Want tomatoes? How about squash, peppers and beans?
After a soggy spring, it’s finally time to get serious about planting a summer vegetable garden – if not this weekend, very soon. Among the veggies you can plant now from seed: lima and snap beans, carrots, chard, corn, cucumbers, melons, okra, pumpkins, soybeans, squash and watermelon.
▪ If you haven’t already, start setting out tomato transplants as well as seedling eggplants and peppers. The warmer the nights, the faster they’ll grow.
▪ In the flower garden, plant alyssum, aster, celosia, cleome, cosmos, four-o’clocks, marigold, morning glory, periwinkle, rudbeckia, salvia, sunflower, verbena and zinnia.
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▪ Don’t forget to water your seedlings and transplants. Irrigation is critical during these early stages.
▪ Time to harvest, too. Bring in lettuce, cabbage, fava beans, peas, green onions and radishes.
▪ 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.
▪ Watch out for snails and slugs. They’ll gobble everything in sight. Go snail hunting with a flashlight an hour after dark. Hand-pick the critters and destroy.
▪ For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.
▪ Check for powdery mildew on grapes. If needed, spray with sulfur or potassium bicarbonate, available at nurseries.