The smells of summer

In a few short weeks we’ll all miss the smell of freshly snipped basil on our hands.  Right now my time is taken up with pretty much harvesting-and having a hard time keeping up with some of the things.  Keep harvesting those pole beans while they’re still a decent size.  If you don’t, you’ll end up with these pithy tasting beans, which you’ll end up throwing away.  By keeping them harvested, the plant knows it needs to still produce more.  If you stop harvesting, the plant believes it’s time to start shutting down for the season.  Keep the top of your basil plants pinched off.  I also end up cutting off any brown or yellowing leaves on all my squash plants.  Keep your lettuce well watered and shaded.  In about another 2 weeks it’s time to put in your fall-Labor Day gardens.  That’s for those who want to get one more harvest out of the season.  It’s the best time to do it.  All the things you grew so well in the spring can successfully be planted again-without the snails and slugs.  I’ve still been planting squares of lettuce-right through the summer-so that we have some available to enjoy with the other salad fixings from the garden.  Maybe start thinking of your compost right now.  You should have a bunch ready to go on Labor Day.  If not, you’ll need to start hunting around for places that carry a good quality compost.  I’ve already mentioned what I believe is the best commercial compost available in a previous post.  If you’ve made no compost, this is the stuff you want to buy.  I can’t believe summer is almost over but it’s time to think about either extending the season or shutting down the gardens for the remainder of the year.  Keep in mind that in many areas where the first frost hits, there is usually another 4-6 weeks of cooler weather to still plant for those who still want to.

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