THERE IS NOTHING like a homegrown tomato. The very aroma of a juicy, plump, ripe tomato slice on a BLT sandwich typifies summer. It could easily be said for any homegrown vegetable – one grown in soil, nurtured by nature and the human hands that cultivated it. Vegetables can be easily grown in the home garden with a few tips.
Our climate is suited to grow some kind of vegetable every month of the year. For June, choose plants such as cucumbers, okra, eggplant, southern peas, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon, either as transplants from the garden store or directly sown from seed. In addition to plant proliferation in high temperatures and humidity, pests and diseases are also in abundance during the summer months. Vigilant pest and disease control will be essential.
For container grown crops, the mature plant size will determine what container size to utilize. Five gallon or larger containers help to retain water and appropriate fertilizer amounts. Anything smaller tends to lose necessary nutrients for proper growth.
Try growing a vegetable or two, or twenty. Because you personallly cared for and grew it, you may find a new fondness for a vegetable that you previsouly disliked.
Or perhaps, spend the month of June preparing a raised bed for a fall planting. Smothering weeds with plastic, old magazines/newspapers or cardboard takes about a month for complete eradication. Dig a depth of three inches or more to remove all roots or other vegetation within the desired area. Construct a border with concrete blocks or treated landscape material*. Fill the bed with a garden blend of media found at most garden centers or feed stores.
To find more helpful tips, visit lsuagcenter.com, “Louisiana Home Vegetable Gardening.”
*Treated wood manufactured after 2003 is completely safe for vegetable gardens. Pg 7, LSU AgCenter “Louisiana Home Vegetable Gardening.”