Keep ’em Coming, All Season Long!

The cold, wet spring is in the rearview mirror and summer is full swing.  The tomatoes, cucumber and peppers are ready or just about ready to harvest.  YES! Time to enjoy the 60-70 days of waiting and dive into your summer garden treats.  Did you know that there are still seeds to sow?  Plants that you can enjoy for months to come through succession planting?  Here are a few examples:

LETTUCE!  It’s just so darn easy and never wasted in my house, even if I’m the only one eating it!  During the hot days of summer, you can grow it in the shade and you don’t need a garden, either.  You know those disposable, aluminum roasting/baking pans from the dollar store?  Just poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage, fill it with potting soil and toss in the seeds.  Water when needed.  That’s it!  As you see that lettuce start to grow, throw down more seeds.  Keep this up through the fall.

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Lettuce Round 1, on its last leaves…

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Lettuce (with cilantro), Round 2

HERBS!  Despite what you may have been told, certain herbs will only last so long, as a plant.  Pinching or cutting won’t make them last longer.  They will get thin, flower and go to seed, meaning that it’s over and done, as an herb. Once herbs have bolted and gone to seed, the intensity of the flavor is weakened.  Cilantro and dill are great examples of herbs that should be planted over and over again in a season.  They can be replanted every 10-14 days, but will bolt faster in the hot, summer sun.  That’s why container gardening is so great!  Just move the herb pot into the shade!  If you are feeling adventurous, you can let some of your herbs go to seed.  At that point, snip the seeds off, stored in a bag and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant them.  FYI-cilantro seeds are called coriander and have a completely different flavor, but can be crushed and used in cooking.

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Cilantro that has bolted

 

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Cilantro that has gone to seed becomes coriander

 

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Dill that is DONE

VEGETABLES!  Cucumber seeds can be planted every 3 weeks, squash every six weeks and if you planted carrots in the spring, or even if you didn’t, plant them now for a fall harvest!

Other than enjoying the taste of freshness as long as possible, each planting endures different temperatures, water conditions, etc.  That means that your chances of success and having a successful harvest are multiplied.  Who doesn’t like those odds?  Good luck and tell us how your garden is doing!

 

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