Garden Journal columnist Ron Kujawski began gardening at an early age on his family's onion farm in upstate New York. Although now retired, he spent most of his career teaching at the UMass Extension Service.
Having reached an age which some would call “ancient,” it does take me much longer to accomplish some basic tasks. Keeping up with weeds in the vegetable garden is one example. They have really gotten away from me this year.
Whether eaten the day of harvest or within a few days afterward, fresh picked vegetables are best stored in the refrigerator. Of course, with frequent harvests or with high yield crops, there will often be more vegetables than can be consumed in a short time. That leads to implementing a strategy for preserving these vegetables.
STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! No, that’s not a message for pedestrians trying to cross Main Street in Great Barrington. Rather, it is a suggestion for folks who spend endless amounts of time tending to their home landscape and gardens. Sometimes we get so involved in the work that we fail to stop and look at the results.
That thought popped into my mind early last week when, after an arduous day, my wife and I decided to sit on the front porch, something we hadn’t done in a long time. It was early evening and in those moments of relaxation, our attention was soon drawn to the mix of flowers and shrubs bordering the front lawn.
Confessions of a Compulsive Plant Buyer: I admit it. I can’t resist buying a plant, usually an herbaceous perennial, whenever I’m at a nursery or garden center. Frequently this is done without any forethought and I soon discover that there is no place to plant the thing.
“Waste not, want not!” This proverbial phrase has many connotations, including with respect to vegetable gardening. As a case in point, I have been picking peas since late June and have just about picked the last of this spring planted crop. Now what? Well, for one, there is now plenty of open space in the garden which I’d not like to see going to waste. Therefore, I want to use that space.
Despite all efforts to try and control the ravenous caterpillars, it really had little effect in bringing down their population. Rather, it is Mother Nature who is more effective.
Whether you use herbicide or follow an organic plan, frequently monitoring your garden for weeds to pull, now is a critical time to take care of those flowering weeds since those flowers will soon be setting seeds ... and that means more weeds.
For many folks, it is a time to unwind a bit, soak up the sun, take in some of the Berkshire arts and cultural offerings, and, perhaps, plan a little vacation time. Such is not always the case for passionate and devoted gardeners. The list of tasks merely expands and for many of us, that is pure pleasure despite the work.
June may be the busiest month of the gardening season, not just for gardeners but also for the insects, mites, and some four-legged critters which thrive by feasting on plants.
Pruning trees and shrubs in the home landscape can be a mystery and a source of anxiety to many folks. This is especially true it seems when it comes to pruning needled evergreens.