May is the beginning of the hot summer season in Texas. You have already planted most of what you will by now, and it is time to maintain what you have planted and is growing in your garden. Here are seven things you should do in your May garden.
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- Continue to plant hot weather crops like Beans, Peppers, Eggplant or Okra. This month is your last chance to plant Corn, Cucumber, Peas or Cantaloupe until the fall weather in August-September-October. However, if you do plant then, you are in a race to get your crop harvested by the first frost date.
- Lettuce, Spinach and other cool-season vegetables will begin going to seed. They won’t taste as good after this time, so if you aren’t going to use them for seeds, it is best to pull them out and plant something else in their spot.
- Water plants deeply and infrequently rather than shallowly and often. This encourages deep root growth, which will help the plant withstand the upcoming hot dry summer. However, water any new seedlings often, so they don’t dry out. Water in the morning, rather than during the day, to minimize evaporation loss.
- Fertilize growing crops. Side dress tomatoes at the first sign of fruit with a nitrogen fertilizer.
- Continue to weed and mulch areas deeply to suppress weeds and maintain soil moisture and coolness.
- Continue to pick peas and beans and other ripening crops. Check for newly forming cucumbers or melons.
- Watch for bad bugs and diseases. Control them at the first sign of damage. Bugs will be actively seeking out your vegetables, so do a bug patrol in the morning and evening, when they are easier to catch and dispose of. Be sure to check the underside of leaves for egg cases and larval stages of insects.
If you do these seven things now and through the summer, you will have a harvest you can be proud of come fall!
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