This time of year is always so exciting, for the urban farmer or gardener it feels a little like Christmas. The trees are pushing out a new set of leaves and blooms, the green is returning to the landscape, and of course who could miss the beautiful Texas wildflowers, from the pink primrose buttercup to the noble and highly respected bluebonnet. With all of this activity, a farmer can’t help but catch the season’s energy, if not some sniffles from all the blooms, and get some new crops in the ground.
Here are the plants you can establish right now to make sure your farm or garden is productive well into summer.
From a start (baby veggie plant):
Tomatoes: Can last all summer if properly fed, but be sure to use a slow release nitrogen fertilizer to keep the plump red tomatoes coming all season long. I often bury old fish heads under my tomatoes to ensure good nutrition throughout the season.
Chard: Also known as the veggie that keeps on giving. Establish before the heat of summer and enjoy harvests all season long.
Eggplant: Produces large bushes that produce until the first frost.
Kale, Tomatillo, Collard Greens, Onions
Carrots, Arugula, Summer Squash, Cucumber, Melons, Green Beans, Peas, Radish
Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Sage
Basil: My favorite herb. Big, bright, green leaves make for a delicious pesto or a great accent to your salad or sandwich. Pick off flowers to prolong the plant’s output. When the summer season is drawing to a close, let the plant flower and go to seed to ensure a great basil harvest next year!
Be sure to work in some fresh compost before planting. Also, put 1 to 2 oz of organic fertilizer beneath the root ball of each plant to ensure a healthy crop and a long productive season!