In this issue:
- May in the Garden
- Late Spring Garden Tips
- Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Brewing Compost Tea
- Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardenerd BBQ Apron
1. May in the Garden
In a blink May has come and gone. It’s nearly June and the garden is going strong. This time of year, your garden may need a little help – some mid-season compost or fertilizer, some pruning, maybe even some pest control assistance. Now is the time to give your garden a leg up so it can thrive through summer.
In our test garden, we’re harvesting Black Dakota popping corn. Our pumpkins are growing larger every day, and more tomatoes are setting fruit. We’re fighting blight big time, but perseverance is key. If you’ve got blight, keep removing and destroying affected leaves. Compost tea can help too (see below for how to make your own). We’re picking blackberries, and dry Black Coco beans and soon we’ll be eating cucumbers too.
There’s still time to plant, if you’re just getting around to it. Focus on hot weather crops like squash, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra. Throw in some basil and hearty herbs like oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary. Save cilantro and parsley for fall or grow them under shade cloth to prevent early bolting. You’ll be eating from the garden in no time!
2. Late Spring Garden Tips
Tiny Gardens – Gardening in small spaces can feel limiting, but you can still grow a variety of crops that take up only a few square feet. It’s not too late to plant eggplants, peppers and herbs. They don’t take up much room–they can be planted 1 foot apart. Use trellises to grow vining crops like melons, pole beans, and cucumbers to save space.
Time for Compost – mid-season composting is important for continued plant health through the season. Mix a little organic vegetable fertilizer with compost and spread it around each plant. Water with kelp emulsion to encourage plants to set fruit.
Be Diligent – got powdery mildew? Keep trimming affected leaves and avoid watering from overhead. Try spraying a 50/50 milk and water solution – it helps keep fungus at bay. Replace plants that have too much damage and you can be eating squash by late July.
Prune those suckers – tomatoes get out of hand quickly if not kept in check. Pinch off suckers to keep vines contained in their cages. You’ll focus the plant’s energy and end up with better tasting fruit with concentrated sugars.
Oh, and don’t forget to mulch to keep water where plants need it. Use drip irrigation to save even more water.
3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Brewing Compost Tea
Compost tea is one of the best things you can add to your garden soil. It’s full of beneficial microbes which help make nutrients available to plants. Those microbes also attack soils pests and fight off fungal infestations. The best kind of compost tea is Active Compost Tea (ACT), the kind that is aerated and fed to breed microbes from biologically active compost. You can do it yourself with a few key ingredients. Learn how here:
4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Gardenerd BBQ Apron
It’s BBQ season! Hot weather means cooking outdoors, and what better way to outfit your favorite Dad or Gardenerd than this Gardenerd BBQ Apron. Full coverage, generous pockets, stylish proclamations of garden nerdiness–it’s all good. Get yours in time for Father’s Day and your next BBQ.