Vegetable gardeners have been noticing the mysterious loss of flowers and immature fruits which have been shriveling and falling off of plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, and squash. Losing a few vegetable blossoms or young fruits isn’t uncommon, especially early in the summer and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm.
I’ve received several questions from gardeners expressing concern over their home grown tomatoes that develop sunken brown spots or black rot on their bottoms which totally ruins the fruit. The probable cause is a disease called Blossom End Rot which affects tomatoes, peppers, squash, and watermelons.
While looking around the garden recently, I was surprised by the many uses that I’ve found for an ordinary roll of vinyl coated garden fencing material. For me it’s the gardening equivalent of a handy man’s roll of all-purpose duct tape.
Celery is a vegetable plant that is often excluded from the home garden because of its reputation for being demanding and difficult to grow. But in exchange for the effort home grown celery will reward you with flavor and nutritional value that surpasses that of the commercial varieties found at your local grocers.
The gourmet garlic plants have begun sending up their seed stalks which are commonly referred to as garlic scapes. While some garlic growers leave the scapes on the plants, I always remove them as they appear during the early summer months.
Rhubarb is an interesting perennial vegetable that offers an ornamental appeal with its bright red stalks and huge elephant ear sized leaves. While it doesn’t win many popularity contests when it comes to eating or preparing this vegetable, I always grow a plant or two in the garden.