Good Gardening: Replanting

May 4, 2015

Credit John Fischer

  A lot of you have already put in your vegetable gardens.  A few sunny warm days often causes an outbreak of planting fever.  But for some crops it's still to early to plant, and for others you'll need to replant several times during the season to keep a good harvest coming.
  Melons, cucumbers, basil, and most squash need warm soil to live long and prosper.  Put them in too early- either as starts or seeds, and the plants will struggle all season.  Wait until late May, and you basil will be knee high by the 4th of July.
  Sweet corn picked while the water is already boiling, shucked as you walk back to the house, and cooked for 2 minutes is a pleasure only a home gardener can enjoy.  Plant corn four times a year, and your harvest will be 50 ears a month July- October instead of 200 ears all picked in August.  I always plant my last corn crop in mid July.
  Perhaps the penultimate garden treat is the summertime BLT.  But if all your L is gone before any of your T's are ready, even the best B in the world will still leave you with a lowly BT.
  The solution?  Keep planting L (aka lettuce) all through the summer.  By August, you'll want to find a shaded part of the vegetable patch, plant on a cool day, keep the area well watered, and use a warm weather lettuce variety like Oakleaf.
   Keep your harvests of all vegetables spread out by doing repeat plantings, and sometime in mid August you'll be able to utter every gardeners favorite phrase.  " Please pass the Mayo."

Credit John Fischer