Drying Sunflowers and Summer Harvest
Sunflowers are in full, showy bloom now and the birds are loving them! It’s fun to watch them flit around the flowers, eating their fill, but if you want some seeds for snacking, you’ll have to get to them before the birds finish them off. Cut some flower heads that still have a good number of seeds left and put them in a dry spot to cure.
Eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes should be producing abundantly now. Harvest them regularly and enjoy! We have lots of cherry tomatoes ripening as well as ‘Cherokee Purple’, an extremely sweet and delicious dusky-purple pink heirloom variety. The okra is also starting to fruit and it has a very pretty flower.
With the recent (much needed) rains, along with the continued heat, weeds are popping up everywhere. It is important to keep after them so they won’t compete for water and nutrients or shade out desirable plants. And, don’t let them go to seed or you will be increasing the problem for the future.
If you haven’t already done so, prepare for the fall months ahead by sowing some seeds. Now is a great time to start cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. In another couple weeks, start cool season crops such as kohlrabi, pak choi, kale, and collard greens. Check out this planting guide to plan your fall garden.
In Phipps’ Edible Garden, the pumpkins continue to grow, and for the most part seem healthy – we are trying to see how big they will get! We planted the variety ‘First Prize,’ which are supposed to get to 80 to 100 pounds so they have a ways to go. They need lots of water during development and growth of the fruit, so they’re being watered daily.