LATE SUMMER CHECKLIST FOR KITCHEN GARDEN CARE, AUGUST 2010

Fall is just around the corner and if you are aiming to grow some of your own food this year, now is the  time to start planning.  Begin by taking an inventory of the foods you know you will eat.  Some of our favorites are tomatoes in a variety of shapes and flavors.  Everything from snacking and salads to slicing and saucing.  We also like to grow a bunch of types of lettuce. I have to say that for us growing lettuce is the easiest way to impact our grocery bill. Another great plant is Pak Choi.  We never get tired of a stir fry  of ginger, garlic , sesame oil, Pak Choi and whatever is in the fridge (chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp). Easy quick meal that is good for you too.  Other must haves for us are beets, carrots and an assortment of peppers.

Brassicas we plant are broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage (red & green). These are just our tried & true. Then each year we pick 2-3 new things to grow. For guidance in choosing what to grow, we turned to a new book by Robert Bowden Florida Garden. This is a great resource drawing on the experiences of local gardeners, growers and farmers to provide suggestions for the best varieties. Once we have made our list of what to grow, we have to decide how much to plant and how to lay out the beds. One of the best references I know of for planning your garden space is the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.  Mel’s technique of raised beds works great as well, although I have my own preference for a soil recipe. At any rate, both of these books, as well as others are now available at our shop–all at 10% off list price-everyday.

So take some time to plan your space. Mark your calendars for late August to mid-September for when you will begin sowing and putting out your first transplants.

I look forward to seeing you soon, terri