Venture: Summer planting tips

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Even with the uncooperative weather, the end of May is a safe time to plant warm-weather crops outside in Central Ohio.

Each garden includes different plants, so it's difficult to give advice about horticultural specifics. Instead, here are some tips for everyone about to put on a pair of gloves and dig in.

Take it easy. A year ago, I tried to design, build and maintain so many new garden projects that I never got to enjoy it. Amid that hustle, even weeding seemed like a rare treat. When you take on fewer extracurricular tasks, you can spend more time with your plants. The more time you spend with your plants, the more you will enjoy gardening.

Adjust your schedule . Watched closely, plants grow rather slowly. Watched once a week, plants grow wildly and out of control. To avoid being overwhelmed by changes in your leafy landscape, build 20 daily garden minutes into your schedule. This beats a marathon work session every Sunday.

Keep an eye on it. The location of your garden depends to an extent on where the sun shines. Yet try to plant where you look, inhale or walk. Having some mint or thyme in a window box will do wonders for those who forget to tend their crops.

Spread out your harvest . Planting everything on one day means that all of your tomatoes or every green bean might be ready at the same time. Practice staggering: Plant a few seedlings of a certain crop, wait a week or two, then plant some more. This will elongate your season and prevent wasted, unpicked food.

Plant some return visitors. In some areas of life, a blank slate is great. Not so in the garden. Grow perennial plants like winter-hearty Mediterranean herbs, berry bushes or strawberries that come back stronger each year. You'll feel light years ahead and much more encouraged when you set out next spring.