As temperatures in the Atlanta area surpass record temperatures and fireworks pepper the sky, you are likely not thinking that it's an appropriate time of the year to dig in your garden.
However, it’s absolutely not too late to plant your favorite summer veggies. Crops like tomatoes, okra and cucumbers love the summer heat, and your garden will produce well into the fall by putting in a first or second planting of your favorite summer crops.
In our neck of the woods, it wouldn't be unusual to have fresh tomatoes and peppers to whip up a garden salsa at Halloween (or even Thanksgiving).
To start, prepare space in your current garden by harvesting the last of the spring veggies and taking out any plants on their last legs.
Or, if you don't have a garden, you can easily grow vegetables in containers on the deck or patio. Others have created raised beds around mailboxes or in current flower beds.
Next, amend the soil by mixing in some compost and organic fertilizer in the areas where you are planting.
Produce and herbs you can plant now (note- this is not a comprehensive list, but a sampling of the most popular varieties):
- Tomatoes (transplant)
- Beans (seed)
- Cucumbers (transplant)
- Eggplant (transplant
- Okra (seed or transplant)
- Peppers (transplant)
- Melons (seed or transplant)
- Squash (summer squashes like yellow zephyr and zucchini can still be planted by seed or transplant; all winter squashes, including pumpkin, should be planted).
You can purchase some transplants with vendors at the Lilburn Farmers Market on Friday, or in Stone Mountain on Rockbridge Road.
You may also check with the folks at Hall's Flower Shop & Garden Center on Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain.
Don't forget to water liberally when you first plant, and again each day for at least a week so seeds can germinate and transplants can acclimate to their new homes in your soil. After established, continue to water deeply, about an inch a week after that.