5 Tips for Veg Gardening This Week

1) Have you harvested your garlic yet??  It’s time!  Once the bottom 3-5 leaves of the plant have gone brown, use your shovel or garden fork to gently lift bulbs out of the ground.  If you plant to store your garlic for the fall/winter/spring, you’ll need to dry it.   This can be done by laying it flat in a well ventilated, shaded, cool shed/barn/garage.  Or by braiding it.  This is my first year braiding my garlic to dry it out (I’ve always laid it flat in the past, but I didn’t have space for that this year).  I thought you were supposed to braid softneck garlic, and lay flat hardneck garlic.  But I’m breaking the law.

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2) Keep Planting! There is an irrational sense of urgency in me when I see bare soil.  The voice in my head starts to sweat, bite her nails (I suppose she has a body too), and visualize a garden bed overgrown with tough weeds; lost forever.  Unless, under that bare soil lies the work of a diligent gardener who has already re-planted.  Things you can plant after harvesting something like garlic or peas (please give up on the brown pea vines and pull them out):

Beans and peas – great nitrogen fixers and cover crop even if you don’t get more beans/peas from them

Cover crops – LEARN MORE: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/cover-crops-improve-soil-zmaz09onzraw.aspx#axzz39ocOWrtl

Greens– Swiss Chard is a good go-to.  As well as kale. If the weather stays cool you could plant spinach.

Radishes – They are pretty, and if you don’t like them, your neighbour might.  They are easier to give away than zucchini.

Flowers – always a welcome addition to a vegetable garden.

3) It’s official.….I snorted a cucumber beetle.  I wonder what’s going to happen?  He’s not coming back out, that’s for sure.

4) Are you battling powdery mildew on your cucumbers, squash, or zucchini?  Try a milk spray to keep it from spreading and totally consuming your plant (the mildew prevents the plant from photosynthesizing).  LEARN MORE:  http://gardening.about.com/od/gardenproblems/a/PowderyMildew.htm

5) Bring your pantyhose to the garden.  Get to your local second hand store and fill a bag with used pantyhose (or maybe you have a couple, your mom or sister might also).  If you’re a negotiator, you can get away with a bag-full for a couple bucks.  They are the best things (in my opinion) to use to tie up tomato plants.  Don’t let those rogue branches rest on the ground and creep all over your pathways.  Tie them back up with pantyhose and re-gain control.  Nice try cherry tomato, nice try.  A photo with you and your bag of pantyhose would be a good one for our Facebook page.  Think about the scarecrow legs you can make for your fall decor with these after you’ve pulled your tomato plants.  Plus if you snag your pantyhose on a spiky squash plant… bam! Instant wardrobe rescue.

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