The summer growing season may be winding down, but temperature extremes, smoke-filled skies, and who knows what all have caused many garden plants to behave strangely this year.
For one thing, many plants took a lot longer than normal to get started. Our early heat wave, followed by a cold snap, and then scorching summer temperatures caused many plants to be confused about the seasons. Instead of following their normal progression of leaf and stem growth, followed by flowering and then fruiting, plants struggled early on to figure which task they should be performing. Small pepper plants are taking longer to get bushy, eggplants were late to bloom, and squash plants look as though they are starting the season all over again!
My solution: cut off older leaves and lift plants skyward with tomato cages. It might not make a difference. Then again, it might. In my mind, getting leaves and fruit away from the soil eliminates one point of pest entry. It also improves airflow around the plants, reducing the chance of fungal disease. It looks pretty cool, too. And I’m still getting zucchinis.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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