As regular readers know, our Grand Canyon adventure resulted in a lot of dead garden at our house. I could sit and weep among the remains of spring’s hopeful planting, or I can re-plant. I prefer re-planting. That means calculating days and figuring out what can germinate, grow, and be harvested before frost.
One of the biggest limitations for gardening is germination temperatures. Certain seeds will not germinate in soils warmer than about 70 degrees, while other seeds can’t germinate below those temperatures but prefer temperatures at closer to 80 degrees F. Very few vegetable seeds like to wake up in the sauna that is our Arkansas summers, but you can coax a few along with a little soaking and extra care.
Next, consider how much growing time you have before first frost or, more importantly, first regular frosts. We’ve got, believe it or not, almost 90 days left. That means I can select almost every summer squash out there, cucumbers, pole and bush beans, okra, some melons, and a few winter squashes.
Finally, what do you have the energy to put in in the heat? Frankly, it’s pushing 100 degrees here and “feels” 103-107 degrees F thanks to the humidity. I can work for a few hours but more could lead to heat stroke.
So far, my pre-soak method has gotten squash ands butter peas to emerge from the soil two days after I planted them. I didn’t pre-sprout basil, but that too has come up with lots of water and loving care, along with some volunteer radishes. My pole beans, however, have not cooperated, so my bean teepees may be cucumber teepees this year.
Believe it or not, I still plan to put out a little winter squash. I hope to keep the vines in check so I can cover them with veggie tunnels as the temperatures drop. I’ll also plant okra and cucumbers, using the seed-soaking and pre-germination method I mentioned earlier. And my tomatoes look great!
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