About Vegetable Gardening

In Tucson, we're lucky to have two gardening seasons, especially for vegetables. We're just beginning our spring and summer schedule. This means it's time for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, squash and melons.

One of the tricks to successful vegetable gardening is to start tomatoes and peppers early but be prepared to protect them from the cold if necessary. Most tomatoes quit setting fruit when the day time temperatures exceed 90-95 degrees F.  So it's important to get a good crop of fruit set early.  The smaller tomatoes are more forgiving of our hot temperatures in the summer. I had tomatoes setting all summer long and they were all small snacking tomatoes.

Peppers like the hot weather. Generally, the hotter the pepper, the more they like the hot weather. Okra also loves the hot weather.

The trick for winter gardening is to make sure the weather has cooled off enough for veggies like lettuce and greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and peas. If you set winter veggies out too early, they'll bolt and go to seed,