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Warm-weather vegetables

Warm-weather vegetables include beans, corn, cucumbers, pepper, potato, pumpkin, squash, tomato, and zucchini. Plant before the last frost-free day, in the latter part of May. They all like well-composted soil and lots of sun.

Warm-weather vegetables include beans, corn, cucumbers, pepper, potato, pumpkin, squash, tomato, and zucchini. Plant before the last frost-free day, in the latter part of May. They all like well-composted soil and lots of sun. In general root vegetables like some bone meal to grow larger root bulbs, and leafy vegetables like a nitrogen (blood meal) boost.  As soon as the plants are tall enough, mulch.

Beets are grown for their leaves and root bulb, which are both tasty and nutritious. Before planting, add bone meal (about a tablespoon every six inches along the row) and mix it into the soil. The seeds are tiny fruit with up to six seeds; plant them two inches apart and be prepared to thin early to four inches. As they mature, thin by picking every other and eat the leaves and the small root bulbs.

Beans add nitrogen to the soil.  Plant bush beans in rows 12 inches apart, every six inches. Space pole beans six inches apart as well. The yield of pole beans is three times that of bush beans, provided you grow them up on seven-foot trellises. Slugs like beans.  Go out in the early morning or after dark and pick them off with a spoon into a can and add boiling water. Or apply Slug B Gon along the row.

In our variable climate, corn often does not get enough hot days to produce the cobs. Therefore, I plant corn in early May and cover in case of frost. Usually, I can get a good crop two years out of three.  Corn likes nitrogen; add some blood meal to the soil before planting.

The best way to grow cucumbers is to grow them up a trellis.  When they get to the top of the trellis, snip the top off and let them bush out. Plant two seeds every 12 inches and remove the weakest. To get them to climb the trellis, tie the vines to the trellis.

Peppers like hot sun. They grow well in a container. Start as seedlings. When transplanting, mix a handful of egg shells and bone meal into the transplanting hole, water and plop it into the hole.  Keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Potatoes like a soil with a pH between five to six. You may have to add some elemental sulphur to bring the pH down. Potatoes are planted from seed potatoes. Do not use store-bought potatoes, as they have been sprayed with a growth suppressant. Make sure there are three eyes in each one you plant. Cut the large seed potatoes, ensuring each part has three eyes. Plant in rows 18 inches apart, spaced 12 inches along the row. Be prepared to hill the potatoes to cover the tubers and prevent them from turning green.  Green potatoes are poisonous. 

Before planting pumpkin, squash, zucchini, and tomato, insert a large tin with the bottom removed and the top at ground level where you plan to plant each squash or tomato. Form small mounds spaced four feet apart for the squash, plant three seeds in each mound and after germination, remove the weakest. Leave lots of room for pumpkin, spaghetti, or butternut squash as they are vines and need lots of space.

Zucchini and Golden Nugget are bush types and need at least four feet of room each. Two zucchini and three Golden Nugget plants will provide all the produce you can eat.

Start tomatoes as seedlings, or buy them.  Do not buy seedlings that have started to flower or fruit. You want them to develop a strong root system first. Before transplanting, harden the seedlings off by placing them outside for up to four days before transplanting.  Bring them in each day.  To transplant, start by placing large tin cans with the bottom removed at an 18-inch spacing for indeterminate or vine-type plants and 24 inches for determinate or bush tomatoes. Then dig a hole and mix some bone meal and pulverised egg shell, water, turn the pot upside down, give it a smack, and gently insert the plant in the hole.  Water to move the loose soil around the roots. Provide a vertical trellis or pole to allow to the indeterminates to climb up. Use a tomato cage to contain the determinate plant.  Eight tomato plants should provide enough tomatoes to eat fresh or frozen.

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