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.
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.
Summer is here!
As we approach the halfway mark for the month of June and look forward to summer plans, one thing many people are excited about is summer strawberries. Whether you are growing everbearing or June-bearing strawberries, harvest time is here for some and on its way for others.
June-bearing strawberries, depending on the variety, can bear fruit from early June through the Fourth of July. All four of these berries are noted for their taste, texture, suitability for being grown in Illinois
Strawberries (Fragaria species) are one of summer’s best treats.
Depending on the cultivar, strawberries differ in when they produce berries and what their berries look like.
- June-bearing strawberries provide a large crop of larger berries.
- Everbearing strawberries produce smaller berries throughout the growing season.
- Novelty types of strawberries can range in color (purple, yellow, white) and flavor.
One unique novelty strawberry is the pineberry.
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.