Ok so you have planned, made your soil ready, got your starts or planted your seeds directly and watered and now there is a lush green canopy. What is underneath, in the ground, vining upward that is demanding your attention? Why harvest? Isn’t that what you wanted to do, to have fresh produce?
1. Frequent – make a 2 to 3 times a week visit to the garden OR ask the harvest team to take your donations. Why? Harvesting encourages increased plant yields. Think of your plant as an assembly line; someone, that means YOU needs to be at the end of the line taking the fruits and vegetables off the conveyor belt! Lettuce, all greens that bolt or are even said to not bolt need to be harvested regularily.
2. The giant zuchinni monster while edible signals the plant to actually die back. Yikes! Didn’t you plant it to get lots of produce – not just one big baby! Pick often and smaller and get more yields.
3. Tomatoes ripen and as they ripen they actually soften a bit making the fruit sweeter and signaling other fruit on the vine to ripen. Amazing. Miraculous. Science.
4. Fertilize the soil every three – four weeks. We have fish fertilizer in the shed.
5. July planting of fall and winter vegetables need fertile consistently moist soil. For details consult the chart in the shed, read and consult “Maritime Northwest Garden Guide,” by Seattle Tilth “a planning calendar for year-round organic gardening.” Principle Author, Lisa Taylor, 2nd Edition. ISBN 0-931380-20-0.
6. Use sharp scissors or pointed clippers for easy access to the stems. Weed and trim diseased leaves as you go.
7. Trellis vining vegetables and restake as needed your tomatoes.
8. Mulch (2 – 4″) !!! Provide shade for greens that tolerate indirect sunlight and are happier in soil with a cooler temperature.