Popular Summer Heirloom Vegetables


Any gardener who has seen a few seasons of gardening can tell you that plant selection makes or breaks a successful season. Unless you have a greenhouse in which you can regulate the environment, you need to garden seasonally. This means growing plants appropriate to climate characteristics. Very generally, they are classified as cool-climate and warm-climate crops depending on the temperature in which they thrive. Within those classifications, plant types can be further differentiated by being a heirloom, hybrid, or GMO. For the purposes of our garden planning, we’ll discuss heirlooms.

Heirlooms are often cited as being more flavorful, nutritious, and locally adapted. They’re the result of natural open pollination of plants and the intentional selection, saving and growing of seeds from uniquely desirable plants over generations of growth. These traits coupled with warm-climate preferences make the following heirlooms perfect for a summer garden. Warm-climate crops do well in 50-90 degree weather and some can handle drought to a certain point, however a garden watering system, such as The Garden Grid™ mitigates this risk. It’s important to note: extremes and gardens don’t go well together. Just because a plant is drought and heat resistant doesn’t mean it will grow in 100 degree weather with no moisture or shade. Gardeners still have to protect them from the extremes – both freezing and scorching.

Even though spring has sprung, gardeners should already be considering their summertime raised gardens. Warm-climate heirlooms are a go-to for many gardeners, but new gardeners might not know which varietals are prime for their summer garden. If you are unsure, then read about the following heirloom vegetables that will thrive and produce even in hotter environments.


The magical fruit, beans are resilient and a great vegetable for a hot summer. Heirloom varietals such as the Purple Hull Pea (southern peas) and the Alabama Blackened Butter Bean (lima bean) will stand up to harsh conditions. The Purple Hull varietal will be ready for a harvest after 75 days, and are white with a small purple eye. The Alabama Blackened Butter Bean is a lima bean known for its resilience, and will produce through hot summers until the first frost kills it off. The beans may not look appetizing when cooked, but they are delicious and will grow through the dry season.


Image via RareSeeds.com 

Become a Preferred Subscriber and start enjoying the benefits today!

Fall in love with the flavor, versatility, and beauty of Mother Earth Gardener

Mother Earth GardenerDelight your taste buds, mind and eyes with beautiful photos and inspirational techniques on everything you need to know to grow, preserve and cook your own heirloom fruits and vegetables. You won’t want to miss the stories about plants passed down from generation to generation.

Don’t miss a single issue of Mother Earth Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Mother Earth Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Join today and save off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95! (USA only)

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube