For those of you who planted all the way back in late-April early-May, you should be doing tons of harvesting every day! Harvest leafy greens by cutting off larger outer leaves and leave the inner leaves to grow. Keep leafy greens well harvested away from peppers and eggplants if your plants are sharing squares at this time of year. If your peppers and eggplants do not have lots of clear space around them, they will not grow.
Tomatoes have been planted in front of peas to share space as well. The tomatoes will hang out in the garden for the next 3 – 4 weeks to give peas a chance to produce on the trellis. Once tomatoes need support from the trellis, peas should be about done producing for the year.
Garlic scapes are ready to harvest. It is important to remove them all from the garlic plant so that the plant’s energy goes into producing bulbs instead of flowers. The scape is the curled end above the top leaves, see photo below. Simply snip off. You can chop it up to add to any dish, or blend all of them together to add to a pesto. They are a delicious delicacy – so be sure to enjoy! We have onion fly larva eating our garlic scapes and leaves. If you see a small yellowish larva on your plants, search and destroy. Trichogramma will help with this kind of pest.
Tomatoes and peppers will start flowering soon. Thrips damage in the garden can greatly reduce harvests. Cucumeris is an acarian that will take care of them for you. Applying beneficial insects early in the season helps to prevent problems later on.
It is important to keep on top of Slugs and leaf miner populations early in the season as well. The leaf miner can wipe out your chard or beet crops if left unchecked. Remove affected leaves and destroy. Check backs of healthy leaves for eggs and scrape off with your nail. It is important to get slugs out of the garden right away. They grow quickly and multiply! Use beer traps and hand picking to get out ahead of the population explosion. Watering in the morning instead of at night can helps to reduce slug populations.
It is important to water a lot. Watering deeply early in the morning is the best practice. If this is hard for you because of a busy morning schedule, setting up a simple irrigation system on a timer can help a lot!