More July Gardening

By Roger Erpelding
Contributing Writer
Right on schedule, I picked the second bunch of green beans on July 9. As expected, it was better than the first picking. There are more pods setting on, but from this point forward, the harvest will lessen. I’ll pick beans again on July 15.

I also picked the butter crunch lettuce on July 10. This will be its last picking. The salads we made with it were still very tasty, but it now wants to bolt and go to seed. If the weather hadn’t been so moderate, I would have finished this crop in late June.

While picking the lettuce, I noticed that some of the Norland potatoes are starting to die. This is normal, as they are an early variety, and I have dug them as early as July 4. The rainy and moderate weather have helped them stay around a little longer. They have now been in the ground for 80 days, so they should be ready. I will begin digging them soon.

When the garlic blooms, it is almost ready for harvest. The blooms have come on and some of the garlic has dried out. This crop is usually harvestable in mid-July, so it is right on schedule. By their flowers I can tell that I have two different varieties. Elephant garlic is my favorite, but I believe I have another variety that I am not sure what it is. Its flowers are actually miniature garlic bulbs and would be good to eat. I will not plant them, as it would take years for them to mature into usable bulbs.

With my lettuce salad, I enjoyed a sweet banana pepper from the garden. I want to pick them soon to freeze my first bag of them. I also need to keep the repellant on. They are larger in size and the plants are even more vulnerable to rabbit damage.

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