HELEN LANG: To plant, or not to plant veggies

Still cool nights mean it might not be time to plant some veggies outdoors

When you read this I’ll be in Cedar (God willing) visiting my brother and searching his garden for ideas to pass on to you. In the meantime, here at home, what can I tell you that is new and fascinating? Not much I fear, but let’s see what we can come up with.

I have spent some time this morning watering, both inside and on the balcony. My daughter will be here in my absence. She isn’t much of a gardener, but I’ll leave her a note and probably phone at least once to make sure she is OK (and to ask if she has watered).

I had hoped the pole beans would be up, but not a sign of life in that container, which causes me concern as they had large roots started and should have made an appearance by now.

However, I realize I am often impatient and if I would just be more trusting, things would appear exactly when they should, not when I expect. It is so wonderful to have leaves appear when you have put in a small brown lump and, lo and behold, here comes a nice sturdy plant.

I’m to be away for a week and by that time they will either have shown up, or I’ll have to re-plant and should have beans by Christmas.

One of the greatest gardeners I have known was an elderly man who never planted anything until May 24. His garden was always a marvel. So, you people who haven’t got around to planting anything can relax. There doesn’t seem to be any rush.

I know it’s fun to be the first to have new potatoes, but it isn’t a race. Yours will taste marvellous even if your neighbour has already been boasting about his super early ones. They are probably riddled with wire worms. I think this is what is meant by “sour grapes.”

The nights are still pretty cool, so I think I’d wait for a bit longer before planting (out in the vegetable plot) things like started tomato plants and squash.

How about making up a pot or two, or a couple of hanging baskets instead? I know not everyone likes marigolds, but they look like sunshine in a pot, especially if surrounded by yellow pansies, which smell so nice. Some white bocoppa to trail over the pot edge would be a happy choice, or maybe some trailing blue lobelia.

We will soon need a bigger pot if I keep adding things I like, and there are hundreds of choices, so get yourself to a nursery and have a wonderful time. Just remember everything you purchase has to be planted, so please take it easy on both your aching back and your shrinking pocket book.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 25 years.

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