In The Garden | Week of May 16th

Asparagus on the table. Rhubarb in a pie. Fresh salad greens on the dinner plate. This is an exciting time of the season. Our last round of sowing is emerging and we are looking the average last frost date in the face.

As soils warm to 55 F then the gardener is free to direct seed corn, melon, cucumber, squash and zucchini. There is a bit of risk due to the potential of a late season frost. Gamble, but make sure you save a bit of seed for resowing.

Begin to harden off warm season crops like tomatoes, peppers but give your super tender eggplant another week of pampering.

Of herbs and flowers, there are many that can be sown directly now. Dill, cilantro, cosmos, nasturtium and sunflowers. Remember that we are 1-2 weeks before our average last frost. Your seed packages should have sowing dates printed on them.

Pests are beginning to show up. Aphids blister rust mites, leaf miners, leaf rollers, flea beetles and grasshoppers to name a few. Always take the time to properly identify your garden pests. Even the least toxic treatments can harm beneficial insects. Only treat pests that cause more than cosmetic damage, and time your applications to when beneficials are least active. Never rinse your equipment in ditches or ponds as many are lethal to aquatic invertebrates.

The Ravalli County Extension Office has staff to help you to identify your pest or disease. Take samples in sealed containers. We can also help you to identify issues and offer advice on least toxic solutions. Stop in Tuesday, Thursday or Saturdays from 10 AM until 3 PM. Or send an email: oharacommons@gmail.com

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