In this issue:

  1. May in the Garden
  2. YouTube: Pinching Basil – Why, and How to Do it Right
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Battling Blight & Powdery Mildew
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden

May in the Garden

And just like that May is nearly over. Days elongate a little every day, the weather warms, and summer crops start to take over the garden. Once we hit summer solstice, the pendulum swings toward the cool season. But for now we get to enjoy the heat, sun, and all the bounty that comes from it before May becomes June.

In the Test Garden, tomatoes and peppers have started to set fruit. We’re watching pole beans climb, and cucumbers grab onto their trellises. The pumpkins and winter squashes are spreading their vines to cover the soil. Corn is knee high (early for most parts of the country, but right for Los Angeles). Herbs like basil, chives, oregano, and thyme are going gangbusters, while cilantro and parsley have bolted to seed. Time to plant more! We’re hand pollinating squash with a paintbrush in the morning. We’re also feeding everything as it starts to set fruit. The garden season is long here, so the soil needs extra help along the way. In the harvest basket: artichokes, lettuces, spinach, beets, chard, celeriac, and blackberries. We’ll be planting more basil this week.

In this newsletter, you’ll find our latest YouTube video, and guidance for how to manage powdery mildew and blight. If you’re planning to plant fruit crops or trees this spring, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden is now in stock! Let’s get growin’ together as May becomes June!

Happy gardening,


Sweet meat pumpkin
Sweet meat pumpkin sets fruit (with a little help from us…and a paintbrush)

2. YouTube: Pinching Basil- Why and How to Do it Right

Pinching basil
Learn what the act of pinching basil does so you can prune in the right locations.

In our latest YouTube video, Christy explains how pinching basil changes the plant’s growing behavior. Find out the best way to pinch basil, and why it helps prolong the harvest period.

YouTube: Pinching Basil – Why and How to Do It Right

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Battling Blight & Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew acorn squash
Powdery mildew on acorn squash

Fungal diseases like blight and powdery mildew are a constant plague in coastal gardens as May Gray becomes June Gloom. But lately even typically drier climates are experiencing these problems, as Climate Change brings more humidity to inland areas. How do we win this battle over blight and powdery mildew? As usual, we don’t recommend fighting against nature, but rather working with her. Here are some helpful posts to guide your way:

Battling Powdery Mildewget the basics on how to bring more balance to your garden’s microbial ecosystem.

Preparing for Blightkeep out a sharp eye for evidence of blight and tackle the problem right away. Here are some ideas to help.

Learn how to brew active aerated compost tea (with fungal dominance) in Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden (see below). Don’t want to brew your own? Check out our selection of Custom Biologicals products that do the work for you.

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden

Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden Cover Art
Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden is here. Order your autographed copy today!

Reviews are in! Christy’s new book, Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden, is great! It has everything you need to get started growing fruit in small spaces. Whether you have a balcony, patio, or back yard (or front yard…hey, we did that at Gardenerd HQ) you’ll find the best guidelines for designing your space, choosing the best varieties, planting and care, and so much more. Since the Earth is our only home, let’s fill it with tasty fruit. Order your copy today for the gardenerd or fruit lover in your life (even if that’s you). Get your autographed copy today! Already have a copy? Get an autographed bookplate to go inside your copy. Click the link below for details.

Get Your Copy Today!

We also have autographed copies of 2020’s Gardening for Geeks.

Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Enjoy the growing season as May becomes June and beyond. Happy Gardening!

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