Pacific Northwest

June, 2010
Regional Report

Harvest Early and Late

The time of day vegetables are harvested makes a difference in their flavor. For the highest sweetness, pick peas and sweet corn late in the day when sugar content is high. Other vegetables, such as lettuce and cucumbers, are crisper and tastier when harvested early in the morning.

Turn the Compost Pile

Turning the compost pile every few weeks will help speed up the decomposition process. If the pile is small, it's easy to move the warm center of the pile to the edges. If the pile is large, try removing the material from the center and placing it aside. Pile what was around the edges into a heap in the center where it will heat up, then line the newly created heap with the material you set aside.

Lightly Prune Trees

You can lightly prune trees to remove dead, diseased, crossing, or broken branches during the summer months, but don't get carried away. Heavy pruning in summer can expose previously shaded leaves and bark to the harsh sun, resulting in sunscald and damage to the tree trunk.

Encourage Frogs

Encourage all types of critters to live in your yard and gardens. Frogs and toads eat cutworms and other insect pests. Place inverted clay pots in shady garden spots, and chip out a piece of the pot rim to give them an entrance to their new home.

Thin Apples

Fruit trees often set more fruit than they can mature. Trees go through a natural thinning process in early June, dropping fruits that haven't been properly fertilized. After this natural fruit drop, hand-thin remaining fruits, leaving only one or two per cluster. With less competition for nutrients and water, these remaining fruits will be larger and of better quality.

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