Saturday, August 15, 2015

Harvest Time

Pumpkins and Gourds

The VegHeadz Demonstration Garden has had mixed success for the spring and summer season. Garden successes include many types of beans, Sugar Pie pumpkins, gourds, eggplants and okra. We have been particularly happy with the White Acre peas which are producing abundantly with no insect damage. We had some bugs on crops early in the growing season, but during the hot, humid days of July and August, we have been amazingly free of bugs.

Garden challenges continue to be tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. The tomatoes collapsed early, and despite relatively vigorous plants, we didn't get many cucumbers or squash. We have several beehives within a few yards of the garden which are maintained by the Apalachee Beekeepers Association, so you wouldn't think that lack of pollinators would be the problem.

Laurie planted sunflowers and other flowers throughout the garden to attract good predator bugs and pollinators. Judging from the low incidence of pests, this seemed to help.

Our perennial garden continues to thrive. Cassava did not survive the winter cold and we have not replanted. Chaya also did not return, but we had saved some cuttings and replanted.

Planning for our fall garden is under way. Cover crops are being planted (buckwheat and black-eyed peas), and summer bean rows have been cut, dropped, and covered with mulch to decompose in place. All spent crops were cut rather than pulled to leave the roots in place to decompose and provide pathways for water and air to enter the soil. It's time for a new soil test to determine what amendments, if any, we need for our fall garden. Soil test kits are available in the Master Gardening office at the Leon County Extension on Paul Russell Road.

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