ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The summer season is finally upon us, which means it’s finally time to get your vegetable garden started.

First things first. It’s important to refresh the garden bed with some new bed soil and manure. These will put some key nutrients back in the soil and will help feed the vegetables for the rest of the season.

Then it’s on to planting. When it comes to tomatoes specifically, you can strip off some of the lower leaves in order to plant it deeper. The hairs on the stems (which are similar to geranium stems) will actually root out and give the plant a stronger base under the surface.

Charlie Todd of Chamberlain Acres said that tomatoes are an important plant to stake. It’s also important to keep the lower leaves trimmed as they grow. Water splashing back onto the plant makes it easier to kick off a bad bout of blight.

Meanwhile, pepper plants like to be close enough to touch each other in order to boost pollination. And if you have a trellis, you can train cucumbers to climb onto it so they hang over your garden rather than lay on the ground.

And of course, the most important thing for fresh transplants: water. When starting any new garden, including perennial plants, it’s important to keep the soil well-watered because the roots are growing.