Warm Season Crops: Direct Sow

VEGGIE

Sowing Info

Helpful Hints

Stellar Varieties

BEANS Plant after the danger of frost has passed.  Sow seeds about 1” deep.  Bush beans should be spaced 3-4” apart in the row; pole beans should be spaced 6-10” apart. Beans prefer a higher potassium, lower nitrogen soil.  Harvest snap beans when they are fairly young, before you see the beans in the pod begin to swell.  Harvest shell beans before the shells turn brown.  Dry beans should stay on the plant until the pods are dry. ‘Fordhood 242’ (Bush Lima)‘Kentucky Blue’  (AAS-Pole)‘Blue Lake’ (Bush Stringless)‘Derby’ (Bush Stringless)
SWEET CORN Sow May 1-July 1, 1-2” deep; 8-12” apart, in rows 2-3’ apart.  Corn is wind pollinated, ensure pollination by planting multiple short rows vs. a few long rows. Plant after soil has warmed.  Heavy nitrogen feeder.  Side dress with a high nitrogen fertilizer late in the growing season.  Avoid cross-pollination with other varieties. ‘Honey Select’ (AAS)‘How Sweet It Is’ (AAS)‘Honey and Pearl’
Although the following plants can be direct sown, they are very sensitive to cold temperatures. Greater crop success is achieved by setting out transplants after the frost date.
CUCUMBERS Seeds can be planted in hills consisting of four or five seeds per hill spaced at 4-5’ apart.  Transplants should be spaced 2-3’ apart in rows 5-6’ apart. Certain varieties make excellent container plants.  Frequent picking of cucumbers is essential as they grow and reach optimum quality.  Do not let them reach the yellowish stage as they will become bitter with size. ‘Bush Champion’‘Fanfare’ (Semi-Dwarf AAS)‘Sweet Success Hybrid’ (AAS)‘Sweeter Yet’ (Burpless)
MELONS Hills of two plants or seeds should be spaced 3’ apart with 5’ centers. Honeybees are the most effective pollinators of muskmelon blossoms.  To protect the bees, do not spray during flowering.  Earliest blossoms on muskmelon vines are the male, pollen-bearing flowers and do not set fruit. ‘Ambrosia’‘Amy’ (AAS)Burpee Hybrid‘Twice As Nice’
PUMPKINS Bush type-hills of two plants spaced 3-4’ with rows on 4-5’ centers.  Vining types-hills of two plants spaced 5’ apart with rows on 7’ centers Male and female parts are in separate flowers; only the female flowers produce fruits. ‘Sorcerer’ (AAS)‘Atlantic Giant’‘Wee Be Little’ (Miniature AAS) 
SQUASH & ZUCCHINI Bush type-hills of two plants spaced 3-4’ with rows on 4-5’ centers.  Vining types-hills of two plants spaced 5’ apart with rows on 7’ centers. Male and female parts are in separate flowers; only the female flowers produce fruits.  Harvest when fruit is small and tender for best quality.  Squash grows rapidly, go over the plant every couple of days. ‘Multipik’‘Bonbon’ (Buttercup AAS)‘Honey Bear’ (Acorn AAS)‘Sunburst’ (AAS-04)‘Zucchini Elite’

‘Burpee Golden’

WATERMELON Plants or seeds should be spaced two to a hill, 3-4’ apart, on 5’ centers. Do not spray insecticide while in flower.  Earliest blossoms are the male, pollen-bearing flowers, and do not set fruit.  Harvest watermelons when the ground spot changes from pale green or white to cream or yellow. ‘Sangria’ (AAS)‘Shiny Boy’‘Lamar Hybrid’ (Seedless)

Warm season crops are generally set out or direct seeded after the danger of frost has past and the ground is warmer. In Ohio this is around May 15th.

*If space is limited, or for easier harvesting, try growing in patio pots.