Mid-May is a busy time for the gardener. All of cool season crops need to be planted out, some warm season crops need to be potted on & kept indoors for another two weeks and other warm season crops need to be direct seeded once your soil temperature reaches 50 F. Following is a summary to ensure that all crops are managed in a timely manner.
Seed Starting & Crop Management
• There is still time to direct seed cool season crops (pea, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, onion, lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, cilantro, dill).
• More direct seeding: carrot, beet, parsnip. If already seeded, then it is time to start thinning these crops.
Tip: Root crops need space, do not overcrowd seedlings.
• If you have not already done so, harden off all cool season crops for transplanting out (see list of plants above).
Tip: How to harden off? Here is a video
• Plant your seed potato.
• Once your soil temperature reaches 50 F you can direct seed warm season crops. This group contains plants that prefer direct seeding: bush beans*, pole beans*, squash**, zucchini**, melon**, cucumber**, gourd**
* beans are legumes and benefit from being planted with legume inoculant, we have inoculant in stock. Send a note if you need a package.
**see below for more options
Tip: Always hold back some seed in case we have a late hard frost, you may need to reseed.
• Squash, zucchini, melon, cucumber and gourd can be seeded indoors now for a two week head start before transplanting out after the last frost. This group of plants is quite sensitive and resent any root shock. Do not allow them to become root bound in containers. Tip: Many people just direct seed these crops once their soil temperature reaches 50 F.
• Warm season crops started indoors in a soilless mix will need an application of a diluted fertilizer if they have more than two sets of true leaves. This includes seedlings that will not be planted out until the end of the month: tomato, tomatillo, eggplant and pepper.
Tip: Worm casting tea is a wonderful fertilizer. We have a fantastic local source of worm castings, contact Leon: firstname.lastname@example.org
The harvest has already begun. Check out your garden for volunteers (mustard, kale, chard, arugula, corn salad, cilantro, oregano, sage & lettuce). Additionally, it is time to start harvesting rhubarb stems and asparagus spears (not from first year plants).
Speaking of Rhubarb, we have some great recipes here