The summer months might be too harsh for some edibles to survive, but there are plenty of hardy edibles that thrive this time of year. Some of our favorites are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Southern peas
Healthy plants are often able to survive insects and disease infestations. To keep your summer edibles growing vigorously and in a state of good health, follow these simple steps:
Unless a very large quantity of organic matter was used to amend the soil when planting, fertilizer will be necessary for healthy plants.There are many types of fertilizer available to make it easy for gardeners to keep plants healthy and producing quality vegetables, herbs, and fruit. Tips for fertilization include:
- Supply appropriate amounts of water and fertilizer.
- Make a light application of fertilizer by sprinkling fertilizer at the drip line (just beyond the outside leaves where the roots are).
- Use the right fertilizer for your crop.
- Use higher-nitrogen fertilizer for leafy vegetables, like lettuce, kale, and collards.
- Use fertilizer with higher potash for root crops, like carrots and potatoes.
Monitor for Pests.
Insects and disease infestations are common June through September, so it’s important to keep an eye on your garden. However, not all bugs are undesirable guests in your edible garden, so be sure you know the difference, and treat your garden accordingly.
- Scout your garden twice weekly for pest, fungus, and disease problems.
- Check plants from the bud to the soil, and check the top and bottom of leaves.
- Remove or treat diseased plants before the fungus spreads to healthy plants.
- Don’t treat beneficial insects, like praying mantis, spiders, big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs, lady beetles/ladybugs/ladybird beetles, and wasps.
- Do treats pests that eat your crop, like slugs and caterpillars.
- You can remove large insects by hand drowning them in soapy water.
- If you need to use an insecticide to treat, use one labeled for edibles – there are many products, both natural (spinosad, soap, BT) and conventional that safe to use on edibles.
- Plant flowers in your edible garden to provide nectar and pollen that attracts beneficial insects.
Visit The Garden Center.
No matter your experience level, we’re here to help you make the most of your summer edibles. If you’d like a little help getting your edible garden started, we offer Urban Garden Design and even butterfly and hummingbird garden design! Stop by the Garden Center today to talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable experts.