Summer is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited! With the temperatures rising and the days getting longer, the growing season is upon us. Now is the time to get that garden going if you haven’t already. If you think you’ve missed out, we are here to let you know that there is still time to get your hands dirty.
Here are some herbs and vegetables that thrive when temperatures are above 70°F: basil, beans, cantaloupes, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, okra, peppers, pumpkins, southern peas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and watermelons.
Get started by visiting your nearest farm supply, farmer’s market or favorite garden store to get advice, seeds or transplants, soil and supplies to help you get your garden started. NC State University Cooperative Extension is another great resource to gardeners of any level. They offer guides on planting schedules, pest control, gardening with children, season extension, composting, soil testing and so much more.
Don’t think you have a green thumb or just don’t know where to begin? Start with some native North Carolina plants. They are well-suited for the climate, soil types and require relatively little upkeep, once they are placed in the optimal site. The NC State Cooperative Extension has a list of native plant species, including soil moisture, light requirements and the benefits to wildlife. The Dwarf Crested Iris, Eastern Blue Star and Swamp Milkweed are just a few of our favorites to add color and interest to your landscape. The NC Native Plant Society also offers a list of native plants and trees with gallery and descriptions.
Don’t get overwhelmed with all the choices. Determine your needs and wants, start small and grow (wink, wink) as you gain more experience. And most of all, just have fun!