Time to Plant!

ChiloquinNews article 6/6/2011

We haven’t been having much sunny weather lately but overcast skies make for a great time to plant, especially if it is followed up by some rain. The cloudy nights have kept the temperature above freezing for a few days now and it would be wonderful if it kept on that way, but it IS still June and could freeze hard on any night. With that in mind, plant, but choose carefully just what it is that you plant.

This is the perfect time to transplant seedlings. Every year I have seedlings coming up in places where I’d rather not have them (like in the path or the veggie bed) but I can’t stand to just weed them out, so I transplant them. Getting dug up and moved is quite traumatic for the seedling. Try not to damage the roots at all, keep them in a shady place, preferably in a damp container until they are planted. Once in their new home, water immediately, even if rain is forecast for later. It only takes a few minutes for those fine roots to dry out and die. If you can’t decide where to put them, they can go into pots while you think about it, but don’t wait until the weather warms up to do it – do it now. Moving seedlings in warm, sunny weather is not nearly as successful as in cool, cloudy weather.

As far as veggies go, all of the cool season crops should be in now. All the seeds I planted have germinated, and the weather has really helped with that, because there’s been no baking sun to dry out the seeds. I did have to sprinkle slug pellets though because those slimy nuisances enjoy the overcast too. If you haven’t planted yours yet, get them in right away. Cool season veggies are peas, onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, radish, beets, broad beans, cabbage, broccoli, kale.

I’ve planted two warm season crops – bush beans and potatoes – but only because they are blanketed with floating row cover in case of a freeze. I’m not prepared to gamble on tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn or squash yet.

If you have bought hardy flowering plants or shrubs and they are in pots, get them in the ground now too, but if they are tender, like marigolds and petunias, better wait.

Happy planting….

The foxglove (top) transplanted easily, while the poppy (bottom) still looks a little wilted.

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