Plant Warm Season Crops Now by Byron Chitwood.
Maybe not right now, depending on when this article appears in your local newspaper but from March 17 through the last of April is the time to plant the last vegetables for the spring season. If you started early, broccoli, cabbages, onions, potatoes, garlic, beets, etc. should be sprouted and starting to look like you didn’t have a crop failure after all. You still have a few days left to plant the really early crops such as beets, chard and collards and if you don’t have the first six vegetables mentioned above planted, get them into the ground as soon as possible.
One of the favorites to plant is green beans. The master gardeners ran a test a few years ago to determine which variety produced the best in our soil. The winner was the Contender variety. As a matter of fact it wasn’t even a contest. If you have a fairly large garden, plant about a third of your planned green beans about March 17th .Then, plant another third when the first planting sprouts in about ten days. Make the final planting in another ten days. Even a few plants per planting will produce enough green beans to satisfy your craving for garden fresh green beans.
Set up a trellis for cucumbers and be ready to plant them from March 20 through May 1. Trellises are a great way to grow cucumbers when space is limited. It also keeps most of the fruits off the ground and away from some insects and soil borne diseases. If you are one who likes to make pickles, plant some variety that is recommended for pickling and another for table fare. Be sure and have some dill planted for making dill pickles. The varieties for table fare are ones such as straight 8 and some of the long English cucumbers. Nothing beats sliced cucumbers and fresh garden onions in a bath of vinegar, cold water seasoned with salt, pepper and chopped fresh dill.
Squash can be safely planted between March 20 and April 15. Plant a few “hills” each of zucchini, yellow and white squash. Any one of these is delicious when steamed or stir fried along with sweet basil or chopped dill for seasoning.
About the first of April, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants can be safely planted. Plant a large variety of tomatoes since some will do better than others. The small and medium varieties are recommended for our area. There are thirty five or more diseases that attack tomatoes so more varieties planted will insure production from these various diseases.
For a copy of “PLANTING BY SOIL TEMPERATURE, DEPTH AND DATES” visit the AgriLife Extension office at 2217 Washington Street in Greenville or email me at: Chitwood@geusnet.com. And for more gardening information and events, see our website at https://huntcountymastergardeners.org