Its Time To Start Thinking About Warm-Weather Vegetables

May 7, 2021

I hope you had some time to get your cool-season vegetables into the garden in April. The weather was good, and that late rain in the month helped things move along nicely. 

My spinach, kale, and chard are growing nicely, and we're eating radishes already. I've planted a few extras, and there's still time to plant more in cooler areas of Utah. As temperatures warm, plant quality tends to go down. The longer days also trigger some of these plants to flower, so get them in quickly. May is traditionally planting time for those warm-season crops. Check out the last frost-free date for your production area by visiting the Utah Climate Center website.  I'm going to plant earlier this year, at least two weeks before I normally do. I will use plastic mulch under the plants to keep the soil warm. Then I will put row covers or hot caps over those plants to encourage them to grow a little faster.  When you're seeding beans, squash, and some of those warm-season vegetables, check the soil temperature and make sure that it's above 65 degrees.  You should be starting to pick some rhubarb if you have it this week as well. My plants have stocks that are about 12 inches long, and that's when I'm going to start to pick. When you harvest those stocks, start with the outside first and let the younger ones continue to grow, giving you rhubarb all month.  Asparagus is also in full swing, and spear quality is good in these warm temperatures that we're having. Harvest all spears that are seven inches long or longer. And make sure that you don't let any of them go to fern. This tends to slow up production. Pick the mature plants until late May.