Mike’s Tips for Growing Vegetable Garden in Indiana

Mike’s Tips for Growing Vegetable Garden in Indiana

Mike Inspecting Sweet CornIt’s that time of year…time to plant our favorite veggies for the summer.  It’s been a strange season so far with all this rain…we’re all waiting on it to dry out and warm up a bit before we can get out in the garden, but hopefully by the end of this week things will be a bit better. 

I asked Mike to share with us some tips for growing vegetables that he’s learned from growing all the produce here at Tuttles:

The easiest plants to try:  if you haven’t done a lot of gardening, these are some good plants to start with.  Tomatoes, Peppers, and Green Beans. 

SFC_tomato_heirloomTips for Tomatoes:  we all love good tomatoes.  Some of the secrets to good tomatoes are:  use a light layer of straw (1/2 to 3/4 inch) under the plants on top of the soil to keep any disease in the ground from getting to the plant.  Watering:  tomatoes need a consistent amount of water.  If they get too much water all at once it will cause the bottoms to get a black spotting (it’s called blossom end rot).  This won’t hurt the tomato, but it can be avoided sometimes if you make sure your tomato gets about the same amount of water every day.  Tomatoes need about 1″ of water/rain a week…so if you get a lot of rain, it’s best not to water them.  If they are dry, it’s best to water a little bit every day instead of a lot at once.  Drip irrigation is the best…there are some homeowner kits available.  Or be sure to water at the base of the plant.  It’s best not to get the leaves wet when you water tomatoes.

SFC_beans_greenTips for Green Beans:  especially in a year like this, green beans should be planted on ridges (mound up the dirt in rows and then plant the seeds on the top) or in raised beds.  Green bean roots don’t like to be wet.  If you want to get beans all summer, plant a couple plantings a couple weeks apart.

Cold Crops:  some things grow best and need to be harvested while the weather is still not too hot (May-June or Sep/Oct).  Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, etc.  These are called cold crops.  If you haven’t already planted these, it is probably too late to plant them this spring, but you can grow these things in the fall.  You would plant them Mid-August and enjoy picking them in September and October.

SFC_lettuce_greenleafPlants or seeds:  most summer crops need warm ground for the seeds to germinate so plants like tomatoes and peppers are always better to grow from plants not seeds.  Cold crops like green beans, peas, spinach, lettuce can be grown from seeds. 

Have gardening questions??  We’re always happy to answer any gardening questions you might have.  Feel free to ask them when you stop in to get your vegetable plants or seeds. 

 

Looking for vegetable plants and seeds for your garden?  Visit our greenhouses and farm store located just east of Indianapolis.  Directions & Hours