1. PLANT corn, squash, cucumber, and melon seeds when the soil
temperature is at least 65 degrees. (Measure soil temperature with a
soil thermometer.) This is usually late May. For a 2 month harvest of
sweet corn, plant early, mid-season, and late-season varieties. Make 2
plantings of each variety 2 weeks apart (also beans and hot weather
2. Except for the preceding seeds, PLANT just about everything else
outdoors after May 10 when there is little danger of frost...
sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, gladiolus corms, canna rhizomes, and
tuberous begonia tubers, etc. Cool soil helps carrot, lettuce, and
parsley seeds sprout. Hill up the soil around carrots and potatoes when
they are 2-3 inches high.
3. Be careful about working soil in the garden. If it is too wet, it
will dry in large, hard clumps and ruin the soil texture. Test the soil
by squeezing a handful. Then try pushing a finger into it. If it stays
in a lump like modeling clay, it is too wet. If it crumbles, it is ready
to dig. Dig new flower beds and gardens when the weather and soil
4. ALL PLANTS ARE GROWING RAPIDLY. Pull weeds before they take over.
Feed vegetables and ornamentals with organic fertilizer.
5. HARDEN OFF newly purchased seedlings or those started indoors
before planting them outdoors. A week before planting, leave them
outside for a couple of hours on the first day. Gradually increase the
time they are exposed to the sun, wind, and cool temperatures. Leave
them outside a few nights as long as temperatures are above 40 degrees.
Hardening off is not necessary if you purchase plants from Everdina -
she sells her plants hardened off. Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers may
need protection with hotcaps on cool nights.
6. Install PLANT SUPPORTS while plants are still young.
7. Keep any newly planted TREES AND SHRUBS well watered. Prune
suckers off crabapples and other fruit trees, white poplars,
chokecherry, lilacs, and American lindens. Suckers can be dug up to make
new plants. However, suckers from grafted plants, which include most
fruit trees, will not be identical to the parent plant.
8. Pinch MUMS (chrysanthemums) until July 4 for bushier plants with
more flowers. Remove flowers on any STRAWBERRIES planted this year. This
diverts energy into root development which is good for production later
9. Reseed bare patches in your LAWN. Keep them watered. Mow lawns to
a height of about 2 inches. Leave clippings right on the lawn. If you
must remove them, they make good mulch for flower and vegetable gardens,
provided you have an organic lawn.
10. INDOOR PLANTS should be fertilized once a month with a soluble
organic fertilizer like fish emulsion or liquid seaweed. Constant
watering result in many nutrients being washed out of the soil.
11. Do not remove FOLIAGE FROM DAFFODILS, TULIPS, OR OTHER BULBS
until it has turned completely brown and pulls off easily. The foliage
is needed to nourish the bulbs. If tulips have been in the ground 2-3
years, and are leggy or blooming poorly, dig them up and discard. Tulips
last only a few years.
12. EASTER LILY plants can be planted about 4 inches deep in a sunny
spot. They should bloom again in July. Mulch in the fall. Digging up the
bulbs in the fall and keeping them in a cool dry place is a better way
to ensure you will have Easter lilies blooming again next year.
Organic Gardening Magazine, Almanac, p. 58. A Rodale Publication.
The Old Farmer’s 2002 Almanac, pp. 56 and 76. Yankee Publishing