Summer Crops and Warm Soil

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We have enjoyed a nice cool spring this year, which has allowed us to enjoy spring crops and strawberries a little longer than normal. We never know what the weather is going to be like from one year to the next.

As it always does, the warm weather will get here and that means cool season crops like the cabbage, lettuce and others will begin to bolt or flower. This will signal the end of the growing season for these crops and the beginning of the season for the warm season vegetables. I usually notice as the temperatures warm, the garden peas begin to get powdery mildew on the lower leaves. They continue to produce flowers until it gets really hot, but production begins to slow down as the weather warms up.

I’m sure most people have already planted summer crops including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and melons. If you haven’t planted summer crops, now is the time to do that. The soil should be warm enough at this point so the roots of these crops won’t be stressed.

I’ve heard that people who talk to their plants every day have better looking plants. This is probably true. People who talk to their plants every day see when there is an insect or disease problem starting to happen and they usually take care of the issue before it becomes a major one. This keeps the plants looking better, growing better, and producing more. My advice would be if you are going to talk to your plants, make sure to look them over really well and give them compliments on how good they look. They’ll appreciate it when you care to and ask them about problem issues you may see, like droopy stems, wilted leaves, discoloration, or bitemarks.

Keeping a garden journal not only for the vegetable garden, but for all the plants in the yard could be the first step in noticing which plants need more attention and what time of the year the regular issues tend to happen. It may also help reduce any gardening stress from year to year!