May is the month when the vegetable garden begins to look more and more like the summer garden. By the end of May, the threat of late frosts should diminish and tender crops can begin to go into the garden without worry. Crops started indoors should be hardened off before they are planted.
During May you can:
• Continue succession sowings of hardy vegetables.
• Sow tender vegetables.
• Set out tender vegetables started indoors.
• Sow or set out tender herbs after the last frost.
• Water as necessary.
• Take steps to keep pests out of the garden.
A bumper tomato crop comes with early season planning. Getting tomatoes off to a strong start will almost guarantee a great yield next summer. There are 10 easy steps to an outstanding tomato harvest: (1) Start at the right time; (2) Start seeds indoors; (3) Grow on seedlings in the right-sized pots; (4) Set transplants in the garden at the right time; (5) Grow tomatoes in the best soil…..Continue reading>>>
Some tomato varieties are sweeter than others. They naturally develop more sugars which means they will be sweeter than tomatoes that naturally develop more acids. The combination of sugars and acids—there are more than 400 naturally occurring compounds that account for tomato flavor– makes for what is often called “old-fashioned tomato flavor.” Continue reading>>>
Early-season tomatoes are the best choice for regions where the growing season is short or where the gardener wants to have more than one tomato harvest in a season. In cold regions, the early-season tomato may be the main crop for the season, but in warm regions an early-season tomato can be planted early in spring or late in summer–as successions to the main-season tomato crop. Continue reading>>>
To get a bumper crop from your pepper plants, you must dedicate yourself to helping the plants thrive. Pepper plants are more temperamental than tomatoes—they demand warm temperatures, even soil moisture, feeding, and support—literally. Continue reading>>>
Space must be conserved in every possible way in a small vegetable garden. Here are five tips for getting the most out of a small garden: 1. Vertical growing. Garden vertically as much as you can. 2. Dwarf and miniature varieties. Use dwarf instead of full-size vegetable varieties. 3. Intercropping and companion planting. Plan your vegetable plantings with intercrops or companion plants. 4. Wide-row intensive planting. Wide-row intensive planting can double or triple your garden’s yield. 5. Rotation or succession sowing. Rotation or succession sowing is using the same space two or three times over, during the garden’s growing season. Continue reading>>>
Herbs for cooking are plants whose leaves, seeds, fruits, flowers or other parts are used fresh or dried for flavoring food. (A spice–broadly speaking–denotes a flavoring derived from the seed, fruit, bark or other part of a plant grown in warm, tropical regions.) A “potherb” is a plant you cook in a pot. Herbs generally grow well with little care. Plant herbs in good loose soil. A sunny spot close to your kitchen is important. Plant perennial herbs in a part of the garden set apart from annuals; they will grow there for three or more years. Continue reading>>>
Chinese vegetables, sometimes called Oriental vegetables, favored in Chinese and Asian cooking are easy to grow. They are tasty, vigorous, and highly adaptable. Most are fast growing and suitable for small gardens and containers. Read on to learn about these Chinese crops for summer growing: Amaranth, Adzuki beans, Mung bean, Yard-long bean, Cilantro, Daylily, Chinese eggplant, Ginger, Bitter melon, Hot pepper, Taro. Continue reading>>>
Blueberries on cereal. Blueberries with cream and sugar. Blueberries on vanilla ice cream. A handful of blueberries. Blueberries are native to North America. However, variations on the blueberry—the bilberry, is the chief example—grow in Europe and Asia. In all, there are nearly 150 varieties of blueberry and bilberry although not all of them are edible. When it comes to fresh picking and eating, there are about 30 varieties of blueberry worthy of your attention. These can be divided into three categories: the lowbush, the highbush and the rabbiteye. Continue reading>>>
Here’s how to make fresh salsa: Core and cut two medium ripe tomatoes, add one clove of garlic minced, add half a white or red onion diced, add a jalapeno, Serrano, or green or red bell pepper chopped fine, add leaves of cilantro, basil, or parsley chopped, add juice of half a lime, mix gently, and salt to taste. Here’s how to grow fresh salsa: Tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and basil require warm soil and air temperatures for best growth. Plant these when night temperatures average 60°F or warmer. Continue reading>>>