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I will be spending four months on Lanzarote this year, an arid island off the African coast, and want to grow vegetables for home consumption there.

The summer is sunny, hot, and dry; local agriculture (mostly potatoes, squash, carrots) is suspended until the winter months. Extreme temperatures during the summer have been known to reach 38-40°C (about 100-105°F).

There will be access to water, but it's expensive so water economy is an issue. I'm looking into things like wicking beds to minimize water use.

This year, I will be there between June and late September before moving there permanently next year. This June, I would like to start to get my bearings, build the soil, and try out some vegetables to see whether they are viable in summer.

Because the climate is so different here, the usual seasonal growth charts you get for veggies don't seem to really apply.

How would I determine what vegetables even have a faintest fighting chance in this climate, with June as a planting date? (or is that date completely unsuitable?)

Here are the average temperatures on the island:

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No vegetable is going to grow well in that climate, without a lot of water. There are several veggies that can take that climate, though. I've compiled a list:

  • Cucumber - Most varieties like extremely high temperatures, but need moisture.
  • Melon - These came from hot, arid climates, and were adapted for temperate climates. They still prefer hot temps.
  • Peppers - These originated in the arid central/south Americas. They can take heat. Capiscum 'Perennial' will live up to five years in warm regions.
  • Taro - Most people haven't encountered this vegetable, as it's only grown in hot climates.
  • Sweet potato - These do best in hot climates
  • Okra - From Mexico. It can take the heat.
  • Purslane - one of the few palatable greens that will thrive with your heat.
  • Yam - (not sweet potato) This unusual monocot vegetable will grow in hot weather.
  • Luffa - Not that tasty, but grows easily.
  • Jicama Rather nice tasting tuber.
  • Wax gourd - Very large edible fruits.
  • Calabash - related to squash. Grown for it's fruit.

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