Yes, It’s Vegetable Planting Time

brandywine tomato plant

Brandywine tomato ready for transplant

Cucumber transplanted into garden

Crookneck squash grown in container before transplanting

This could be one of the latest years I can remember planting and seeding vegetables. Since we have had such low night temperatures in the last few weeks, I have waited on purpose. With the temperature warming each day and with eighties predicted for this weekend, it is now perfect planting time. I have put in my first set of tomato plants. I’ve also put in home grown seedlings of squash and cucumbers and seeded Kentucky wonder pole beans. Now here is how I planted each. For tomatoes I dig a deep hole and mix compost in the area of the hole where the roots are going. I always plant tomatoes deep, just below the first set of good looking leaves. I remove all leaves before those and plant. I firm the soil before watering. For tomatoes, I leave a depression around the plants, so I can fill in more soil later. For cucumber and squash I do just the opposite. I dig the soil deep but plant these on a small mound. I mix compost in the mounded soil and plant at the level they come out of the container. Then I firm the soil around the plant. Use the same mound procedure if you seed yours. For planting beans, I mix compost with my garden soil and slightly cover the seeds. Remember to water all these transplants, watering well so the garden soil, compost and soil around the plants are all wet to ensure establishment in the garden soil. Here is one more thing I think is important that you might want to consider. About the 15th of the month I will put in a second crop of tomatoes and plant okra. I have reserved room in my small 20×40 foot garden space to plant them. So get planting and look forward to the first summer vegetables from your garden.

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.

6 thoughts on “Yes, It’s Vegetable Planting Time

    • Almost anything but at this time of the year I direct seed squash(all types), beans and peas, cucumbers, okra, cantaloupe, watermelon,and other summer vegetables as well as most summer herbs.

  1. I planted way too early, I think. My brandywine tomato start from Andy’s has some height and a strong-ish stem but not a single yellow flower and the many green leaves look… unhealthy.

    I may do a similar thing and plant more around May 15th.

    How do you deal with aphids? Am I getting these because I planted so early? (Mid March?)

    • Aphids had nothing to do with early planting. If on vegetables use Safers insecticidal soap. Be patient, with hot weather the tomatoes may recover,bloom and produce a crop of tomatoes.

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