If you’re giving it a go this year with a vegetable garden, then it’s just about the time to start seeing and harvesting the fruits of your labor. The warm-season edible garden may be a bit more challenging here in Dallas than its cool-season counterpart, but it’s easy to see why we’re tempted. When you prep your soil and time your crops properly, and the weather cooperates as it has this spring, the payoff is well worth the effort.
If you planted tomatoes, you should be starting to harvest the small-fruited cherry types now. Larger slicers will start to color up here in the next week or so. Peaches and plums are beginning to ripen, and if you carefully carted your citrus in and out of the garage all winter, you should have a good haul coming on. Cucumber, squash, and beans are all almost ready to start harvesting. Once you see potato plants flowering, that means young potatoes are developing underground. Peppers, eggplant, and okra planted in the spring will fruit a little later, as they require warmer soil temperatures. Local garden centers should have plenty of veggie and herb transplants ready to be planted immediately. Now is also the time to direct seed squash, beans, melons, cucumbers, peppers, okra, and tomatoes into the garden.
Tip: When your warm season crops—think tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers and the like—begin to develop young fruit, that’s the time to start a regular fertilization regimen. A bi-weekly side-dressing with a granular fertilizer or weekly feedings with a liquid feed is good practice. But be wary —too much fertilizer before the fruit develops will result in a lot of foliage, but not much fruit.