By Jannie Vaught
When we plan our gardens and carefully prepare, plant and tend, we never know what the weather will do, our time we can spend watering and fertilizing, the outcome of our harvest is a question. This year is a bumper tomato crop, a bumper pepper, and cucumber, some are getting squash and now the time of sweet corn is here. When we plan in the fall for spring planting something to add to the garden journal is the harvest, will we share, sell some at farmers market and how will we preserve the extra. I have been canning fruit, making jelly and sauces. Today I harvested the Silver Queen Corn, and I am freezing according to the Ball Canning Book, This has been a very sweet corn and it will be a delight to have in the winter. And the Berkley Tie Dye Red Tomato is the biggest tastiest tomato I have ever grown.
I began growing these a few years ago they are from Wild Boar Farm, Bradley Gates. their web site also covers how to save these seeds and grow these Big plants and heavy tomatoes. I grow Red, Pink ,Atomic Cherry and the Green. Since the harvest this year is big, I save every seed I can. Along with this fantastic garden year it is the year of the Crape Myrtle. I didn’t know after the deep freeze we had that they would come back. They never froze, and they are so heavy with flowers that the limbs are hanging almost to the ground. Crape Myrtle the Essential Southern Plant. They start as a bush and turn into a tree. With their peeling bark and assortment of colors you will see them in their flowering best when the weather gets warm.
There are many guides about this southern wonder so do some research if they are new to you. I do very little pruning in the fall after they have gone to sleep. In seasons like this with lots of rain I do not water them, but if we are in a scarce rain season, I use a soaker hose on their drip line. I feed them Compost tea in the spring and a layer of compost around their drip line in the fall. They are one of those special plants that require a little and return abundantly.
Another Big Plus is the Bees Love this flower and a steady hum is heard when you get close to the flowers. It is a hot humid summer; the garden is busting out and I always remember why I do this, that incredible first bite of that produce standing in the garden is a spectacular reward!
Growing Green With Jannie