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Portland, OR
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Extended season gardening!

IMG_2926Now that summer is in full swing our gardens are bursting with veggies. But that doesn’t mean that you cant plant more! Now is a great time to start thinking about fall crops and even planting for spring harvests next year. We are blessed to live in such a wonderful climate that with a little planning allows for almost year round vegetable gardening. Here are a few tips on what you can plant now:

Once greens have bolted in the heat replant with arugula, asian greens, collards, kale, mache, spinach, mustard or lettuces.
Now is a great time to freshen up your herb garden, replant basil that has been damaged by slugs (or fervent caprese makers), do a second seed sowing of cilantro or dill. You can also fill in areas with something new like terragon, lemongrass or pineapple sage.
Short season crops like beets, radishes and carrots can be planted now for a fall harvest. And don’t forget that the greens of radishes and beets are delicious all on their own.
You can also plant hardy vegetables that will last into the cooler season: brussel sprouts, broccoli, raab, cabbage, cauliflower, fava beans, leeks and turnips are all great options.

Many plants that have bolted in the heat become bitter but they can still be tasty. The flowers themselves are delicious – Toss the flower heads of lettuces, broccoli, cabbage or radishes in a salad for a bit of color or texture. Even bitter greens can be yummy – saute lightly with a bit of soy to accent the intense flavor. If they are to far gone find a chicken or duck – they LOVE greens! And once harvested you will have more room for new plantings.

WOW – it is HOT out there!

IMG_3259While you can plant almost year round here in Portland it’s best to avoid these super hot days. It’s perfectly fine to keep your new plants in their nursery pots safe in a shady spot just as long as you keep them well watered (which means every day – in this heat)!

For existing plantings that are already in the ground here are a few tips to keep your landscape healthy!

Soaker hoses or automatic watering systems work best. Many plants like tomatoes prefer regular watering schedules and dislike overhead watering on their leaves, which can cause blossom end rot!
Water early in the morning or later in the evening. This can help conserve water as less is lost to evaporation and most plants will be feeding during those times.
Avoid misting plants in the heat of the day, overhead watering can burn plant’s leaves if applied in direct sun. Plus you are more likely to end up with burned shoulders as well. Some plants such as Rhododendrons curl their leaves to conserve water – don’t be tempted to mist wilted leaves until the cool part of the day.
Potted containers in direct sun will most likely need to be watered every day. Pots cannot hold much moisture and are generally way hotter than soil under ground so they will dry out much faster. It’s almost impossible to overwater a pot!
Even drought tolerant plants will need to be monitored their first summer until their roots are established.
Plants that have been stressed by drying out are much more susceptible to disease and pests so keep those plants watered.

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