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Oh, the wonderful color and billowing foliage! The rains and the warmth have literally blossomed beautifully! A week means another foot taller and more fully-developed foliage, and blooms rising above the greenery. My oceans of nasturtiums are like waves of color with each breeze. Peaches are the size of quarters and need hurried thinning of crowded ones. Boysenberries are blossoming and set with dimesize green fruits. First “brebra” figs are set on last-year’s brown wood.
I’ve even let tomato blossoms set on plants that are now two feet tall, knowing that they’re firmly established after transplanting a month ago and capable of both growing and producing fruits. If I’d let them set their blossoms earlier, I’d be concerned that I was forcing the plant to expend its energy developing the fruit instead of establishing itself well into its new home and developing an extensive root system.
New tomato plants that I’ll still purchase over the next couple of weeks, I’ll plant deeply (up to their very topknot of three leaves) to foster more roots, create a watering berm a foot away from the stem as basins to direct irrigation water downward, and water deeply for two weeks to get the roots to “learn” to grow deeply into the soil “chasing” the gravity-directed water.
On those newly-planted tomatoes, I’ll pluck off all blossoms and any fruit for at least a month, until the plants are at least two feet tall. Then, I’ll let them set their blossoms and fruit because I know that they’ve developed excellent root systems and are absorbing all the great nutrition from the manure- and compost-enriched soil.
Starting Summer Seeds
The coming week, with its mid-60s air temperatures, is perfect for transplanting and for starting seeds.
Now that soil temperatures are warmer, summer veggies to plant the seeds include beans, cucumbers, and squash. These all produce a lot of food for the amount of space they take in the garden, especially when they're grown up on trellises. There are many varieties of each to try to see which you prefer, so plant a few at a time every three weeks so you’ll have a continuous but not overwhelming supply – unless you want to preserve them, of course, which means you’ll prefer harvesting a lot all at once.
Also be sure to plant edibles that take a long time to mature, like pumpkins and melons, which will also take a lot of water to develop fully, and space to “run”. But, with lots of manure and compost and mulch and specific watering techniques, all of these issues can be dealt with successfully.
More on those watering techniques later, especially on using 5-gallon nursery containers with holes in their bottoms!