Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2014 > BONNIE"S GARDEN---Dreaming of Broccoli (and Lettuce and Kale...).

BONNIE"S GARDEN---Dreaming of Broccoli (and Lettuce and Kale...).

July—sweating through hot humid days, praying for rain, giving away overloads of garden tomatoes and zucchini---and getting ready for fall vegetable gardening.  There are several things to take care of in my garden the end of July.

The first thing I do is take stock of my summer garden.  Have I had any problems?  This year, tomatoes and eggplants did fantastic (note—next summer plant one fewer eggplant.  Do not want to eat them every single day.)  Cucumbers were a problem, however.  I had Fusarium Wilt.”  So next spring, I’ll plant my cucumbers in a different spot.  Saw a few squash bugs on my squash plants, so I went through and picked them off (yuck) and “squashed” them (double yuck).  Next spring, I’ll plant squash in a different area, too.  Squash bugs can actually hibernate over the winter and hatch in the spring immediately ready to lay eggs on my innocent little plants, so if I move my plants to a different area, maybe they won’t find them next summer.

The next thing I’ll do is check to see if anything looks like it’s about done for the season.  My bush beans are usually limping along now so I’ll yank them up.  I do have time to plant another crop of green beans for late summer/ fall or I can reserve that spot for fall veggies.  Considering how much I love fresh lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots, beets, broccoli, etc. I will save that spot.  Some of these lovely cool season treats I’ll start from seed in the next week or two.  Some I’ll wait and buy the little plants, instead.

Now I’ll decide exactly what I want to grow this fall.  I’ll always do spinach and kale.  Spinach and kale are real work horses in the garden—even wintering over.  I’ve been known to go out and scrape the snow off and pick a handful or two.  As nasty as this past winter was, kale and spinach made it through like champs.  I’ve always grown “curly” kale but this year have decided to take try a different variety just to see if I like it any better.  This year I’ll try Lacinato kale, also known as Dinosaur kale. I’ve eaten it before, always buying it at our Farmers Market here at the Great Big Greenhouse, but I’ve actually never grown it.  I want to see if it performs as well as its brother Dwarf Blue Curled.  As for spinach, I may try a variety this year called Lavewa—supposedly a little more heat tolerant than most, so maybe it won't bolt (go to seed) so fast in the spring.

I’m going to get things like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower in pretty soon so they have time to head up before a hard freeze—usually the end of October here in Central Virginia. Just Sunday,  I started the seeds in little pots—easier to stay on top of watering and easier to protect if we’re expecting late afternoon thunderstorms with all that heavy rain.  I’ll transfer them from pots to the garden when they are about four inches high.  Things like beets, carrots, radishes or turnips, I’ll direct sow because root crops do not transplant well. 

I’m also going to take a look at my perennial beds now because a lot of perennial seeds are best sowed in the fall, as well.  And, I’m always going to read the directions on the seed packets.  These will tell me when to plant, how deep to plant, how far apart to plant and any special tips for succes.  By the way, I just got in fresh 2015 dated seed from Botanical Interests for fall planted veggies and flowers.



Posted: 7/29/2014 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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