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May 15, 2024

LSU AgCenter's Weekly Message

Some Vegetables Like It Hot

I often think of vegetables as falling into either the cool-season or warm-season category. Within those groups, though, they vary with respect to the degree of cold or heat they tolerate.

This is clearly not the time of year to plant cool-season vegetables like lettuce, English or edible podded peas, cabbage, and the like, but we’re on the late side for planting some warm-season vegetables, too.

Very high temperatures negatively impact pollination in some vegetables. It’s only recommended that “heat-set” varieties of tomatoes (such as Florida 91, Phoenix, or Solar Fire) be planted after April in Louisiana. Early- and mid-May are suggested cut-off dates for spring plantings of bell peppers and snap beans, respectively.

There are vegetables that tolerate hot weather, though. Okra and southern peas (black-eyed, crowder, purple hull peas, and cream peas) can be planted continuously from late March or April till early August. Sweet potato slips can be planted through the end of June. Eggplants can be planted through mid-July.

Pumpkins and cantaloupes can be planted through the end of July and beginning of August, respectively. Summer squashes (including zucchini) and cucumbers mature more quickly than pumpkins and melons and can be planted until mid-September. However, some cucurbit vegetables tend to produce more male flowers than female flowers at high temperatures, resulting in less fruit production.

If you’ve missed the chance to plant snap beans or bell peppers in the spring, take heart that there are fall (late summer, really) planting windows for these, too. After a taking break from mid-May to mid-June, bell pepper planting can resume in July and continue until early August. Snap beans can be sown again between mid-August and mid-September.

Let me know if you have questions.

Click here for previous LSU AgCenter's Weekly Messages

Dr. Mary Helen Ferguson is an Extension Agent with the LSU AgCenter, with horticulture responsibilities in Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes. Contact Mary Helen at mhferguson@agcenter.lsu.edu or 985-277-1850 (Hammond) or 985-839-7855 (Franklinton).

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