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Planting for a Four Season Harvest, Part 6

Starts Tomatoes Outdoors

ZucchiniTomato seed can be sown now directly in the ground, novelty varieties such as Cherry or Yellow Pear, which don't take so long to mature.  Or more "early" tomatoes which grow more quickly than the main crop and will be ready to take over when the first lot of tomatoes is petering out in late summer.

For most tender crops, though, wait until the environment is thoroughly warm for the second big planting period of the gardener's year.  The following go in: lots of bush beans, cucumber, summer squash.  I plant 3 kinds of this favorite vegetable: White Bush Scallop; some form of the dark-green Italian zucchinni; a Yellow Summer.  Last year I grew two: Early Prolific Straightneck and Seneca Butterbar Hybrid; the first pale yellow, the second, buttery, and both good.

The main-crop tomatoes go in now, too.  I select only the best from the flats; a short, stocky plant is better than a tall, thin one.  In all, counting the early tomatoes already established, 3 to 4 dozen plants are needed.  Fresh or canned, juice or soup, I eat tomatoes daily.

I plant more corn --- probably a dwarf variety --- which takes up less room in the backyard, matures more quickly, is out of the way sooner, and makes room for fall crops.

Last year a friend in Oak Lawn, Rhode Island, sent me seed her husband had saved which produced dainty ears of white-kerneled corn, 4 to 5 inches long.  The original might have been White Midget.  Other good dwarfs are Golden Midget, Golden Honey whose stalks are only 3 feet tall, Miniature and Carmel Cross which produces full-sized ears on rather short stalks.

To be continued....

Tirrell, R.  1966, February.  Planting for a 4-Season Harvest.  Organic Gardening and Farming.

Reprinted by permission of Organic Gardening magazine.  Copyright Rodale, Inc., U.S.A.  All rights reserved.

This post is part of our Planting for a Four Season Harvest lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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