How are you doing with planting in your vegetable garden? The weather has rolled out as expected for planting. Cold-tolerant plant seeding and started plants can be in the ground now. The good news is that the Pleasant Arena (870 Pleasant Ave.) compost site is open, and the good black stuff is available in any quantity you can haul while supply lasts. It is good idea for vegetable gardens, which use up a lot of soil nutrients every year. Two to three inches of top-dressing every other year or so will keep your soil productive.
From May 1 through the middle of the month, most of the garden should or can be planted. But for some of the planting, it is time to pause and wait for the soil to warm thoroughly. Frost-sensitive plants may not grow in soil that remains too cold, and seed may rot before germinating. Plants can be killed or set back for the entirety of the season if they manage to recover.
The warmer season vegetables are beans, squashes, corn, okra, peppers and tomatoes.
The temperature of the soil in the root and seed growing zone (the top couple inches of garden soil) should ideally reach a temperature of 65-85 degrees F for these plants. We usually reach those temps after the middle of May.
If you just can’t wait and want to be the first on your block to have ripe tomatoes, there are strategies to manage the cold. Plastic tunnels, cloches and wall-o-water are all ways to warm the soil and allow finicky plants to grow a bit faster.
Good luck in the vegetable patch!