Friday, July 06, 2007

Abundant & Fruitful

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Copyright Rita Woodburne

Happy Friday, dear reader!

We’re into the thick of gardening season now and you should be starting to see the fruits (get it? Fruits? This is a gardening post? Okay...that was just bad...) of your labour. There are a few plants that are either bearing veggies or are about to. Some of the plants that should already be giving you food are peas, strawberries (although in some regions this has already past) raspberries, snap peas, beans & new potatoes (if you have an early growing season) and beets. Some of the plants that are on the cusp of producing veggies are tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and possibly corn if you planted an early season variety. For those that are bearing veggies now you should be sure to pick them regularly to keep the plants productive and to avoid veggies that taste bitter or become over-ripe and, therefore, undesirable to eat.

As far as peas go, it’s worth mentioning again that peas are not warm weather lovers. When the mercury hits a certain point they will not only stop growing/ producing veggies, they may also die off completely. This is why it’s important to note planting times for temperature sensitive veggies and adhere to them. However, all is not lost if you planted your peas too late! If you’re current crop has gone by the wayside from late planting or if your current crop has already produced peas and you don’t think you have enough I’m going to try and help.
First, clean up all the debris from your current crop. This means you’ll need to remove the plants (root and all) and tidy up the soil by removing any weeds that have sprouted. Keep this area clean for the rest of the summer and, if you’d like, add another layer of well composted materials and mix it into the soil.
When late summer rolls around, say about the 2nd last or last week of August here in zone 5b, plant another crop of peas. The soil will be warm and daytime temps will be warm but the nights will have started to cool off. Continue your regular garden maintenance and besure to water the peas on a regular basis and by early to mid-fall you should have a tasty second crop if peas!

I’ve also decided to re-visit the planters that I started awhile back and, as promised, I’m posting an “update” on how they’ve grown so far. First we’ll take a gander at the planter when I first started the flowers:

and now they look like this:

That abundance, dear reader, is the result of a good application of manure/ composted material at planting time and regular watering. It’s really that simple. No chemicals, no plant food, no making sacrifices to planting gods... it’s just the result of plain old regular maintenance.

So after you’ve gone out and tended your veggies and flowers, sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Have a super week-end!

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