Document Type

Gardening - Vegetables: Selecting & Planting

Publication Date



Some of these vegetable varieties and planting dates are not the same as those grown by commercial growers. Commercial growers should be sure to consult the appropriate literature for commercial varieties and planting dates.

Warm-season vegetables require warm soil and air temperatures if they are to germinate, grow and mature properly. They will not tolerate any frost and may be severely damaged by prolonged temperatures as much as 15 degrees above freezing. They are deep-rooted and generally quite resistant to drought. However, irrigation may increase yields. They are frequently grown for their fruit or seed and thus do not require excessive amounts of nitrogen. Fruiting may, in fact, be delayed by excessive nitrogen fertilization.

Warm-season vegetables are generally planted after danger of frost in the spring and grown during the heat of summer. Some will survive and produce into the fall, but most have a relatively long growing season and must be planted no later than early July. Plant warmseason vegetables near the early end of the recommended planting interval in West Tennessee. Plant later in Middle and East Tennessee. Gardeners at high elevations may need to plant near the very end of the recommended planting interval. Use the closer recommended row spacings only in compact gardens to be worked by hand. The recommended spacings between plants in rows should not be reduced.

Remember that estimated days to first harvest, length of the harvest season and yields all are subject to considerable variation. The exact figures will depend on the varieties grown, the cultural procedure used, the weather and many other factors. More detailed gardening information is available in the other factsheets in this series, in PB 901, “Growing Vegetables in the Home Gardens” and PB 1228, “Gardening for Nutrition.” These may be obtained by Tennessee residents at no charge from local Extension offices.

The following table lists commonly grown warmseason vegetables, recommended varieties, spacings, planting dates and harvest information.

Publication Number

SP291P-8.5M-4/01(Rev) E12-5215-00-031-01

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