The okra plant produces cream colored flowers. Once pollinated, these will produce the okra pods to harvest and cook.

Growing up in East Tennessee, okra was one of the most common vegetables I both ate and grew. Now that I live in the Midwest, I don’t see the crop as often in community gardens and at farmers markets. Yet you may have found this summer, as I have, that okra deserves a place in the summer garden.

Freshly harvested cucumbers, eggplant, beans, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, beets, & turnips.

The fruits of our summer labors have started to ripen and will soon be ready for harvest. As gardeners, it is common we overplant. Most of us end up with more produce than we can use. Neighbors, friends, and others typically benefit from the overflow. Keep the tips here in mind to help get the longest life out of your harvest.

Ripe and Unripe Strawberry Closeup. Photo Credit: Enoch Lau, Wikicommons

As we are approaching the half way mark for the month of June and looking towards those summer plans, one thing many people are looking forward to is summer Strawberries. Whether you are growing everbearing or June-bearing strawberries, harvest time is here for some and soon to be for others.

Everbearing pineberrries are unique white berries with red seeds. Photo source: Emmbean, Wikimedia Commons.

Strawberries (Fragaria species) are one of summer’s best treats. Depending on cultivar, June-bearing provide a large crop of larger strawberries and everbearing strawberries produce smaller berries throughout the growing season. There are also novelty types of strawberries that range in color (purple, yellow, white) or flavor. One unique novelty strawberry is the pineberry.

Planting a fruit tree requires digging a hole the size of the roots.

Spring is a great time to be adding fruit trees to the backyard. Apple, peach, pear, cherry, and so many others are great additions. If you are a market grower, you may have customers asking about tree fruit and it may be time to finally decide on purchasing and plantings trees.

Potatoes do not always get their due. Unlike their family member, tomatoes, that need assistance through a trellis and managing diseases/insects in the growing season, potatoes are not too needy. Yes, they might get diseases. Yes, they might get Colorado Potato beetle damage. Yes, you do need to hill them. Yes, they need good drainage in the soil. However, you're probably growing potatoes without thinking much about them. Perhaps it's time then to grow a different cultivar.