Small Space Gardening: Garden Visits, Dried Herbs, Unblocked Carrots, Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Pruning Tomatoes Goodbye to Wasps | recent news

NB: Small Space Gardening by Diane Dryden is a series of gardening articles that will run all summer long with information for both new and experienced gardeners. Articles will be updated every two weeks as the year of gardening progresses; From site picking until harvest in the fall.

Previous Small Space Gardening Articles:

  1. Sun patterns and soil types
  2. How to read seed and package catalogs and the difference between perennials and annuals
  3. Plot planning, bulb start, crop rotation, save toilet paper tubes
  4. Start seeds using grow lights, heat pads, and toilet paper tubes
  5. Starting seeds, determine how much each you need, types of soil
  6. Planting herbs and starting potatoes
  7. Early crops, container tips, and a successful compost pile
  8. 3 Sisters, Watch the Moon, Finally, Plant Your Garden
  9. Garden Refresh, Berry Bugs, Annuals Vs. perennials and trees
  10. Ponds and water features, wildflowers, garden refresh
  11. Blight, mildew and mulch. No, they are not lawyers, but they are intrusive
  12. Second, grow crops, save seeds, visit the garden and some summer recipes

13. Small space gardening

Visit the garden, dry herbs, unbanned carrots, bake zucchini with chocolate, prune tomatoes, say goodbye to wasps

WASHBURN COUNTY – It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t think summer goes by so fast. It seems we were just seed shopping, and now many of us have already harvested radishes, pea pods, and lettuce.

Many of us have already replanted the same crops for a second season in the fall.

One of the nicest things about container gardening is the ability to move your “garden” to get more or less light, depending on the sun and heat level. I moved my second crop of radishes and lettuce to the shady side of my deck, and put the basil I just planted directly in the sun. Ah, containers!

This is the time of year when you need to think about pruning tomatoes. Cut off all lower leaves that are not bearing fruit. Remove all 45-degree side shoots, they are never exposed. By removing excess leaves, you expose the ripe fruit to the sun and add much-needed air to the plant.

If you grow potatoes, don’t forget to keep them watered. Especially if you grow them in old dog food bags or other containers. The harvest time for them is around August 25, so it won’t be long now.

If you are growing herbs to dry them for the winter, keep the plants closed. This time of year they will go to seed overnight. If the herbs have seeds that have already germinated for some reason, you can still cut the seeds to extend the life of the plant, but the flavor in the leaves will be very strong, sometimes bitter.

If they haven’t gone to seed yet, nibble on the healthy leaves after the dew is gone, around ten in the morning. Arrange in a single layer and dry in a dryer or oven if it drops to 170 degrees. People use the microwave, but I think weed sounds funny. If all you have is the sun, a word of caution. Do not place the leaves in direct sun. It will dry out, but it will turn an unattractive brown. It will take longer to dry naturally due to the constantly fluctuating humidity. Whatever you do, make sure it’s dry and crunchy. It was going to last a long time and not mold.

I recently visited Dan Erickson who is a Rice Lake gardener. He is a retired family doctor who has found the best way to honor his Swedish heritage.

After several visits to Sweden, he was able to recreate the style of the house which he found very attractive in the country of his ancestors. Landscaping on both sides of the front walk adds to what you’d expect in a land that honors nature in all its glory. Close your eyes and you are no longer in the US but in that beautiful Swedish countryside.

He was always a plant man, going after his father. Now that he’s retired, he can plant any way he chooses so he picks bales and containers of straw over the traditional in-ground garden.
The reason is simple. It is not very good at weeding.

Last fall, 24 bales of straw were delivered to his home. They were allowed to “condition” during the winter. In the spring he was ready to plant with vegetables he had grown from seed. There are watermelon, melon, tomato and pepper. It also grows turnips, several types of squash, basil and potatoes. This is his first year for the potatoes and he is not sure if he has buried them to the right depth. The time will tell you when it’s ready to harvest and the bale splits in two.

When it’s time to sow the seeds he started, he simply makes a hole in the hay bale, adds some potting soil, and slips the plant in. Hay bales are notorious for their need for a lot of water, but it seems that when they are allowed to season all winter and are no longer dry, and daily watering is less important. “It’s like planting in compost,” he says.

Although those pesky weeds grow all over the bales, they never interfere with growing crops. When the harvest is over, he has the option of using old straw as cover for berries and shrubs.

Dan mentioned that plants prefer rainwater to well water, and he adds enough Miracle Grow to make a weak solution every time he waters.

During the five years that he lived on his seven-and-a-half acres of land, he added apple trees, pears, raspberries, honeysuckle, raspberries, elderberries, and many other plants that caught his attention.

Not long ago, he added a greenhouse to the back of his garage where he put the vegetable flats he had started in the basement of the house to grow and harden. It is also used in the greenhouse to propagate existing plants such as geraniums, raspberries, and amaryllis.

When asked what he intends to do with the abundance of vegetables. He shrugs his shoulders and says he will probably give up on most of them.

Ah, a true gardener finds joy primarily in growing. Or, as he likes to quote Thomas Jefferson, “I am an old man but a young gardener.”

Just a reminder to weed. The full moon will be on August 11, so it would be impossible to pull weeds a week before, and a week after that date. If you can, wait until August 18th, and it will be a lot easier. The best time is on either side of August 27 when the moon is dark.

If wasps are making your life miserable, put a plastic bag in a brown lunch bag and hang it under eaves to keep it dry. The wasps must think that someone hit them to make the first nest, and they fly away and build nothing. Weird, but it works.

If you are busy harvesting carrots, and if they are tricolor, take them from me, and do not freeze them together. If you do not remove the lilac, after cooking it, they will all turn a disappointing and dirty violet.

If zucchini is overpowered, and you’re looking for another way to fix it instead of a quick stir-fry with green peppers, onions, pea pods, and leftover meat of some kind, here’s a great recipe for chocolate zucchini loaf.

  • Beat 4 eggs and add 2 c. Sugar. Mix 2 tons. vanilla, 1 c. of oil or apple juice, and 2 c. Grated zucchini.
  • In another bowl, mix 3 c. Flour with 1 ton. baking soda, 1 t. baking powder and ½ t. salt 3 oz. Instant chocolate pudding.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together with the wet ingredients and optionally add 1 cup. chocolate chips and 1 c. Chopped walnut.
  • Bake at 350 degrees in 2 floured 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Next time I’ll be harvesting the potatoes I’ve planted in cat food bags, we’ll be visiting another creative gardener, a natural resources employee who has an adventurous way of organic gardening.

If you have suggestions, comments, or wisdom, let me know. Always appreciated.

Last update: August 06, 2022, 7:29 AM EST

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