Sunday, June 3, 2018

April and May Showers Bring Summer Flowers ...and Vegetables too!

It's been a rough spring for those of us working in garden centers this spring. April saw rain most of the month, while May at least allowed us to glimpse the sun now and again. So, if you're like me, some of your gardening has been put on hold until now.
Lettuce and a single tomato plant made it into my garden as of today. This week, with the combination of some time off and good weather, I'm looking forward to planting more.
Our Orange Explosion Trinidad Pepper loves the heat and promises to return the favor at harvest time. 
Eggplant varieties offer fruits large and small 
Tomato, eggplant and pepper transplants take from 60-80 days on average from planting to harvest. Garden centers, like Valley View Farms, still have a nice assortment of varieties for gardening procrastinators. The soil has warmed, so plants will be off to a good start in no time. Planting in containers, like Earthboxes, can be done anytime.
I love Earthboxes because I can control the watering. There is a 2 gallon reservoir to provide water during most of the year, and the soil is under a black plastic top, keeping the plants from getting over-watered during times like we've experienced lately, where the rain keeps falling. Planting directly in the garden comes with just one warning; be careful not to work the soil too much when it is wet. That includes compacting the soil by walking on it or attempting to till it.
Cucumbers and squash can still be planted too. Use seed or transplants. Other cucurbits, like pumpkins, watermelons and cantaloupes can still be planted as well. If you find that transplants are not available, there is still time for seed.
Beans in a traditional row garden
Beans, radishes and other quick crops are also good to plant now, and maybe a couple of more times at 2 week intervals to provide fresh vegetables all summer long.
And, finally, do some prep work now for a late summer and fall garden.
Broccoli, anyone?
Most cole crops, like broccoli, cabbage, lettuces, collards, spinach and kale do well planted later in the summer. Adding organic matter like compost, getting the soil tested to see if there is a need for lime, and getting the area clear of weeds and old plants are all good projects to get started on today.
If only I had this much room for sunflowers. 
Finally, get some flowers out around the garden for pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds.
Herbs can be helpful in attracting pollinators as well.
There is still time! Let's get our gardens growing!