The pumpkin seeds that we planted last week are starting to sprout. This week we are doing something similar… we are going to plant cantaloupe seeds. Like pumpkins, cantaloupes are more easily grown in the spring, but with care, they can be planted for fall melons. If planted in the second half of July, they will grow through the fall and be ready to pick before the first frost. Also, like pumpkins, this is a difficult time to grow melons because we are at the height of pest and disease season. Watch closely for mildew, and damaging insects until the weather cools down in the fall.

Last month we started tomato seeds for our fall tomatoes. I want to plant these in the ground by August 1st, so we need to harden them off for the next week or two. These seedlings have been growing inside, in the air conditioning, and they need to acclimate to the hotter outside weather. They should be put in a shaded area and watered frequently.

Now is the time to start eggplant seedlings to be planted in August. Our growing season is long enough that we can get two rounds of several summertime veggies, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Once again, we will put seed starting soil in one of our seed starting greenhouses. Drop the seeds in, one per pod, and spray gently with water to wet the soil. We will keep this inside (in the air conditioning) in front of a south facing window for the next few weeks. Make sure the soil stays damp, and the seedlings get plenty of water. In August, we will set these outside to acclimate to our hot weather. They will get planted by the end of August and still have time to produce eggplant before the first frost.

In the WBTW garden, our tomatoes, peppers and eggplant that we planted in the spring are still healthy and producing, so we do not have any room for more plants, and we will keep the spring plants growing through the fall instead of planting new seedlings. However, if your spring plants failed, or you have room for more, these can be planted for fall.