New England

June, 2012
Regional Report

Channel Your Inner Monet

Give your garden a little touch of Monet's glorious garden at Giverny in France by planting nasturtiums along either side of a walkway, just as the great artist did along the central path in his garden. Let the nasturtiums trail out into the walk as the season progresses for a display of colorful abundance. Nasturtiums grow quickly from seed and thrive in less than perfect soil.

Stake Peppers and Eggplants

Even though these plants don't reach the heights of tomato vines, peppers and eggplants can get top heavy and topple when they are loaded with ripening fruits. Place a stake next to each plant and tie its main stem to the stake at intervals as the season progresses.

Make Succession Plantings

Make small successive plantings of lettuce, beans, beets, chard, radishes, cilantro, dill, and basil for a continued harvest. Choose a spot that will be shaded by taller plants for later sowings of lettuce seeds.

Keep Onions Well Weeded

Onions don't tolerate competition from weeds. For the best crop, keep your onion bed well weeded, but be sure not to disturb the onions' shallow roots in the process. Using mulch is a good way to help keep weeds at bay without disrupting plants. Give onions a dose of a low-nitrogen soluble fertilizer such as fish emulsion when the tops are about 6 inches tall and again just as they begin to bulb up.

Plant Unusual Herbs

Try something a little different in the herb garden this summer and expand your horticultural and culinary horizons. Salad burnet is a perennial herb whose young cucumber-flavored leaves can be added to salads, as can its edible purple-pink flowers. Annual summer savory is a traditional and delicious accompaniment to all kinds of beans, with leaves that combine the taste of thyme and mint. Make successive sowings, as this herb bolts quickly when the weather turns hot. Winter savory is its perennial and somewhat more strongly flavored perennial counterpart.

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