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Hot, hot, hot

June 14, 2019
By H.I. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral , Cape Coral Daily Breeze


Mother Nature is not happy. She is surely suffering from seasonal hot flashes. Even Aeolus, the god of the winds, is not keeping her cool nowadays.

Southwest Florida goes through this beginning of summer every year, yet we forget every time about the intense sun and blustery winds of the season.

Gardening does not stop because of wind and sweat. This is the time to retool some gardens. Remove some old worn out vegetables and trim flowers and bushes.

I was at a gardening seminar last weekend to learn about hot veggies to grow in the garden. I am not into a lot of greens, which are the hot weather veggies, but sweet potatoes, and radishes sound real good to me.

A new cherry tomato plant sounds great. I never tire of a large slice of the Big Boy tomatoes but my taste buds need a change about now.

I have never grown sweet potatoes since way back when in Michigan. However it is easy I hope. I learned a long time ago to not garden in blind faith that everything I plant will grow as planned.

Gardeners are a tough bunch and know it is the effort that counts most.

A little education, rain and sun, sure help a lot. Experience is also a great help and the fun part.

I think green peppers are easy, however I planted some a couple months ago and they are tall and have flowers and that is about it.

I have one bell pepper about the size of a ping pong ball, all nice and green But it sure is small.

An experienced friend says to maybe use some fish emulsion. Worth a try. I need some big enough to stuff.

Radishes will certainly be OK. Hopefully I can just harvest them, brush off some soil, and eat a nice warm treat. I used to do that, but a long time ago.

Nowadays radishes are almost mistreated as the become sliced thin, covered in sauce or fancy vinegar recipes. Carved into cute little appetizers and hollowed out for dippy fillings. They have become a designer veggie.

At least I could brag that I actually grew mine.

Eggplant is a popular vegetable for summer planting, and some types of beans. There are more veggies suitable for summer, get started now.

I have a city garden plot over by City Hall and I have spent some early evenings over there with soft winds and fading, not so hot, sunlight.

Rotary Park has information on a yearly lease on plots, some are handicap-accessible and are waist high. I have one of those and it is a joy. Somehow I manage to stand over there over an hour at a time and can still walk to the car. I also wear a hat, in the late afternoon. Sun is not good for anyone, even with lotion on. I wear at least one gardening glove.

The clean fresh soil over there is a gardener's dream, especially for an old farmer's daughter.

Flag Day is the 14th, today, so get Old Glory out there and make a veteran happy.

Happy gardening till we meet again.

H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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