The tomato has to be the number one planted vegetable in the south.  For me its definitely my number one.  It doesn’t matter what type of tomato you are planting, they love the hot humid weather here.  My favorites are listed below:

Cherokee Black – heirloom – hands down best tomato sandwich you ever had.

Rutgers – Best canning tomato

Marion – Tied for best canning tomato

Sweet 100 – Best cherry tomato

I’ve plant 3 Roma tomatoes this year because I heard they make the best sauces.  I will let you know if they are worthy to be listed.  But their reviews have been really good for a couple of gardening friends.


For me pickling is on the top of my priority list.  Preserving the fruit of my labor is huge to me. Of course we all know that the only way to preserve Cucumbers are to pickle them.  But in the summer when they are fresh out of the garden there is nothing better than to peel and slice a cuke, with salt and pepper, the first one rarely makes it to the table. I plant burpless and pickling cukes each year and they do just fine.

3.Yellow Straight Neck or Crooked Neck Squash

I have never figured out the difference between the two, other than one is straight and the other is curved.  Either way you can’t go wrong with summer squash.  I plant twice a year.  We’re lucky here and our growing season is long enough that once the first plants peter out you have time to plant a new crop.  I prefer to plant mine in hills.  Three seeds to a hill.

4. Okra

By far my favorite vegetable to grow and eat.  Okra is the perfect vegetable to grow in the south and it produces fruit for months and months.  I pickle a lot of my okra, I freeze whole pods to put in soups and speckle butter beans, I also bread it and freeze it for consumption in the winter. Once its starts producing fruit you have to cut it everyday because the pods grow so fast.  You can’t let the pods get too big, the bigger they get the tougher they get.  I can’t say enough about this veggie.


4. Peppers

All peppers grow well here in the south.  Bell peppers, jalapeno’s, banana peppers etc.  I grow them, slice them and freeze them for all types of dishes.  They freeze really well and of course you can pickle them too.  A very versatile fruit that you can use all year.  When growing peppers in the south wait till the ground warms up well before planting them.  They do not like cool temps at night.

This is my top 5, but each gardener has their favorites.  The trick is to pick plants that like where they live.  And timing plays a big part too.  For instance, lettuce doesn’t do well in our summers even in the shade.  We do well planting them in the fall because we don’t really have a spring, well maybe we have one day of spring and then straight into summer.  Happy Gardening.


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