The start of summer is always a busy time – full of traveling and family events. Life can get a bit hectic. And when there is finally time to sit down and enjoy the warm weather, the inspiration to start a garden hits. But it’s already the middle of June; is it too late? No! Even if the garden center vegetables look taller and may have fruit already, they can still perform great and provide a bountiful harvest.
There are simple steps to take for the last-minute green thumbs to help navigate a late-planted garden:
Plant Tall Tomatoes Deep: Help lanky, tall tomatoes by planting them deeper into the soil. This creates a sturdier plant by encouraging roots to form along the stem that is now buried. Pinch off the lower leaves of the vegetable and bury the plant so that only a few sets of top leaves are showing above the ground. This will give you a shorter plant with a healthy root system.
Encourage Branching Through Spacing: A tall, spindly tomato or pepper can really benefit from wide plant spacing. Once they are removed from the close quarters on the garden center shelves, they will have room to branch naturally. Make sure to follow the tag’s instructions to give each plant adequate room to grow.
Fertilize: Fertilizing a newly transplanted vegetable can help establish it into a new environment. Early on in your planting, encourage growth and development through a water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer to give your late planting the kick-start it needs to catch up. Once the plant starts to fruit, stop fertilizing and enjoy your harvest.
Buy With Fruit On: Finding fruit on a vegetable at the garden center can be exciting! The plant is already on its way to providing fresh veggies, great! However, if a vegetable plant is purchased in a pot smaller than a gallon size, take off the fruit. Let the plant focus on growing strong and sturdy instead of putting energy into flowers. Don’t worry: More fruit will be on its way!
Even the last-minute green thumbs can have a successful garden harvest with these simple steps. Take that summer garden inspiration and run with it. Know what to look for and get started, a successful garden harvest is right around the corner!