All Posts   Posted:   June 28, 2019 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

It has been about 8 weeks since I planted my summer vegetable garden. Although I had already planted cool-season crops such as leeks, peas, carrots, and salad greens, I like to wait until the earth is nice and warm before planting warm-season crops like tomatoes and squash. After planting, I apply a thick layer of mulch to discourage weeds and reduce water evaporation, and I fertilize the growing plants monthly; yesterday I gave the garden it’s second fertilizing with G&B Tomato, Vegetable & Herb food after giving all plants a deep watering.

Recent hot weather has been stressful on some of my plants, so I put up a temporary shade-cloth to provide a little relief for the more tender crops. Many of the crops that were planted early in the season are now coming to an end; I have been picking a handful of peas and lettuce leaves each day, but my plants have suffered from the heat and are ready to be removed and replaced with something different. Growing food year-round is quite possible in our mild northwest climate; it just takes a bit of practice and starts with understanding what to plant and the best times to plant it.

Edible gardening is not just for summer; I am planning on seeding another round of carrots as I pull out the peas I planted in spring and will sow some beets and broccoli in place of the lettuce that I’ve been eating for weeks. Fall and winter crops may be started now or very soon as early-ripening crops are harvested or ready to be replaced in your garden. Depending on your crops, you will be harvesting anytime from early to late fall (carrots and Brussels sprouts) or leave some plants to overwinter in the ground for ripening early the following spring (garlic and parsnips).

As for those summer crops that are beginning to ripen, continue to fertilize, deep water regularly, and monitor closely for signs of pests or other trouble. Harvest regularly to keep crops productive; peas, greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, snap beans, and squash all degrade rapidly in hot weather, so it is best to harvest every day or two in early morning. Tomatoes, peppers, and melons should be picked when just ripe and at the end of a warm day. Sweet corn is ready when the tassels turn brown, the husk is tight, and liquid in kernel is milky when pierced. Potatoes, garlic, and onions are ready when the tops die back; allow soil to dry out slightly before harvest. Do not allow your tender lettuces or other salad greens to become extremely dry or the flavor will become bitter and less desirable.

If you have any questions or problems, be sure to consult our experts for assistance. Attend our upcoming class (August 17th) on fall and winter vegetable gardening for more information and tips to keep summer crops healthy and productive, as well as some ideas on how to use all that fresh produce you now have on your hands. Savor life in the garden—each season brings its own rewards!

It has been about 8 weeks since I planted my summer vegetable garden. Although I had already planted cool-season crops such as leeks, peas, carrots, and salad greens, I like to wait until the earth is nice and warm before planting warm-season crops like tomatoes and squash. After planting, I apply a thick layer of mulch to discourage weeds and reduce water evaporation, and I fertilize the growing plants monthly; yesterday I gave the garden it’s second fertilizing with G&B Tomato, Vegetable & Herb food after giving all plants a deep watering.

Recent hot weather has been stressful on some of my plants, so I put up a temporary shade-cloth to provide a little relief for the more tender crops. Many of the crops that were planted early in the season are now coming to an end; I have been picking a handful of peas and lettuce leaves each day, but my plants have suffered from the heat and are ready to be removed and replaced with something different. Growing food year-round is quite possible in our mild northwest climate; it just takes a bit of practice and starts with understanding what to plant and the best times to plant it.

Edible gardening is not just for summer; I am planning on seeding another round of carrots as I pull out the peas I planted in spring and will sow some beets and broccoli in place of the lettuce that I’ve been eating for weeks. Fall and winter crops may be started now or very soon as early-ripening crops are harvested or ready to be replaced in your garden. Depending on your crops, you will be harvesting anytime from early to late fall (carrots and Brussels sprouts) or leave some plants to overwinter in the ground for ripening early the following spring (garlic and parsnips).

As for those summer crops that are beginning to ripen, continue to fertilize, deep water regularly, and monitor closely for signs of pests or other trouble. Harvest regularly to keep crops productive; peas, greens, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, snap beans, and squash all degrade rapidly in hot weather, so it is best to harvest every day or two in early morning. Tomatoes, peppers, and melons should be picked when just ripe and at the end of a warm day. Sweet corn is ready when the tassels turn brown, the husk is tight, and liquid in kernel is milky when pierced. Potatoes, garlic, and onions are ready when the tops die back; allow soil to dry out slightly before harvest. Do not allow your tender lettuces or other salad greens to become extremely dry or the flavor will become bitter and less desirable.

If you have any questions or problems, be sure to consult our experts for assistance. Attend our upcoming class (August 17th) on fall and winter vegetable gardening for more information and tips to keep summer crops healthy and productive, as well as some ideas on how to use all that fresh produce you now have on your hands. Savor life in the garden—each season brings its own rewards!