With the unofficial first weekend of Summer behind us, it’s time to “dig in” to one of the season’s most popular pastimes: gardening!
Millions of Americans enjoy hobby gardening, whether planting a single pot of tomatoes, or cultivating raised beds and containers full of beautiful blooms and verdant veggies. A resurgence in the interest in raising one’s own crops has resulted in a variety of options for smaller living spaces – which means everyone can enjoy a sun-kissed tomato straight from the garden.
The first full week in June is National Gardening Week, marking the perfect time to set out some of the most popular seedlings and young plants in the “7b” planting zone, where all of Windsong’s communities are located.
Make sure pots are of adequate size for what you’re planting, and pay attention to the space the plants will require as they grow. Three tomato plants in a single pot may look scrawny today, but they’ll grow quickly and crowd each other out, resulting in poor fruit yields. And be sure to pay attention to which plants prefer direct sun or part-shade, “damp feet” or dry soil between soakings, and what kinds of support structures they may need – such as tomato cages or strings/fences for beans and peas – to keep the limbs from breaking under the weight of the fruit.
Once you’ve prepared your soil and/or prepared your pots, it’s time to visit the garden store for your new additions. In June, look for young plants with sturdy stems and vibrant leaves (no yellow leaves, brown spots, or white bugs on the undersides of leaves, all of which are indicative of struggling plants).
Right now is the perfect time to set out beans, cucumbers, peppers, squash, tomatoes, melon/watermelon, okra, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, and sweet potato. Harvest will take place in just a few weeks, depending upon the age and variety of your vegetables.