The Heat Loving Plants23 May, 2011

The last seedlings growing inside are the warm season crops. Those that need 60° soil temps, hot days, and warm nights to be happy. We’re almost there, but not quite.

flat of basil seedlings

Vegetable plants are divided into cool season and warm season crops depending on what temperatures they thrive in. Lettuce, kale, brussel sprouts, and peas are cool season crops. They grow all year round in temperate places like Seattle, and in the cool springs and falls here in Iowa. Warm season crops include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, and all the squash and melons. The hot summers of Iowa are ideal for warm season crops and we’re crazy excited to finally experience success with basil and be able to grow tomatoes.

So we planted lots of 1. basil 2. hot peppers 3. eggplants 4. tomatoes 5. cucumbers

basil seedlings

pepper seedling

eggplant seedling

tomato seedling

cucumber seedling


  • Your pepper seedlings look phenomenal. Are you actually using a soil thermometer to figure out planting out?

    I always do the most sensitive warm weather plants.. basil, tomatoes, and peppers, a week after average last frost presuming no really cold nights are predicted.

    CJA23 May, 2011 at 10:03 am

  • I know that our soil temps are hovering in the low sixties right now because Iowa State University posts daily 4″ soil temps for every county for agriculture. There are perks to living in a farming state.

    We’re still waiting for warmer night time temps right now. And we’re still digging beds for those ‘before last frost’ plants, which take priority.

    K23 May, 2011 at 11:44 am

  • I really love hairy stems!

    Hannah24 May, 2011 at 7:27 am

  • Hannah – Wow! Fuzzy tomato plants make me itch so I kinda think bad thoughts about hairy stems. I hadn’t really appreciated their sparkly beauty before.

    k25 May, 2011 at 8:10 am

  • Oh well itchy isn’t nice, but fuzzy is friendly!
    The other great thing about tomato plants is the smell you get on your fingertips when you pinch leaf shoots out (to make it focus on fruit). Mmmmmm heaven.

    Hannah25 May, 2011 at 8:46 am