Get a jump start on your summer gardening

FOX 51
Monday, June 2, 2014 - 12:01pm

Summer is right around the corner and it's about that time to get a jump start on your summer gardening.

Tomatoes, onions, green beans, squash, these are some of the summer vegetables a lot of East Texans will be growing and some selling this summer.

"Everybody loves them," said Tyler Farmer Market vendor Daphine Claiborne.

But, before you start tending to some of these yummy summer veggies, some of the experts tell us you need to make sure you have plenty of water.

"Because you're growing in the hot part of the summer, then you have to have water," said owner of Zillmer Farms, Victor Zillmer.

And your gardening area is clear of weeds.

"If you're taking a yard or field and turning it into a garden, take care of the weeds, otherwise it will eat you alive," said Zillmer.

Zillmer said one the easiest things to do to get rid of weeds, is to get a sheet of black plastic, lay it on top of the ground for three weeks and that will cook everything underneath.

He said this is the most organic way without using any pesticides.

Also if you're thinking about growing sweet corn, you have up until the fourth of July for that crop. You can plant collard greens and mustard greens up until Labor Day.

But because of the late freezes, be patient with some of your favorite summer vegetables.

"The weather has really been rough. We didn't get any rain, then we got six inches of rain, then for awhile it turned all dry again and now we're getting rain again and its been hard to get in the field and pick the produce," said Claiborne.

But, the farmers tell us this has been a very challenging year.

"It's been so many different seasons all in one. We've had cold, hot, cold, hot, freezing, it's just kind of been different this year," said Claiborne.

They said, most growers lost 80% of their crop.

"The very late frost we had on the 4th of March, that was devastating to the blueberries, the peaches, plums, all of those things that flower early absolutely wiped them out," said Zillmer.

They said everything is about three weeks behind.

"The peas are going to be late and the pinto beans will be late," said Claiborne.

But, even though the freeze is pushing some of the summer veggies back a couple weeks, they still expect it to be a good season.

"Tomatoes are doing really well, the peppers are doing real well, so the rain and the cooler temperature we had recently really has supported better plant growth," said Zillmer.


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