Purdue Extension Offers Gardening Tips

Purdue Extension LogoThe risk of frost has been significantly lowered as the calendar works its way through the month of May, and that means there are a few things to consider for a home garden.

Purdue Extension Agricultural Educator Phil Woolery says some plants such as peas and radishes can take the frost and, for the most part, have already been planted for the year. Other varieties such as green beans, squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes prefer warmer temperatures.

Woolery says if you haven’t planted the vegetables that require warmer weather, it’s fine to wait.

“Freezing temperatures that would kill things like that, they need those warmer temperatures to be growing,” says Woolery. “So they might survive, but they’re not going to be growing very well in this kind of weather.”

Soil moisture is also a factor to be considered. Similar to farming, if the ground is too wet, it may be undesirable for planting a home garden for the year. Purdue extension recommends grabbing a handful. If it crumbles apart, the soil has a quality moisture level, but if it sticks together like mud, some time may be needed to let it dry.

Where the garden is placed in a home’s yard may also play a direct role in how the plant grows. If water is likely to stand in a yard, Woolery says the garden space can be raised using wood or cinderblocks to hold the soil and plants.

The extension offices in Winamac are growing their own varieties of vegetables. Woolery says he’ll be waiting until later next week to plant some of the plants.

“Right now we have radishes growing, and peas, spinach, onions, carrots,” says Woolery. “I’m waiting on, I guess, next week to plan to plant the things for the warmer season.”

Those plants are used to educate the public on healthy eating.

The extension offices are able to help local gardeners identify pests and select the proper pesticides or other methods for removing them from your crops.