Veggie Garden Update

I added cucumber seedlings that I grew from seeds to my garden today. 

The month of May can still be a planting month for vegetables especially this year, as we have not had consistent warm weather. I never plant okra seeds until this time of the month, or until we have consistent warm weather. In fact, with the weather expected to be the high 80s this week, I planted my okra today. Remember, to increase germination for okra, pour boiling water over the seeds and soak at least 15 minutes before planting.
As for my summer garden in the ground, many of my plants are not in a rapid growth mode. To encourage more growth and hopefully be more productive, I fertilized the beans, squash, and zinnias today with 15-0-15. I did a procedure on the beans and zinnias called side dressing, which means loosening the soil along side of the row and sprinkling the fertilizer in the worked soil, being careful not to touch the tender plants.
Don’t wait until your plants need staking. Do it while they’re young, so when you put the stake in the ground you will not injure the roots. I staked tomatoes, pole beans, eggplants, and peppers.
Finally, if you mulch your garden, weed it now and apply an organic mulch if desired. I especially like to mulch things like squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. But I agree with many folks that using mulch in a veggie garden saves moisture, helps control weeds, and on tailing plants many times prevents rot.
Remember, it is not too late to plant any summer vegetable, and for some like okra, it’s just now the perfect time to seed it.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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