2006

Garden Log 8-3-06

August 3, 2006

The summer isn’t half way over and temperatures reached triple digits today but I’ve already begun planning and planting my fall vegetable garden. Last week I sowed seeds of rutabagas, turnips, and various kale varieties directly into an empty raised bed.

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I received a recent comment from a gardener inquiring about harvesting ripe watermelons from plants that had volunteered in her home garden. There’s no guarantee that those rouge plants will produce mature fruits but if they do there are a number of techniques that can be employed to ensure that you harvest the mature watermelons at their peak.

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One redeeming quality which you’ve probably already assumed since I’m writing about it, is that Stinging Nettles is a nutritious edible weed that offers many healthful benefits to those brave enough to include it in their diet. In addition this hostile plant actually makes a great companion around the garden and is reputed to improve the growth and flavor of other vegetable and herb plants.

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Heirloom Fish Peppers

July 6, 2006

I began growing Fish Peppers a couple of years ago and liked them so much that they’ve been included in every garden since that initial planting. The great thing about this unusual vegetable is that the plant is very ornamental and produces huge crops of tasty peppers.

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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.

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Tomato Blossom End Rot

June 15, 2006

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.

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Using Garden Fencing

June 14, 2006

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.

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Home Grown Celery

June 9, 2006

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.

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Gourmet Garlic Scapes

June 3, 2006

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.

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