Garden checklist: Get summer veggies in the ground

05/24/2014 12:00 AM

05/23/2014 10:32 PM

If you want a summer garden, you better get to work now! There’s still time to plant most summer vegetables and flowers, but if you wait much longer, hot weather will hinder their growth. For tomatoes and other crops, choose varieties that need the least time to mature, preferably under 75 days.

•  From seed, plant beans, radishes, corn, pumpkins and squash (both summer and winter). Also plant basil and other annual herbs.

•  To speed up your garden’s production, plant seedlings for cucumber, pepper, eggplant and tomatoes.

• Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

• Plant seeds for sunflowers, asters, cosmos, salvia and zinnias.

• Don’t forget to water! Yes, we’re in a drought, but it’s important to keep those transplants hydrated and protect your garden investment. Seeds need consistently moist (not soggy) soil to sprout; don’t let them dry out.

•  As spring-flowering shrubs finish blooming, give them a little pruning to shape, removing old and dead wood. Lightly trim azaleas, fuchsias and marguerites for bushier plants.

• Dead-head roses. By removing spent flowers, you’ll prompt the bush to produce more roses.

– Debbie Arrington

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