July 10, 2002 | By: Aimee D. Heald

With temperatures rising above the 90-degree mark, gardeners may be noticing a slow down in their vegetable crop production. Rick Durham, consumer horticulture specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture said many types of vegetables might not produce when the weather gets too hot.

“The flowers of beans, tomatoes and peppers are particularly sensitive to hot weather,” he said.  “Temps above 90 degrees will cause flowers to fail and prevent the formation of the next crop, which is why your snap beans may have stopped producing new beans.”            

Durham said Kentucky usually is blessed with mild to moderate summer temperatures, which lead to relatively good vegetable production all summer long.

“Sure we have some temperatures well into the 90s, but we also have periods where the high temperatures are in the 80s, which are good for vegetable production,” he said.

Even if the temperatures start to rise, Durham said there are a few ways to help keep your veggies cool like applying a good mulch such as straw or shredded newspaper to help lower the soil and air temperatures around the plant.

He said even so, don’t be surprised if garden production drops during extended periods of hot weather, since it likely will rebound as the temperatures drop.

“So, if your garden appears to be suffering this summer, don’t just pray for rain, but pray for cooler weather to go with it,” he said.  “Even non-gardeners will thank you.”


Rick Durham  859-257-3249