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Essential Gardening Tips for Your May Edible Plant Sale Haul

You’ve stocked up on tomatoes, peppers, herbs and more at the May Edible Plant Sale — now it’s time to get those babies in the ground for a bountiful harvest!

Whether you’re growing in traditional garden beds or containers, following some key tips will help ensure your new edible plants thrive after making the transition from plant sale to garden. From properly hardening them off to encouraging pollinators, paying attention to a few simple gardening practices can set your plants up for success. Let’s dig into some essential veggie gardening tips to make the most of your May Edible Plant Sale purchases.

Harden-off all plants before planting them.

Help ease the transition from the greenhouse to your garden and prevent transplant shock, which slows growth. Here’s how:

  • Put plants outside during the day, away from direct afternoon sun. If practical, increase time outside by a few hours each day for about a week.
  • Bring plants into a cool, protected place at night.
  • Plants can be transplanted into your garden after 1-2 weeks. Wait until mid-May for crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers and corn. Wait until June for basil.
  • Use special protection like a cold frame or cloche if planting hot crops and night temperatures are still dipping below 50 F.
  • Minimum soil temperatures of 60F are best for success of warm weather crops.

Grow vegetables in containers!

Containers are useful for growing herbs, edible flowers, greens and even hot season crops like peppers or determinate tomatoes. Use a premium potting soil, which provides good drainage (not garden soil, topsoil or straight compost).

Water your garden in the morning.

Watering in the morning conserves water loss and gives the soil a chance to warm up during the day. Water at base of your plants to safeguard against disease.

Support pollinators!

Interplant herbs and flowers among your veggies to get the most benefit from pollinators and other beneficial insects. By supporting their health, you increase crop production and reduce pest problems.

Consult our Garden Guide or Take a Class

Looking for month-by-month advice in the garden? Consult Tilth Alliance’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide or Your Farm in the City. Learn even more by taking one of our classes.