties – red varieties need longer to grow as they are the green varieties that are left to fully ripen (turning red with age).
Cucumber – these usually handle humidity better than zucchini; they are good growers in higher temperatures and produce and abundance of fruit without too many problems. Grow them up a trellis if you want to save space. They do suffer from fungal problems (like zucchini) but this is almost unavoidable and tends to occur very late in the season.
Eggplant - these are easy to grow in warm weather always producing great yields and lovely fruit, try the stripped and miniature types for variety.
Greens – lettuce, spinach, silver-beet and beetroot leaves. Some lettuce varieties go to seed in the heat – I find choosing the leafy types overcomes this problem. Look on the seed packet before planting to see if the variety will withstand summer heat. Spinach too can tend to go to seed in summer – there are some tougher varieties available. Silver-beet and beetroot and beetroot leaves such as the “bull’s Blood’ variety are indispensable in the summer garden. Pick the beet leaves when young to add colour to your salads.
Tomatoes – some varieties like smaller growing forms may be easier to grow than others in higher temperatures and humidity. In the height of summer the fruit can tend to be sun-burnt – try not to remove too many laterals (side shoots) as the leaf growth can protect fruit from this problem.
Water melons, jam melons rock melons and pumpkins - these need 3 or 4 months of warm weather. Sow seed directly where they are to grow in late spring in cooler areas but earlier in hot climates. You can now get miniature varieties that crop extremely well in cooler regions as they have a shorter growing season. Just keep the water up to them!
Zucchini – grows well with higher temperatures, but not humidity. You can choose from green, gold or striped varieties, all are equally delicious!

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