Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

New England

May, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Vegetables

No use holding back any longer. Almost all vegetables can be planted now, including tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce, squash, and cucumbers. In colder areas you may want to wait until early June to plant watermelon, okra, and eggplant, when the air and soil are a little warmer.

Keep Seedlings Watered

Young seedlings just sprouting such as lettuce, beets, and carrots need a consistent supply of water now so they don't dry out and die. Once germination starts, it can't be stopped, so if the weather turns warm and dry, water these seeded beds every day.

Cage Tomatoes

Tomatoes produce and grow best when staked or caged to keep the plants off the ground. Place these supports when you put transplants into the ground so you don\'t disturb the root systems by installing them later. If you\'re staking, you\'ll have to prune off suckers and prevent the plants from getting too bushy. Caged plants can grow freely, but use large cages made from concrete-reinforcing wire to support them; small cages with flimsy wire tend to topple over in the wind.

Use Care with Weed Whackers

If you\'re using a weed whacker or string trimmer to trim around trees, be careful not to damage the tree bark. Repeatedly striking tree bark with weed whacker strings opens the tree to infection. Mulch around trees so you don\'t have to trim close to the trunk, or place tree guards on the trunks.

Water Lawns

The grass is growing strong, but with scant rainfall in many areas, watering may be critical to your lawn's health. The rule is to water infrequently and deeply. Try to water long enough to allow moisture to penetrate about 1 foot deep into the soil. This will promote deeper root growth and reduce chances of the lawn browning this summer if it stays dry.


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