Spring Garden Tips
Growing Vegetables and Fruits


Planning a Vegetable Garden for Harvest and Preserving

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh produce, but canning, freezing and drying can help extend your enjoyment throughout the year.

Take some time to plan a garden that will provide you and your family with fresh produce and enough extra to preserve as needed or desired.

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All-America Selection Vegetable Winners Add Flavor, Color and Texture to Gardens and Containers

Add color, texture and flavor to your edible and ornamental gardens with a few of the 2017 National All-America Selections winners.

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Freezing Peppers

Keep enjoying the garden fresh flavor of sweet peppers throughout the winter. A quick freeze will preserve the flavor for months to come.

Always use crisp fresh peppers for best results. Wash, remove the stem and cut the peppers in half. Use the tip of a spoon or melon baller to more easily remove the seeds and membrane.

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Heat Related Tomato Disorders; Yellow Shoulders and White Cores

If your tomato harvest wasn't up to par this season, you can blame it on the weather. High temperatures can prevent fruit set, delay ripening and impact fruit quality.

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Storing Squash for Winter

Continue enjoying homegrown flavor of squash throughout much of the winter.

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Managing Apple Pests

As you harvest apples you may notice a few less-than-perfect fruit. Fortunately, most can be salvaged and used for sauces, juices and other purposes.

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Spots, Stripes and Unusual Squash Fruit

Spotted acorn squash, striped zucchini and warty pumpkins are sometimes found on volunteer plants growing in gardens and compost piles. No need to worry, most are edible but not always as tasty as the original variety.

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Poor Melon Harvest - Few and Tasteless Fruit

It's not your fault. Blame it on the weather when your muskmelon harvest is small or the fruit is tasteless.

You'll notice muskmelons lack the usual sweet flavor when the weather is dark and cloudy. Overwatering or excess rainfall as the melons ripen also dilutes the sweet flavor.

mgm audio 080316 poor melon harvestPoor pollination explains the lack of fruit. The first set of flowers are all male. The second set are male and female so pollination and fertilization can occur for fruit to develop. Cold rain and cloudy conditions can reduce pollination. Make sure to grow bee friendly plants in your landscape.

Very hot weather and drought can also prevent fruit development. Be sure to water plants thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are crumbly and slightly moist. Mulch with straw, shredded leaves or other organic matter to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

A bit more information: Water properly throughout the season, manage weeds and mulch the soil. Keeping plants healthy reduces the risk of diseases that can also impact the fruit's flavor.

 
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