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Garden Gleanings

Posted Saturday, October 11, 2008, at 11:15 AM

While watching Tennessee Volunteer Gardener I heard a commentator say that most people pay more attention to their gardens in Spring and Fall but do not put that much emphasis on Summer. I am not sure about that statement and want to get some other opinions.

I plant for Spring but much of my work is aimed at getting things ready for summer. Now, I don't do major garden renovations in summer because of the heat and often lack of water, but I certainly have a keen interest in summer growing. Maybe she meant that there is not as much "physical activity" in summer.

My fall garden is doing well and we will put in some fall flowers but my emphasis now is to get the garden ready for next Spring. I am re-digging some beds, mulching with leaves, grass and compost and planting some cover crops for replenishing the soil. I have had trouble finding collard and turnip seeds. Anyone know a local source?

Barbara called me this week to excitedly tell me that she read an article in the Tennessean about a particular bean/pea that she has been nurturing for the past few years. She thought it was unique since it started out as a "Big Boy" pea and she got "Yellow Eye" and another pea that was speckled black and white. The news article helped her identify the seed as a Vaquero bean. I am guessing it was an article sent to many papers and here is a link to one that sounds like it http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

You can find a picture of the bean a little past half way down the page here http://www.ranchogordo.com/Merchant2/mer... I wrote to the company on Barbara's behalf to see if her if the Big Boy bean was actually a hybrid of Yellow Eye and Vaquero. No answer yet.

As I walked the garden today the varieties of Bok Choy are doing well, the tomatoes are still producing and sugar snap peas seem to be coming on strong, but something hit the green beans. When I say sat hit them I mean all the leaves are gone! I would bet rabbits or deer but why did they stop with just the leaves? I would think the tender green beans would be a treat as well. No matter I guess. They are ready for picking and now it is easier to pick, butů. just curious.

At the garden meeting last week I was told that the figs I brought in were not what I thought. One fig tree came over from Italy in the early 1900's but the one I brought in came with the house 15 years ago, so I never was sure. Now I am even LESS sure.

Pictures seemed to tell me it is a Brown Turkey, but two of our members say, no way, they are too big for Brown Turkey (the figs I brought in were not as large as they get in good years) and must be something else. That makes it two against one, who was never really sure, so I guess they win for the moment. I am back to identifying figs again.

Wasn't the rain beautiful this week? It showed me a leak in my roof next to the chimney that I must fix today, but it was worth it. Bring it on!

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.