May 30th-June 5
Week of Last Frost. Typically.
Sowing & Transplanting
Once we reach this date and our soil temperatures have warmed to 60 F then we can safely direct seed warm season crops: corn, bean, cucumber, squash, zucchini, melon, and nasturtium. We have begun to develop a seed library at The O’Hara Commons as a benefit of membership. Stop in if you are looking for seed. Most of our offerings are locally grown by experienced seed collectors.
If you are transplanting warms season starts outside then remember to harden off (gradually introduce the starts to sun, wind, heat and cold). This process allows the plant to acclimate to the outside elements.
Be prepared to cover your tender starts in case of a late frost. Cooler nights might not kill tender plants, but the shock of the cool temperatures can dramatically slow down the growth of your plant. We will not be transplanting warm season starts until the first weekend of June (tomato, pepper, eggplant, etc.).
Harvesting & Watering
Mature asparagus patches (5+ years old) can be harvested for 6 to 8 weeks. Asparagus is a heavy feeder and will appreciate a side dressing of fertilizer or foliar spray of fish emulsion once or twice after harvest season is completed.
Garlic scapes are forming on hard-necked garlic. You can harvest once they begin to uncurl. They are delicious sautéed or as pesto. I like to use walnuts in my garlic scape pesto.
Rhubarb is mature at year three and a good guideline is to harvest no more than half the plant at each harvesting. Pull the stems by hand; do not cut them. Molly Hackett, of Dirty Fingernails, has a rule of thumb for cessation of rhubarb harvest: Fourth of July. The stalks get woody.
The strawberry harvest has begun! You should harvest from your strawberries every couple of days, taking only the fully ripe berries and making sure that you do not leave any remnants on the plant. Once strawberries begin fruit formation then it is a good idea to slightly increase water (from 1 inch a week to 1 ½ inches).
Raspberry flowers are open and it is time to make sure the plants are well watered as pollination occurs and fruit formation begins. Raspberries are amazing. The fruit is aggregated drupelets. If you observe the flower you will see about 125 pistils. For delicious fleshy raspberries at least 75 to 85 must be fully pollinated. Go visit your raspberry patch today and you will notice it is humming with both native bees and honeybees.
Pests & Disease
There are many pests and disease concerns this time of year. Some issues are cosmetic and others may be more serious. It is imperative that you identify the pest or disease before treatment. Missoula County has a great Pest Alert telephone line (406-258-3820). They update the recording once a week and Missoula County conditions are quite similar to our own. If you are having difficulties identifying issues then visit our local Extension Office (215 South 4th, Hamilton). Always take samples of pest or disease in a sealed container or ziplock bag.
It is time to prepare to treat codling moths. Because their emergence is based on temperature the date is variable. You want to have your supplies on hand. The least toxic option is spinosad (we have some in stock).