Last Week of July in the Demonstration Garden at Ida Lee

2009 July 31
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by Linda

This week in the Master Gardeners’ garden at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, we have been busy harvesting beans, cucumbers, squash and chard. We are also harvesting artichokes, peppers, lettuce and the last of our kale. We have planted more bush bean seeds – there is still plenty of time for them to grow and produce beans before cold weather sets in.

We planted more “seed” potatoes and they are already sprouting (it is still not too late to plant potatoes, either. You can try growing them in a whiskey barrel or large flower pot – but not the potatoes you get from the grocery store as they have been treated so they will not sprout). Also our sweet potatoes are flowering and are very beautiful (you could try these next year in whiskey or wine barrel – just suspend a sweet potato in a glass of water with tooth picks and when it sprouts, plant the sprouts in the soil).

We have been spraying our cucurbits with “Surround”, a clay that helps deter bugs, but have had some trouble with wilt from the squash and cucumber beetles.

Also we have been treating our tomatoes with copper dust (be very careful if you use this and use it early), compost tea and continued trimming of diseased leaves for “early blight” and are hopeful for a good harvest.

By the way, if you are interested in choices of tomatoes for next year here is a web site that compares productiveness of different tomatoes
http://www.todaysgardencenter.com/news/varietycentral/index.php?storyid=2235

Now is the time to plant fall turnips, beets, carrots, kale and lettuces. As you clear out a crop have some compost ready to put in the bed before you put in the next seeds or transplants. A handful of compost mixed into the area where you are planting will help with fertility and disease resistance.

Continue to monitor for water – remember 1 inch per week. And water less frquently and more deeply (perhaps twice per week for 30 minutes, rather than every day for 5 minutes as this will encourage deeper roots for your plants).

In the ornamental beds we are “dead-heading” (removing spent flowers from plants) and cutting back day lily foliage, coreopsis and Siberian iris foliage.

Happy gardening and if you have any questions about any of this information, or have any other gardening questions, please contact the Master Gardeners’
“Help Desk” at 703-771-5150 or email us at ex107mg@vt.edu .

Thanks again for the above information from the “Garden to Table” group of the Loudoun County Master Gardeners!  As an aside, mark your calendars now as this group will be holding a two day veggie growing symposium at the Ida Lee downstairs meeting rooms.  The dates are March 20 & 21st, and we are in the process of booking some high profile speakers!  The cost will be affordable as we are plowing our profits back into the community!  Keep posted and I’ll let you know more as the information becomes available.

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