Stop procrastinating; it’s time to plant that summer garden! If you haven’t already, get tomato transplants into the ground. Warm overnight temperatures will prompt rapid growth. Plant them deep to promote healthy roots. (That helps drought tolerance, too.)
▪ When will those tomatoes be ready to harvest? Most varieties will start bearing fruit about 60 days after transplanting. Heirloom and beefsteak varieties tend to take longer (75 days or more). Determinate varieties (such as Roma and Celebrity) grow less vine and the tomatoes ripen all at once, which is great for canning. Indeterminate varieties (such as Early Girl and Brandywine) keep growing – and producing – over several weeks.
▪ With nighttime temperatures above 50 degrees, plant seedling eggplant, squash and peppers.
▪ Plant seeds for basil, beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers and radishes.
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▪ Time to harvest, too. Bring in peas, fava beans, lettuce, cabbage and green onions. Pull lettuce and other greens before they go to seed and turn bitter.
▪ Mulch around plants to control weeds and conserve moisture. Be sure to leave a small circle around the base of each plant to prevent rotting stems or trunks.
▪ For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses and other flowering plants.
▪ Check for powdery mildew on grapes. If needed, spray with sulfur or potassium bicarbonate, available at nurseries.