Pacific Northwest

August, 2011
Regional Report

Plant More Veggies

You can get the most value from your vegetable garden if you practice successive planting. As you harvest your vegetables, plant cool-season veggies like carrots, beans, or beets in their places and you'll be able to continue your harvest into late fall.

Build a Wasp Trap

Although wasps are beneficial in the garden, they can be real pests when you want to spend lots of time outdoors, especially if you've planned a party or a picnic. You can easily build a wasp trap to keep the uninvited guest busy while you enjoy the great outdoors. Use an old jar with a screw top lid, drill a 1/2-inch hole in the center of the lid and two smaller holes near the edges for string to hang the trap. A 3-foot-long piece of yarn or string poked through the outside and knotted on the inside of the lid makes a good hanger. Bait the trap with raw hamburger, screw the top on tightly, and hang it from a tree branch at least 20 feet away from your party or picnic site. The hole in the top allows insects to enter, but it's difficult for them to escape. At the end of the day, unscrew the lid and allow the wasps to fly away.

Water Early and Often

Water the garden early in the day so plants can absorb the moisture before the hot sun dries the soil. Early watering also improves the chance that the foliage will have time to dry before night. Wet foliage at night increases susceptibility to fungus diseases.

Eradicate Weeds

Even though your garden is well established by midsummer, weeds will continue to sprout and compete for water and nutrients with your annuals and perennials. This weedy competition should be removed on a regular basis. Hand pulling is my favorite method and it's relatively easy because I mulch my beds. Weeds that grow in the mulch come out with a gentle tug because their roots are in the mulch rather than deep in the soil. You can use a 2-inch layer of bark dust or sawdust to deter most annual weeds.

Prevent Cucumber Bitterness

Cucumbers develop a bitter taste if the soil is not kept consistently moist. Harvest cucumbers for pickling whole when they are 2 to 4 inches long. Harvest for table use when they're longer than 5 inches. Remove any overripe cucumbers to encourage continuous production.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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