Well…guess what my dear friends. If you have had the itch to plant…please feel free to go hog wild, scratch that planting itch, and start tossing your tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc. in the ground. Come on…I dare you! We are now almost at our complete frost free date here in Central Illinois. There usually is some confusion as to last average frost and the frost free date. In Central Illinois (where I am) the last average frost is between April 17-21 meaning that there is still a 50/50 shot of a frost. Usually, each week that goes by after that reduces the chance of frost by 10%, so Memorial Day weekend in my area is usually good.
The reason you should usually wait to plant crops like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, melons, green beans, okra, etc. until now is that they are considered warm weather crops. They dislike colder weather and are not tolerant of frost and can suffer extreme damage from even a light frost. So, we should be good and safe (keeping my fingers crossed hoping that I have not jinxed myself) to plant away. Now of course on my side of things I still have a ton of garden to turn over. Yes…I am crazy…yes I am hand turning an 8 x 70ish foot garden. The only reason I’m okay with this is because apparently a long time ago it was a garden. It’s kind of hard to see in the picture below just how big this garden is…but it’s nearly down to the other end of the fence.
Oh, and in case your wondering…my yard is indeed filled with weeds. But that is a discussion for another day.
So, here is a happy picture of all of my transplants that need to get into the garden..
Vegetables in the picture above that I’ll be planting as soon as I possibly can…my project for this week incldue:
- Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes
- Sweet 100 Cherry tomatoes
- Roma tomatoes
- Purple Beauty eggplant
- Bambino eggplant (a mini eggplant variety)
- Ancho/Pablano peppers
- Habanero peppers
- Jalapeno peppers
- Anaheim peppers
- A variety seed mix of bell peppers
- And a nasturium thrown in for good measure
I also have a list of seeds I’ll be planting too. I’ll chat about that list as soon as I get around to planting the seeds, thus encouraging me to turn over the garden.
Just remember…even if you don’t have a yard you can dig up doesn’t mean you can’t have a tomato or pepper or two. Just find yourself a 20″ or bigger pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Purchase some high quality potting soil, fill said pot and put in a plant. Tada! insta garden. Just make sure to pick a location that will give the plants at least 8 hours of sun per day.
Go on….get outside and get planting. 🙂