The majority of the western United States is experiencing a heatwave and much of the United States is experiencing temperatures higher than 90 degrees this week. With it being so hot, we’ve had many questions about what can still be planted. Below are 6 plants that you can plant now and that will thrive in the summer heat:
Cantaloupes: Cantaloupes and similar melons (muskmelon, honeydew) grow well in the summer heat. These types of melons like plenty of space to sprawl out and direct sunlight. They are typically planted by seeds in May or starts in June and can take up to three months for the fruit to appear.
Sweet potato: Sweet potato is another vine that loves the hot days and warm nights. Often sweet potatoes are planted in May and June from Slips, which are the shoots that come out of a mature sweet potato. You can eat both the potato tubers as well as the highly-nutritious greens. Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin A. While greens may be harvested immediately, tubers can typically be harvested in 3-4 months.
Armenian cucumber: Armenian cucumbers love hot summers. Seeds should be planted 1 foot apart. While they taste like a cucumber when harvested young when they are the size of a cucumber, they take on a melon taste as they get larger. They are typically harvested in 2-4 months.
Snake beans: Snake beans are long beans that have a slightly nutty flavor. Originating in Asia, snake beans love tropical and subtropical climates. In fact, they grow well in hot climates - even those that get above 100 degrees. The bean plant is fairly easy to grow for beginning gardeners. They grow fast, so must be harvested nearly every day as they mature. They can take up to 12 weeks until ready to harvest.
Sunflower: Sunflowers are known for their ability to thrive in extremely hot temperatures. Seeds may be roasted and petals and buds are also used in salads. Sunflowers typically come in red, orange and yellow. They love the sun. Plants should be spaced approximately six inches apart. Sunflowers can be harvested in 85-95 days.
Hibiscus: Hibiscus needs at least 6 hours of sunlight and thrives in hot, humid climates. There are many varieties of hibiscus which are edible. One of the more popular species of Hibiscus is Roselle, which has thick and strong petals, unlike the fragile petals of ornamental hibiscus. The calyces of hibiscus are best when harvested in the Fall.
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