Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Heat Tolerant Vine Crops

Planting heat tolerant crops is vital when Victory Gardening in Arizona during the summer. The following is a list in descending order of heat tolerance, among the traditional "summer" vine-type crops.

Most Heat Tolerant
Least Heat Tolerant

We have not had the hottest spring on record, its been pretty nice lately, in fact. We hovered around 100 degrees a couple weeks ago, but since then, it has been in the mid/upper 90's. Still, while not yet reaching the scorching 110's of true AZ summer, the crops can show daytime wilt.

The most prone to heat wilt, I have found, are cantelope, cucumbers, and squash, which get stressed out in the upper 90's.

So far, the okra and watermelons have had absolutely zero problem with the heat. The pumpkins are more mixed, but the jumbo variety is standing up the best.

The tomato leaves show some stress when the get a bit dry, but they handle the heat just fine for the most part.

Here is a nice trick I have found to keep the cucumber's happy: interplanting with the okra. The cucumbers seem to like the shade that the okra provides, but the okra is not as dominating as the pumkins or squash, for example. Nice companions, as you can see below, the cucumber is thriving under the okra, but getting burned up on its own.

Cucumber burning up on its own below

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