Stop thinking about it and just dig in! If you want home-grown summer tomatoes, peppers and squash, you better get them planted now – or wait until next year.
There’s still time (such as this week) 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.
▪ What to plant? 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.
▪ For summer color, transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.
▪ Want beneficial insects to visit your garden? 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 and seedlings hydrated and protect your garden investment. Seeds need consistently moist (not soggy) soil to sprout; don’t let them dry out completely or they’ll be toast.
▪ As spring-flowering shrubs finish blooming, prune them to remove 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. Those new flowers will be ready to pick in six to eight weeks.