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by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.

Mellow May artificial soil mix in a sufficient amount. I recommend that you carefully remove the peat pot from around the plant’s roots before planting in the raised bed. If you are keeping the peat pot

The month of May has arrived, with extended daylight and warmer temperatures. The sunlight is more intense, so the soil is warming up quickly. If you like to grow vegetables in the garden or in raised beds, now is the time to plant the warm season crops like snap beans, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, pumpkins and sweet corn. You can also put in the transplants for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and sweet potatoes. The vegetable plants that we buy from the local garden center or big box store are usually grown in peat pots. I have found that if you plant them in raised beds with artificial soil, rather than native soil, the peat pots tend not to decompose. This restricts root growth through the sides of the pot and into the surrounding soil. One of the reasons they don’t disintegrate is that the bacteria and fungi that are usually present in native soils, and that help decomposition, are not found in the 85