Finally my coddled little tomato seedlings can get snuggled into the ground. The Lily of the Valley are in full bloom, and full fragrance, which means it’s safe to force your tomato seedlings out on their own. No more daily watering and shuffling them under cover when the temps threaten to dip.
And the iris, at least the bearded and Siberian iris, are popping open, so my peppers can also go in the ground. I have dozens of pepper seedlings, so I’m not really looking forward to that task. It’s not planting them that taxes me, it’s finding space for all of them. Most are hot peppers and you can’t plant just a few. I have ‛Aji Cristal’, ‛India Jwala’, ‛Kung Pao’, ‛Maule’s Red Hot’, ‛Pasilla Bajio’, ‛Ristra’ Cayenne, ‘Santaka’ and ‛Super Thai Hot’, for drying and ‛Black Hungarian’, ‛Fatali’, ‛Hot Lemon’, ‛Hot Portugal’, jalapeno, ‛Pepperoncini’ and ‛Santa Fe Grande’, for eating fresh and freezing.
I don’t know how much it helps, but I plant each pepper with a toss of Epsom salts, for magnesium, and a book of matches, to add some sulfur and slightly acidify the surrounding soil. And wonder of wonders, the rain they predicted actually did come – put only because I watered the garden once I finished planting.
The only things left to plant are the squash and cucumbers. For those, I wait until after Memorial Day. They won’t grow much before it heats up anyway, and by waiting until June, I can hopefully avoid squash vine borers, here in the Hudson Valley.
I know, I could be foolish here, putting my precious seedlings out on their own when nighttime temps have been so erratic. The weather has been anything but predictable, but I’m going with nature’s cues.