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Warm season vegetables enjoy warming weather.

The weather agrees with the calendar this year. It is time to start replacing remaining cool season vegetable plants with fresh warm season vegetable plants. In fact, according to how the weather has been through February, the process could have begun quite some time ago. Frost, which is the limiting factor for warm season vegetables, is very unlikely this late, even if wintry rain resumes.

The past month of springy weather makes it easier to replace aging cool season vegetable plants with those that are now in season. Cool season vegetable plants obviously perform best through the cool weather of autumn and winter. They perform into spring where winters are cooler. Unseasonable warmth here accelerated their maturation. They deteriorate if not harvested soon enough.

Most of the the cool season vegetable plants produce vegetables that truly are vegetative. Most individual plants produce only once. For example, one cabbage plant produces only one cabbage. Conversely, most warm season vegetable plants actually produce fruit. Some produce many fruits through their season. Even some warm season vegetative leafy greens can produce repeatedly.

Tomato, pepper, eggplant pole beans and the various summer squash can get planted early to produce until they succumb to frost at the end of the season. Cucumber and pea do not produce for such an extensive season, so might be grown only in spring or the end of summer. Corn and root vegetables produce only once, so their seed get sown in multiple phases to prolong their season.

Corn, root vegetables and most greens grow best from seed sown directly into a garden. There is no need to start them inside here. Confinement can disfigure root vegetables anyway. Because so many individual plants are grown, it is impractical to purchase seedlings.

However, purchasing a few seedlings of tomato, pepper, zucchini and most other warm season vegetable plants is not as impractical. If only a few are desired, they are not much more expensive than seed. They are conducive to transplant, and will continue to produce through the season.

18 thoughts on “Cool Vegetable Gardening Goes Warm

      1. You are welcome, but I am no expert on the subject. I just remember that the bigger peppers want more warmth and weather. Spicier peppers like real weather too, but jalapenos seem to be pretty reliable regardless.

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      2. Also, some of my friends grow small hot peppers that do quite well potted on a screened porch, no matter how much I remind them that peppers would not be happy there.

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    1. Even here, some people like to start them early, to give them a head start. I think there are so many other vegetables that there is no need to rush anything, especially those that get such a long season anyway. I would rather rush the cool season vegetables, since they have even less time here.

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      1. Ironically, since I commented, I realized how late it is to be planting warm season vegetables! It was delayed because of work, and is only getting done now because we are unable to go to work, in the middle of MARCH!

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    1. (I would recommend my gardening column, but it is the exact same as you see here on Mondays and Tuesdays. [It gets split into two parts for the blog.]) If you would like to see the two parts intact anyway, it is easiest to find at ‘Gardening with Tony’ at canyon-news.com. I recommend the Canyon News rather than the other newspapers because it is easiest to navigate.

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