When the temperature starts creeping above 100 degrees in the Las Vegas valley, many gardeners will give up in despair. It’s no surprise, considering it might only rain once until October. Summer always seems like the worst time of the year for horticulturists in Las Vegas. But what many people aren’t aware of is that there are a few edible plants that actually thrive in the Vegas heat. Theses fruits and vegetables can withstand hot conditions as long as the gardener is dedicated to keeping these plants watered.
Anything in the melon family enjoys hot weather. Once the soil gets above 60 degrees, you can seed the vines into the ground. If the soil is any cooler than that, the seeds won’t take up any water. To determine when you can plant melon seeds, check the temperature at nighttime. This is when the soil will be at its lowest temperature.
When the melons become fully ripe, they will easily fall off the vine by themselves. Even if the melons get a little overripe, what does it matter? Melons only become sweeter the riper they are.
Hard-shelled squash, like pumpkins, are also a member of the melon family. You can start growing them during the summer and by Halloween, you should have full grown pumpkins. Be careful how large of pumpkins you are growing because the vines can become gigantic.
Even though the melon family enjoys hot weather, it is imperative that you keep up with watering. If they become too dry, they will suffer. In addition to irrigation, you also have to pay attention to the soil. Amending the soil with compost or a slow release fertilizer will ensure the melons stay healthy.
This plant does well in heat and drought and you don’t need to plant a lot to have a sufficient amount for cooking. Just a single plant of okra produces enough for a gumbo that can feed an entire family.
Even if you aren’t a huge fan of the taste of okra, the flowers can be very attractive. Okra is also related to cotton. Though cotton may not be edible, the flowers on these plants can be very pretty.
Although many assume that sweet potatoes and yams are the same vegetable, they are not. Yams cannot withstand the Vegas sun, while sweet potatoes can. If you have a sweet potato with sprouts growing out, place it in the ground when the soil has warmed up.
Through the summer and into the fall months, you can enjoy a sweet potato vine. By Thanksgiving, you can have a plethora of these crops. This is perfect timing, considering that the leaves will die in the winter.
When you are outside in the summer tending to your plants, it is important that you take care of yourself. Drink plenty of water and don’t stay in the sun for too long.
If you need professional help tending to your plants during the summer, a Las Vegas landscaper at Showcase Land Care can help. They offer some of the best landscaping products throughout Las Vegas. The trained professional will always provide the best quality services. For more information about landscaping in Las Vegas, contact 702.531.6789.
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