Hands in the Dirt: MLT Gardening Tips for May 2021 – MLT News

Gardening Mag

Hands in the Dirt: MLT Gardening Tips for May 2021 – MLT News

We’re in for a rollercoaster of May weather this week, with rain, heat and maybe even lightning! I plan to nip outside between storms to tend my young plants.

Mother’s Day is the “all clear” to plant most things in our area. The 50°F low mark is the signal to transplant tomatoes and direct sow warm-season crops like beans, squash (including pumpkin and zucchini), cucumbers and corn. 2020 was generally a bad year for cucumbers, so I’m a bit leery of planting them so soon. Squash and cucumbers typically don’t like to have their roots disturbed but I am determined to have a bumper crop of cucumbers in 2021. I’m going to break all the rules and start a few cucumber seeds inside, with the remains of the seed packet on reserve to replant as necessary through June. Overkill? Maybe – but my refrigerator pickle dreams will come true in August.

If you are more into started plants than seeds, they’re starting to pop up for sale everywhere! In addition to the usual places like nurseries and hardware stores, grocery stores often have herb and vegetable starts sitting out front with the flowers, and farm stands like Country Farms Market and the Yakima Fruit Market have excellent selections. Ambitious young gardeners are even setting up roadside plant stands instead of the traditional lemonade stands!

One tip for buying started plants – they
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