April 29 column

Here is a link to my column in today's edition of The Spokesman-Review: Get ready to plant squash, pumpkins. This column is the first of two about growing warm-season crops, which include winter and summer squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, cucumbers and melons. These guys just love the heat so it's important to provide them with a warm growing environment so they produce well for you.

By the way, I don't write my headlines and I'm sure some of you are thinking "good grief! It's way to early to plant squash and pumpkins!" Well, that is true if you plan to plant those seeds directly in the garden. If that's the case, I would wait until about the third week in May. But if you are planning to get squash and pumpkins started indoors first, you'll want to do so sometime between May 10 and 20.

Be sure to read my column to learn how to keep these plants warm once you transplant them into the garden.

Oh, and in case you're wondering what type of pumpkin that is in the photo, it's 'Rouge Vif d'Etamps.' I've grown them for about 3 years in a row and am really pleased with them. They are incredibly colorful, often having deep red-orange skin, they look like "Cinderella pumpkins" and of course, they are very tasty when roasted.