Plantwise: What’s Growing this Month

Plant Summer Veggies

By Kate Bryant May 20, 2011 Published in the June 2011 issue of Portland Monthly

Plant It

If you transplant heat-loving vegetables like tomato, pepper, and eggplant before soil temperatures reach 70 degrees, they just sit and pout. So in the event of another June-uary, choose cold-tolerant tomato varieties like Oregon Spring and Stupice, or use Cozy Kotes to keep plants warm. When the weather heats up, direct-sow snap and pole beans, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Give them maximum sunshine and heat; try red or black plastic mulch. Scratch in a balanced, organic fertilizer along the rows about a month after planting. And now that the early spring shrubs like rhododendron, forsythia, and lilac have finished flowering, trim or thin them before they set their flowers for next spring.

See & Do

June brings roses to the City of Roses! We love our International Rose Test Gardens in Washington Park, but also adore the old-fashioned, unusual species to be found at Heirloom Old Garden Roses in St. Paul, Oregon. Also, view old-fashioned peonies at Adelman Peony Gardens in Salem, open May 1 to June 15. June is the perfect time to trawl local nurseries for plants on your must-have list: nursery stock is at its peak growth and availability, and you can pick up just about any vegetable start. Act quickly. By the end of June, it’s too late to plant tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and melons, so don’t wait!

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