By Jannie Vaugh
Beans, snap, and lima. Cantaloupe, Swiss Chard, Collards seeds or transplants, cucumber, eggplant, greens cool season, Okra first of April, mustard to end of March, April peas English and snap through July, peas southern now through the end of May. Peppers transplants now through May, Sweet potato slips now through the end of June. Summer squash now to the second week of May, winter squash now through the end of July. Tomato transplants now through April. Watermelon in April. Some of these are able to do a second planting with long growing times. When they stop producing, they can be removed to the chicken yard then compost and the soil revived with compost and plant again. For example, corn can be planted now and the second crop mid-July to August. Cucumber also. I find cucumbers here in zone 8a do very well planted direct in soil but starts are used for early fruiting. I like to grow them on a cattle panel trellis. Chicken wire will work also, use what you have. Make a ditch on each side of the panel for your rows. add compost and some equivalent fertilizer organic 10 10 10, a handful per every foot of Azymite or minerals. Mix the soil well and plant the seeds according to the spacing on the label. They will grow right up the cattle panel trellis.
Using a liquid fertilizer with the label listing the NPK. Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium. I dilute and feed weekly with a bucket drench down the row. If you find them getting big or yellow, they will often be bitter. I pull and start again. Plant for what you are wanting. Salad or pickling. I have also grown cantaloupe on the trellis to have more ground space. I will make a cradle with netting or burlap and tie them to the panel. Yesterday I planted Silver Queen sweet corn; I planted a Three Sisters Cherokee style corn plot. Along the side, I planted purple hull peas which are a bush variety, and in between, I planted some hills of Red Kuri squash. I have planted vining-type beans before but found they bent the corn stalk as they grew up them so now, I use a nitrogen-fixing bean, legumes such as the purple hull or black eye pea. Using the cattle panel trellis often will need adequate space between the rows as the plants will take up space and you will need to be able to get between the rows of the trellising at harvesting.
Of course, you can grow in the ground with no trellis and let them sprawl on the ground. I always need more room and find growing UP keeps the plants healthy and I have more space and can tend to them better. Yes, it is still a little cool at night, and by next week the home-started tomatoes will be in the ground. At the time of planting, I put 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Tone organic fertilizer in the planting hole and mix it up. I put in the stake or cage at the time of planting and plant them deep and trim all lower leaves that touch the soil. I use soaker tape exclusively for tomatoes as they will get fungal issues when water splashes in the leaves. Problems with cucumbers are lack of pollinators the cucumber or squash will be misshaped or brown and not developed, that is no pollination. To pollinate the male and female flowers. Males have no cucumber behind the flower the female has a tiny cucumber behind the flower Squash also. Take a male flower and touch it gently to the center of the female flower or use a soft small brush or Q-tip and pollinate the same way.
Spring garden is finally here!
Growing Green With Jannie