Cool weather brings new crops

Burpee - Edible Gardening Team Members
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don’t know about your growing zone, but ours this year was hot, hot, hot! Perfect weather for a bumper crop of okra and collards, and the tomatoes and peppers performed quite nicely, too (when we remembered to keep them hydrated). But it was interesting to see Mother Nature self-regulate herself when the weather got just too hot to handle.

This was most noticeably seen this year in the pole beans. While it’s true, beans in general are a low-maintenance vegetable to grow, they can go into “hibernation mode” if the temperature isn’t to their liking. Oh, you’ll see plenty of leaf production, and the vines can grow to 9 ft. if staking allows. But not a bean could be found in our garden … until a cool-down finally arrived.

The less-scorching weather awakened the plants practically overnight, and now there’s an abundance of sweet, crispy beans up and down the vines, which just a month ago were in danger of being removed for lack of production. It was a lesson in patience for sure, but also one in understanding the balance vegetables need between light, warmth, water, food, etc.

Now that we’ve seen how the changing weather can encourage new crops, we’re eager to plant other cool-season lovers, such as lettuce blends, cabbage, peas, kales and cauliflowers. If your growing zone allows, don’t let a little change in weather deter you from planting more vegetable varieties… it may just be the jumpstart you need!

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