Gardening

When to Plant and Harvest Vegetables

When it comes to having a garden, many of our deer fence members say their favorite is their vegetable garden. If you’re planning on a vegetable garden, you have to first decide whether you want to plant a plot garden or a patio garden (or both!). Some vegetables grow nicely in small pots on a patio, while others don’t, so it’s important to know which to choose for planting. For a patio garden, you can plant cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, and beetroot, while others (like kale, brussel sprouts, corn, and potatoes) are better off in a plot garden.

Here is a list of when the best time is to plant common vegetables and when the best time is to harvest them:

Plant

Beetroot – Mid-March through Julyvegetable planting

Broccoli – Mid-March through May

Brussel Sprouts – Mid-February through Mid-April

Cabbage – Mid-February through Mid-April

Carrots – April through July

Cauliflower – Mid-April through May

Corn – April through May

Cucumbers – Mid-March through May

Kale – May through June

Leeks – April

Lettuce – April through July

Lima Beans – Mid-May through June

Onions – Mid-February through Mid-April

Parsnips – April through June

Peppers – Mid-March through June

Potatoes – May

Pumpkins – May

Radishes – April through August

Squash – April through May

Tomatoes – Mid-February through Mid-April

Turnips – April through August

Harvest

Beetroot – June through September

Broccoli – July through September

Brussel Sprouts – Mid-July through January

Cabbage – July through September

Carrots – July through October

Cauliflower – June through September

Corn – July through October

Cucumbers – July through September

Kale – August through December

Leeks – September through December

Lettuce – June through Mid-November

Lima Beans – Mid-July through September

Onions – August through October

Parsnips – October through December

Peppers – May to September

Potatoes – August through September

Pumpkins – August through September

Radishes – May through October

Squash – June through August

Tomatoes – July through October

Turnips – June through November

 

Don’t forget to protect your vegetables from deer and other small animals! Use our high quality deer repellent or try making your own.

Grow Your Herbs In Containers!

herbs

If you love growing herbs in a garden (like many of our deer fencing members do), but live in an apartment complex or in a home with little backyard space, there’s an easy solution – grow them in containers! Just like some fruits are able to grow in containers, there are many varieties of herbs that can do the same.

Herbs are great for growing indoors because they can be used so often in cooking. They also grow fairly fast, so if you decide to use a lot in your next recipe, you won’t have to wait very long until you can harvest more. Try growing these herbs in containers in your home:

Basil

Basil comes in many different varieties and thrives in soil that is well-drained, so start with coarse-textured soil from the store. Then, make sure you place the basil as close to a window as possible (it needs lots of light) and water the basil on a regular basis. If you’re not sure if the herb needs water, stick your finger about 1/2 inch into the soil. If it’s dry, it needs watering.

Thyme

Thyme needs plenty of light, so once you plant it, keep it close to a window. Thyme is naturally drought-resistant, so you don’t need to water it as often as basil. (You can let the soil dry in between waterings.) It’s a hardy plant and can survive in temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit or as high as 80 degrees, so it’s perfect for growing indoors.

Oregano

Oregano thrives in bright light, so place it near a window that faces east – this way, it can enjoy the brightness of the morning sun. Oregano is also naturally drought-resistant, so water it regularly, but don’t over-water it. Most oregano varieties will bloom clusters of purple flowers in the summer, however, you’ll want to pinch them off when you see them (to keep the flavor in the leaves).

Chives

Chives are a little more temperamental when it comes to growing to their fullest. Chives need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, so put your herb near a south-facing window for optimum sun exposure. The soil also needs to be evenly moist at all times. The good news is that the tips of the chives will turn yellow if there’s not enough moisture in the soil.

Rosemary

Because rosemary is a slow-growing plant, you may want to consider buying a nursery-grown plant and nurturing it instead of planting a seed. Like oregano, rosemary thrives under bright light, so place it near an east-facing window in order to harvest the morning light. Rosemary is also drought-resistant, so only water it when necessary and be sure not to over-water it.

Parsley

Unlike rosemary, parsley is best grown from a seed because it has long roots that don’t transplant well. Parsley needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, so place it near a south-facing window to give it enough light. You should also keep the soil lightly moist and harvest them by snipping the parsley at the bottom of the stalk instead of just at the leaves.

Common Plant Disease Symptoms

Like humans, plants can be affected by viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases. Many diseases can be treated by removing the affected part of the plant and then pruning it back to prevent reinfection, however, some will weaken the plant bad enough to kill it.

plant disease

Look for:

  • Leaf rust
  • Brown leaf spots
  • Powdery mildew
  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Cankers
  • Fruit spots
  • Crinkled leaves
  • Root, stem, or leaf galls
  • Profuse flowering
  • Leaf malformation
  • Stem rust
  • Inadequate pigments
  • Bacteria oozing from stem
  • Leaf scabs
  • Leaf blight
  • Vascular wilt
  • Leaf or fruit rot
  • Black spots

If your plant’s symptom seems to be on the surface (like mildew or spots), your plant will most likely live, provided that you remove the affected areas. If your plant’s symptoms seem to be internal, however (like vein-y streaks or distorted shapes), you may not be able to save them.

In order to prevent diseases, our deer fencing company recommends choosing hardy plants that are disease-resistant. Also, spray your plants with wilt-proofing solution and/or baking soda sprays, keep weeds away from them (because weeds are quick to germinate), and thin the stems of disease-prone plants to allow more air circulation.

For a great list of diseases, their symptoms, and their treatments, check out this article from the U.K.’s Channel 4.

10 Ways to Save Water in Your Garden

waterIf you’re like some of our deer fencing members, you’re excited that it’s finally summer and you can spend more time in your garden. However, with summer comes hotter temperatures and water evaporation. To make sure you don’t run up you water bill trying to keep your plants healthy, keep these things in mind:

1. Stick to Roots

Instead of watering your entire garden, water deeply. This means focusing on feeding the roots of your fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc. Not only will you use less water watering areas that don’t need it, your plants will grow better.

2. Mulch

Mulching locks in moisture, so make sure you apply a fresh layer of mulch to your plants yearly. You can even redress your mulch (meaning add a small top layer) if you notice it’s fading in color.

3. Grow in the Ground

Plants that are grown in pots dry out quicker than plants that are grown in the ground. This is because the roots of ground plants can extend deep into the soil in search of water, whereas potted plants can only extend so far down.

4. Collect Water

Have some large bins or barrels that you’re not using? Leave them outside (or underneath your gutters) to collect rainwater, then, instead of using your hose or sink, use the rainwater to water your plants!

5. Weed Often

Just like your plants, weeds need a source of water, and the more weeds you have in your garden, the more your plants will have to compete for nourishment. Rid your garden of weeds regularly and your plants can enjoy their water all to themselves.

6. Water at the Right Time

Now that it’s hot out, it’s possible to easily lose water to evaporation. To avoid wasting water, water your plants at the right time of day. The best time is before it gets too hot (around 8 a.m.) and after the sun is at its full strength (around 5 p.m.).

7. Plant Natives

If you’re looking to plant more flowers, vegetables, herbs, etc., do some research and choose ones that are native to your area. Native plants are used to the climate, so usually they don’t require as much water as invasive plants.

8. Group Together

When planting new plants, group together the ones that require a lot of water. This way, you can focus on watering them all at once and reduce your consumption.

9. Use Gray Water

Instead of fresh water, if you have any leftover water in the house that hasn’t been altered with chemicals (such as cooking water, abandoned drinking water, etc.), use it to water your plants.

10. Invest in Shade

Plant some trees or tall shrubs or bushes around your garden. They will provide shade, which will lock in more moisture and prevent water evaporation.

Upcycled Garden Ideas

Picture courtesy of Google

Photo courtesy of Google

If you already have a garden, you already know how wonderful (and green!) it can be to grow your own fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc. If you’re looking for unique and thrifty ways to add to your creation, try making a planter out of an old shoe – or plant markers from corks. Our deer fencing company has created a list of neat ideas for you to try:

Planters

Tea cups – Old tea cups are perfect for growing small flowers. Just drill a hole in the bottom for drainage and plant your favorite miniature roses, geraniums, violets, or herbs like parsley or chives.

Shoes – Any type of old shoe can be turned into a planter – simply drill holes (about an inch apart) in the soles for drainage, line the shoe with cheesecloth or thin fabric (to prevent soil from escaping), and plant your favorite plant! You can even apply a couple coats of outdoor acrylic sealer to the inside and outside of the shoe to make it last longer.

Food tins – Whether it’s a can of coffee, a tin of popcorn, or a can of mixed nuts, tins are great for upcycling. Drill a couple drainage holes in the bottom, then line, fill with soil and start growing!

Colanders – Since they already have drain holes, old-fashioned metal colanders are perfect for planters. Just line the bottom and choose your plant. If your colander has handles on it, you could also easily turn it into a hanging planter.

Trellises

Pallets – For leftover wooden pallets in your area, check a gardening store, hardware store, or power equipment store (preferably a small business, since big businesses tend to have pallet pick-up contracts). Lean two together to form a triangle or stack them side-by-side for a rectangular trellis.

Doors – Old French doors (or any door with glass panes) make great trellises. Simply knock out the glass to give plants empty space and re-paint to match your garden decor.

Bird Baths

Bird baths can be made from many different household items – try turning a ceramic chalice upside-down and gluing it to the bottom of a ceramic bowl. Or drill a hole in the bottom of a teacup and saucer and attach a rod and hook to make a hanging bird bath. An upside-down pot makes for a good base while an old pot lid makes for a good bowl – or, simply drill holes in a plastic bowl and attach some twine to make another kind of hanging bird bath. As long as you have something to hold water and a “stem” to display it, you can get creative.

Garden Beds

Kiddie pools – Have a kiddie pool that your son or daughter has outgrown? Repaint or embellish it, then fill it with soil and use it as a bed for your garden!

Dresser drawers – If you don’t have any unused dresser drawers, you can easily find some at yard sales, flea markets, or even out by the curb for the trash. Simply apply a few coats of waterproof sealer to keep the wood from warping – you can even leave the drawers in the dresser and pull them out.

Cribs/beds – You can literally make a garden bed with an old crib or bed. Take the springs out, then line bricks from the ground up around the inside of the frame to keep your soil and plants inside the bed.

Stones – Whether they’re unused stones, pieces of concrete, leftover pavers, or another type of hardscaping element, you can line them up in a neat shape and create your own space for a garden bed.

Decorations

Bottles – Brightly colored bottles can be used for a variety of things in your garden – try painting them with a pretty pattern and hanging them. Or, turn them upside-down and line your garden for a pop of color and sparkle. You can also turn them into their own planters.

Corks – If you’re handy with a box cutter, carve your corks to make little designs like mushrooms and place them throughout your garden. Or you can use corks to make markers for each of your plants – simply write the plant name on them, then skewer and place in your garden.

Silverware – Need a new set of silverware? Use your old ones to make a wind chime. Or, paint your spoons or knives with chalkboard paint and write the names of your plants to use as plant markers. You can also attach four spoon heads together in an “X” and glue a large nail through the center to make a decorative butterfly.