Edible Gardening

Still time to plant tomatoes, basil

Basil repels aphids, flies, mosquitoes and mites. This popular herb also has fungicidal properties. Plant around tomatoes to repel hornworms.
Basil repels aphids, flies, mosquitoes and mites. This popular herb also has fungicidal properties. Plant around tomatoes to repel hornworms. TNS

Make the most of pleasant June weather before temperatures really climb. There’s still time to plant a summer vegetable garden – even if it’s just a few tomato plants in pots.

Try some herbs, too; basil loves summer heat and is a perfect accompaniment to those tomatoes. Not only does basil work with tomatoes in the kitchen, it helps ward off garden pests, too. Basil naturally repels mosquitoes, aphids, flies, mites and tomato-eating hornworms.

▪  Transplant seedlings for tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and squash. Look for varieties that mature in 75 days or less.

▪  From seed, plant corn, beans, pumpkins, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

▪  Feed the roses. After their initial big burst of spring bloom, they’ve worked up an appetite while depleting a lot of energy.

Trim off the spent flowers, then fertilize with a balanced mix with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Avoid fertilizers heavy on nitrogen; that encourages all leaves and no flowers. Make sure to water the bushes well before adding any fertilizer (that prevents chemical burns of the foliage). The application rate for most granular fertilizers is 1/2 cup per bush, worked into the soil lightly in a circle within 18 inches of the trunk.

  Comments