Planting Warm-Season Vegetables

Martha Stewart
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It was a very long and cold winter here in the Northeast, and spring had an unusually late start. Finally, the soil feels consistently warm enough to start transplanting the warm-season vegetables into the garden.

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Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, cucumber, sweet potato, summer and winter squash, and melons, will not tolerate frost. For this reason, they are planted outdoors only after the last chance of frost has passed and the nighttime temperatures remain above 50° F.

I started my warm-season crops from seed, sowing them indoors back in March, and they are now large and healthy plants ready for planting outdoors.

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Summer vegetables are grown primarily for their fruits, rather than leaves or roots, and many will continue producing throughout the season, so harvest them regularly to encourage more fruit production.

I like to feed my plants with a balanced organic fertilizer or well-rotted compost, as they are heavy feeders. And remember, all summer vegetables will do best if grown in full sun.

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If you’re new to gardening, summer vegetables in a small garden plot can be a great way to get started. Try growing them in containers on your patio.

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