What Vegetables to Plant Next by Byron Chitwood.
By now, all the cool weather crops that should be planted in late winter and early spring should be in the ground and maybe some of them are being harvested and enjoyed. We are right in the middle of the time to plant vegetables that would be killed by a late frost. Mid March is about the average date of the last killing frost.
One of these can always occur a little later but now is the time for planting if you want to realize maximum production. Ones that can be safely planted after mid March are beans of all kinds including green beans, limas, and pintos. Other’s that can be planted this early are corn, cucumber, eggplants, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes. Watermelons and cantaloupes can also be planted since they are in the same family as squash but there is still plenty of time to plant these two. They can be planted up until about May 1.
Green beans are one of the all time favorites. Even kids love them when they will eat very few other vegetables. The Master Gardeners of Hunt County ran a test to determine the most productive variety of green beans in the Heritage Garden. Contenders came out way ahead of the second best. However, if you prefer another variety over Contenders, plant your favorite. Measure the soil temperature before planting green beans. If the temperature is much below 60 degrees wait a few days before planting because they will not germinate very cool ground.
One of the guides for planting that contains information on planting by temperature can be obtained at the AgriLife building at 2217 Washington Street or you can Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . I will send a copy back to you by email and you can file it and also print a copy for future reference. To save space, use trellising for those plants that can be trained to climb such as cucumbers or can be trimmed and tied to a stake such as tomatoes. If your garden is relatively small or you have some older seeds that need used up, my Grandmother used a trick that insured a well planted garden without large spacing due to non germination of seeds. She would plant two seeds very close together and then use a normal spacing followed by another two seeds close like the previously mentioned ones. After the seeds germinated and the plants were a couple of inches tall, she would thin the plants out by cutting the excess ones.
Vegetables that can be planted after March 1 until mid May are Okra, Southern or Field Peas, Peppers of all varieties, Watermelons and Cantaloupes. These crops like to be planted in soil temperatures that are from 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds planted in the temperature ranges that are recommended will do better in the long run over those that are planted in too cold or hot soil.
Hunt County Master Gardener, Pat Abramson will give an excellent program, “The World of Herbs” at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center on April 21. Be sure and come see this program. The topics covered will be on the growing, harvesting and culinary cooking with herbs. Your knowledge of gardening will be greatly increased if you are well versed in herbs as well as vegetables.