Planting date - Knowledgebase Question

Bay City, MI
Question by nicholaskhei
May 23, 2012
I want to grow tomatoes, butternut squash, cucumbers, potatoes, green/red/yellow bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and banana peppers. Is it too late to plant these? I also wouldn't mind green onions as well as regular onions, but I have no idea where to begin.


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Answer from NGA
May 23, 2012

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We typically plant vegetables after the last frost date of the season, which in your gardenng region is generally May 31. I think it's safe to begin planting now. The warm season crops you mention can go into the ground between now and early June. Your average growing season is about 111 days so I'd suggest planting short season varieties of tomatoes and peppers so they have a chance to ripen before the first frost of the season.

If you've never grown vegetables before, you'll want to find the sunniest spot available for your veggie garden. Start by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the vegetable bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your veggies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular vegetable garden. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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