How to pollinate cucumbers and harvest summer crops

Cucumber & Tomatoes

The time for lettuces will come back in the fall. For now, make delicious summer salads with you kale, swiss chard and beets green. Add some carrot tops and some fresh herbs to complete the mix.

Tomatoes  in some gardens should be starting to ripen. Harvest them soon after they change colour. They should be slightly softer than when they are green, and should come easily off the vine with a gentle twist. If you don’t pop them in your mouth directly in the garden, chop and add to your summer salad.

When the time comes, you can harvest your cucumbers by snipping the stems. For field cucumbers, gentle run your fingers along the cucumber to remove the spikes before eating. Remember, that you can help your plants along by hand pollinating your plants.

To harvest peppers, hot or sweet, wait until they have turned colour and harvest by snipping the the stem with a pair of garden shears or scissors. Did you know that there is not such things as a green pepper? You can harvest them green if you prefer, but all peppers will change colour if you let them ripen. Harvest eggplants the same way, once they have reached the desired size, and become slightly less hard, snip the stem.  Your peppers and eggplants are sun loving crops so make sure to clear around them and cut back any tomato vines that may be shading them.

Remember to remove any diseased leaves from cucumbers, zucchini and tomato plants. As needed spray your affected plants with a baking soda solution every 3 to 4 days to keep disease under control. Powdery mildew  is present in many gardens and it is important to act quickly to keep it under control.

Your gardens best chance for success if your presence in our garden. You want to check the soil everyday and if it is dry water your garden. We have had a very dry season so far making it difficult to stay on top of the watering. Make sure to water deeply when you water to make sure that water is making is way below the surface of your garden.

In the next couples week, you can start to think about planting some fall seedlings in any empty spots in your garden. We will have some fall seedlings available in the greenhouse in 3 weeks time for those who wish to have a final planting of leafy greens.

Make a tasty pesto for your summer salad. You don’t just have to use basil in your best include other herbs from your garden like parsley.