Gardening for Health

Time to Plant Your Summer Veggies 

It may seem counterintuitive as May feels more like March, but now is the time to put all your warm-weather vegetables in the ground. From seeds to plants, we should try to take advantage of our rainy weather. I always try to plant just before a predicted rain. Watering helps to settle the roots in the soil and eliminate air pockets. An added bonus is the plants are established faster. Rain is so much more effective in establishing plants than just watering. Always water whatever you plant though because even if rain is coming you never really know how it will present itself. 

Cool weather crops, such as lettuce, cabbage, radish, peas, spinach, onions and Swiss chard should already be in your garden. Don’t despair if you haven’t planted them until now, just keep them well watered and fertilized so that they grow quickly and can mature before extremely hot weather comes. 

Many vegetables can be seed sown for a more economical garden and most nurseries now provide young starts for your garden. Beets can be sown now—blend kelp meal into the soil before planting. They are native to the Mediterranean coast and really thrive with the addition of kelp. Sow seeds 15 to a foot, one-half inch deep. You can gradually thin the beets to two inches apart but save the seedlings to enjoy in salads, leaves and all. 

Beans can also be sown now, two inches apart and one inch deep. You can also buy started plants from a nursery. There are round pods, flat pods and slender filet round beans, in green, yellow and purple. This is why seeds give you so much more variety to choose from. Using an inoculant can increase yields. For a continuous supply, make successive sowings every two to three weeks through midsummer. 

You should also plant climbing pole beans now. They usually produce later than bush beans and take up less space since they grow vertically. Create an arched trellis with a sturdy fence wire secured with metal poles on either side. Train the beans over the arch and then you can harvest beans under the arch in the shade. This also makes a nice focal point in the garden. 

Corn, cucumbers, squash, melons and carrots can all be sown by seed now. If you didn’t start your tomatoes and peppers earlier, you can still start them from seed indoors or buy young starts from a nursery. 

Due to the recent high demand for seed, please check with your local nursery about specific availability.