Featured Garden Sense

Be the Boss of Your Garden #GardenSense

purple bean flower

Every morning you’re up early and out in you’re garden. You know how important it is to water early before it gets to hot.
What’s that. Holes in your bean leaves. You bend down to take a closer look. Definitely bug chews. Which bugs? It’s too early for bugs to appear. They’re still sleeping. Probably with full bellies of bean leaves.
Forget a morning run, now you need to treat the beans for insects.
Hey wait. There are tons of beans ready to pick. Better pick them before the bugs get them. Back to the house for a bowl.
You need to dig around a bit under the leaves to find all the beans. That’s when you see them. Weeds. Lots of weeds. Where did those pesky plants come from overnight?
Back to the house for the cultivator and a bucket for the weeds.
An hour later you have taken care of the beans. Now you still have 10 tomatoes plants, numerous herbs, zucchini, peppers (4 kinds) and melons.
Feeling overwhelmed?
When you love gardening it is easy to bite off more than you can chew.
Step back and reevaluate your gardening experience this season.
Remember why you took up gardening. You wanted to grow your own food. You thought is was a relaxing hobby. Be one with the earth.
Gardening is still all those things.
Don’t let your garden be your boss.
Here are a few suggestions to put you back in the driver’s seat.

  • Scale back on the amount of plants and varieties you plant. Break up your planting season and plant a few early crops like peas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach or lettuce in spring.
  • Cut back what you plant in summer. Summertime fun and obligations eat in quality garden time. Plant less and enjoy more.
  • Invest in watering devices like soaker hoses or wands. These helpers get the job done in no time.
  • The weather is not necessarily your friend. Too much rain can be as bad as too little rain. Keep an eye on the weather to help avoid overwatering.
  • Don’t agonize about what you did wrong. Sometimes nature doesn’t react as we planned. Remember to do a soil test, fertilize at the appropriate times and be mindful of insects and disease.

Gardeners are the most optimistic people I know. Year after year we put that seed in the ground and wait for something wonderful to happen. We watch for it to sprout. We care for it and about it.
The rewards from gardening are great. Don’t get overwhelmed. Be the boss in your garden.

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About the author

Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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