Sunday, May 12, 2013

Its Time for the Heat Lovers

Here it is almost the middle of May and once we get passed this patch of rainy weather it will be time to get our heat loving crops in the ground. Start to plan your garden and add vegetables such as beans, squash and  pumpkins. They can go in any time after May 15. Be sure to harden off your plants to prevent shock when setting them out. No one likes to go outside from a 25C greenhouse to a 10C garden overnight. Place your new plants outside for a few days giving them a bit more sunlight each day. If in doubt when buying new plants, ask your garden center staff if they have been hardened off.


Towards the end of May, plants such as cucumbers, peppers, basil and corn can be started as long as the weather is consistently warm. I don't recommend planting Basil until the first week of June. It just doesn't handle the cold nights. Planting too early just sets your plants back.


 Don't forget that when planting corn the soil needs to be around 15C for the seed to germinate well. Be sure to plant corn in blocks to get good pollination. The more corn the better your results will be. Corn takes a lot of nitrogen from the soil so you should follow it with a legume to add nutrients back.


All your cool season crops should be well on their way if you planted last month. Salad crops such as lettuce, radishes, spinach, peas, broad beans, kohlrabi, cabbage and leeks should be in. Carrots that went in last month should have a layer of Reemay fabric over top to help prevent damage from the carrot rust fly.


Lately the cabbage moth has enjoyed visiting the garden. She loves your Brassica crops such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi and cauliflower. Using Reemay to protect your plants really helps. It prevents pesky insects from laying eggs on your plants. Adding a loose layer of Reemay allows plants to grow and water and light to get through.


If you are using a support system for your veggies such as peas and beans please remember to anchor them to the sides of your bed. We often have more wind than expected at the garden and we are responsible for public safety. If you see that your support was fixed, it was most likely by me.
We are happy to announce that all our allotments are full for this season. Lets hope we have an abundant harvest!