It’s Planting Time!

Posted: May 19, 2012

It is finally time to get those warm weather vegetables planted...

Most warm season vegetables will tolerate cool nights. The vegetable that is most sensitive to cool temperatures is peppers. You may want to wait another week or so to plant them. 

You’ve gotten the lime applied according to your soil test results. You did take a soil test didn’t you? Anyway, the lime is worked into the soil. You’ve added the compost, manure, and any additional fertilizer if needed. Now you are ready to put those beautiful transplants into the soil. You’ve grown or selected plants that have a nice green color, not yellow. They are not over mature and root bound. They are relatively stocky with a thick stem. They have been gently acclimated to outside conditions.

Be sure to give your plants plenty of room in the garden. Think about how much space they will take up when full grown. It is better to have fewer plants and take good care of them than to plant too many plants in a small area and form a jungle where insects and disease can thrive. 

Tomato plants should be planted to the depth of the seedling leaves. Tomatoes will sprout roots from the portion of the stem that is underground. Most vegetables will not do that.  For example, plant peppers only deep enough to cover the root ball with an inch or less of soil. Water them in well to melt the soil in around the root ball. A very small amount of a soluble fertilizer that is high in phosphorus will help your vegetables get off to a good start. 

For more information contact your local extension office. In Lackawanna County call 570-963-6842 or email

John Esslinger, Extension Educator
Penn State Extension