Here are several topics of interest to backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers for Mid-May planting and planning.
The weather predictions from the last grower’s report of a warmer May were spot on in accuracy. Many growers that were unable to get spring plantings in the ground early find that they are now maturing cool weather spring vegetables in hotter than ideal temperatures. This can affect the flavor of the cool season crops and in some cases induce bolting of the plants into seed production. An application of mulch or the use of shade fabric or shade micro-climate may buy the grower a few more days of production.
The projections for the rest of May and into June are for warmer than normal temperatures and variable moisture. That has been evident this week as while heavy rains have been forecast, many locations received none, while some locations have been flooded. The projections for July and August have been for warmer than normal temperatures and drier than normal precipitation
We are at the approximate time for the central Ohio frost free date. Many growers have taken advantage of the warmer May to start planting of summer vegetable crops. Soil temperatures in central Ohio as measured by the OARDC research station on 5/15 measured 67 degrees F at both 5 cm and 10 cm depth. Soil temperature is a better indicator for planting than air temperature as it affects both germination and root growth. With a 15 day projection for central Ohio of warm weather, it is OK to plant summer vegetables at this time.
Integrated Pest Management Update:
Cucumber beetles have been spotted in central Ohio. These are likely overwintered adults looking to lay eggs at the base of cucurbit family plants. Start scouting and prevention measures now. FACT SHEET – Cucumber Beetles. The goal is to prevent infestation and support young plants and seedlings.
When working the soil, the grower may encounter weeds or pests that should be removed to prevent future problems. The grubs and bindweed growth were encountered when planting and were removed.
The bindweed was not added to compost as it might continue growth and become a problem in future plantings.
If you encounter pests, weeds or disease problems feel free to contact the Extension office with your concerns as well as send pictures to assist in identification to email firstname.lastname@example.org