Time to Get Veggies Planted

By Maria Price

Now that we are into June and past the May 15th frost date, you are safe to plant all your warm weather vegetables. We’ve had more than average rainfall, which has made everything flourish in the garden. If you plan to plant plants or seeds do so just before a rain event, they get established so much easier. Here are a few tips to a bumper crop of vegetables this summer.

Tomatoes: It’s good to plant your tomatoes deeper than they are in their pot. Tomatoes will form more roots along their stem and grow better. Remember, there are two different types of tomatoes, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate types grow to certain heights and grow as a bush, whereas indeterminates grow as a long trailing vine and get very tall. Determinates grow well in a tomato cage and indeterminates need much more support. We use cattle fencing, which has 6-inch square openings, supported with posts on either end. The tomatoes are then woven through the fencing. Keeping them off the ground helps to prevent fungal diseases.

Beans: Your beans can be planted now also. There are bush beans and pole beans and both are very easy to grow from seed. Bush beans come in green, yellow and purple, and yield their harvest within a few weeks. If you grow pole beans, you’ll have a steady supply throughout the season.

Cucumbers: Cucumbers are vigorous growers and sprawl on the ground. They are better managed when they are trained to grow upward. I use plastic fencing with 3-inch squares held by metal poles on either end of the row.

Squash: Squash of all types can be put in now. Summer squash such as zucchini or yellow crooknecks are very easy to grow. Most of them are bush types, which are good for limited space areas. Keep up with harvesting the squash because they can become too large very quickly. Winter squash have firm flesh and hard skin. There are many different types. The dark green skinned, acorn and buttercup types are popular for smaller families.

Melons: Cantaloupes and watermelon can all be planted now. They really need warm soil to grow. Growing them in black landscape fabric helps to grow them. Cut circles in the fabric and plant your seeds. It’s good to use row covers until they start to flower and then remove the covers when they flower so that pollinators can do their work.

Corn: Corn can also be safely planted. Corn needs a very fertile soil and irrigation in dry weather. Remember to plant it in blocks of three or four rows.