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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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What's Coming Up in Your Kitchen Garden?

I’m hearing from lots of veggie gardeners who want to know if it’s safe to plant tomatoes and herbs outdoors.The answer is yes . The last frost date is well past us – though Mother Nature has been playing such odd tricks on us, I hope I don’t have to eat my words.

Here’s a quick run-down of what’s happening in my kitchen garden at the moment. If you live north of the Merritt Parkway, things will be growing a little slower.

Peas are starting to climb up their frame. I’m going to plant more soon for a second crop.

The purple Violeta runner beans have just sprouted. I only planted six seeds and these should provide beans to pick all summer. The more you pick, the more beans the plant produces.

Tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings are all in the ground and just waiting for warm weather to get going. I also have a huge crop of baby tomato seedlings that must have grown from seeds in the compost, or from tomatoes that fell to the ground last year. I’m letting some of them grow in order to transplant them to the flowerbeds in front of my house. If they all do well, I may have to open a farm stand!

Radishes, turnips and beets are starting to appear. If you like radishes, plant a second crop now.

The lettuces are loving the rain. I like to grow mesclun, which is a mix of different lettuce varieties. The first section I planted is almost ready to eat. I’m going to plant another section now. The mizuna and escarole are thriving, and so is the bok choy. Lettuces grow best in cool weather. If you want to grow lettuce all summer, prepare a bed in a shady spot so you can plant a new crop in the summer.

I planted more than 100 onions and they all look happy even though they haven’t grown much yet. They’re waiting for more heat. Onions are easy to grow and they keep really well. It's not too late to plant onions, so give them a try.

I've just planted potato seedlings in one of my new raised boxes. I’m still figuring potatoes out. Last year’s crop, grown in big pots, was a big disappointment. Part of the fun of gardening is trying new things.

The winter squash seeds are still underground and if they don’t come up soon, I’ll plant some more. I had a bumper crop of butternut squash last year and am hoping for the same this year. Winter squash is an easy vegetable to grow and you can store it all winter.

What’s happening in your garden right now?

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