Greenhouses are well-known options for starting and nurturing seedlings in preparation to move them to outdoor gardens, especially when the warmer temperatures of summer start to arrive. But a summer greenhouse is well-suited for growing many heat-tolerant crops.
If your greenhouse goes relatively unused during the summer months, you may want to incorporate these plants in your growing rotation to maximize your yield.
Herbs. Many varieties of herbs flourish in hot and dry conditions, making them ideal for a summer greenhouse environment. Allow them to dry out between waterings, but be careful not to let them get overheated. Although, the heat in a greenhouse makes it easy to dry and preserve cuttings. Try your hand at rosemary, lavender, sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, mint, basil, parsley and chives.
Okra. Built for the heat, okra is native to tropical Africa so it thrives in higher temperatures. When planted in the summer, okra will produce until the weather starts to cool off. Seedlings should be thinned out—about a foot apart—once they start to get a couple of inches tall. It is recommended that pods be harvested frequently, when they are about 3 inches long, for best quality. But some varieties may stay tender longer.
Eggplant. Oriental types of eggplant stand up especially well to the heat, particularly in mid-to-late summer. Varieties that yield long, narrow fruit or larger fruits flourish in the summer. Give them plenty of space when planting to grow. Keep an eye on the skins of the plants as an indication of when they should be harvested. When the skin starts to dull, harvest immediately, regardless of the size.
Hot Peppers. More tolerant of heat than, say, bell peppers, hot pepper varieties prefer warmer temperatures for seeds to germinate. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. You can harvest when peppers are green or have reached their full color at maturation. The heat in the greenhouse gives you the option to harvest peppers for your consumption—fresh or dried—or to sell.
Melons. Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, for example, flourish under warmer growing conditions. They can be raised in summer greenhouses, and while they require little space at first, you can easily expand their growing area. While melons and other plants mentioned prefer warmer temperatures, you want to be considerate of your local climate and take care that proper ventilation protects them from overheating.
Interested in utilizing your greenhouse for summer planting? Gothic Arch Greenhouses has all the supplies you need to get started! Visit our website at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com or call us today toll-free at 1-800-531-4769 for assistance.