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Every garden has a second wind

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Even gardeners need to stop and catch our breaths. When our bodies exercise we need oxygen, and if all goes well, aerobic metabolism does not produce lactic acid if enough oxygen is present. Sometimes heavy exercise means our body's oxygen needs are higher than the oxygen we get from our blood, and we begin to fade. Then in theory, a miracle happens, and our systems warm up and use the oxygen to its fullest potential, the so-called "second wind." The garden needs a second wind around the beginning of summer. By now many of the early plants are well on their way to becoming full grown, and indeed some, such as radishes and peas, have come and gone.

Because of the warm weather and full sunshine of early summer you will be amazed how fast seeds will sprout and grow in early June.

Direct sow right into the garden seeds for beans, cucumbers, zucchini, crookneck squash, patty pan squash, pumpkins, winter squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, beets, Swiss chard, lettuce and scallions.

Replant your green salad mixes of mesclun and Asian vegetables.

Sow warmth-loving herbs such as thyme, basil, chives, marjoram, sage, and oregano.

Many root crops such as carrots and beets can be planted every two weeks from now on so you get a continuous harvest.

As the weather warms up you may want to plant the seeds just a little deeper than usual to prevent them from withering in the sun.

All beans love hot weather, so wait until all danger of frost is past before planting. Bush beans produce their crop all at once, so for a constant supply, plant a new row every few weeks until late July.

Even though pole beans take up to three weeks longer to grow than bush beans, you still have time to add them to your garden. As a bonus, pole beans produce constantly until killed by frost.

By planting parsnips in mid-June they will mature during the cool autumn weather, and actuary taste better if allowed some light frosts.

You can sow seeds of fall cabbage right in the garden in June, and still have time for them to size up before late autumn. Cabbage will also be sweeter if you let it get hit with a few light frosts before picking.

You can still plant flowers in June. Of course you can tuck in transplants of almost any flowers and have them bloom right in the garden Try direct seeding cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, nasturtiums and four o'clocks. This way you will have fresh crops of biossoms right up until late fall.

With all of these crops remember to water thoroughly, but not so much that the ground is soggy. Plant now for a second crop of vegetables and flowers, and your garden will truly get its second wind. The results may leave you breathless.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 24, 2016

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