says summer like fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the garden.
Whether your yard is big or small, anyone can grow a kitchen garden,
and its easier than you think.
"Last year we noticed a huge increase in people planting
vegetables," says Heidi Hornung, a landscape architect and
manager of Shady Lane Greenhouses in Menomonee Falls. Hornung expects
that trend to continue. "Because people are staying home more,
they are finding fun working in their gardens. They also like control
over their food, water and use of pesticides," she adds. Cable
network cooking shows and trendy drinks have also impacted the desire
for fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. For example, mint has become
more common as a result of the popularity of mojitos and juleps.
Surprisingly, you dont need to live in Florida to plant citrus.
As long as they are taken indoors during cold weather, you can grow
Meyer lemons, limes and kumquats in the Milwaukee area. Hornung has
also seen a small surge of fruit trees: apples, pears and peaches
joining longtime favorites like blackberry, raspberry and strawberry
bushes. "Figs are easy to grow and they ripen in the summer so
you get a lot of them. If you can grow a tomato, you can grow a
Kathleen Awe, a master gardener with the Ozaukee Extension of
Master Gardeners in Port Washington, says, "Vegetables fall into
two basic categories: cool weather and warm weather. Cool-weather
veggies can survive lower temperatures and are planted in late
spring." Examples are spinach, celery, radishes, lettuce, peas,
parsnips, carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and
cauliflower. Warm-weather vegetables need the consistent warmth of the
sun to grow beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant
and squash shouldnt be planted too early. "Tomatoes, eggplant
and peppers need to go in as transplants, even after Memorial
Day," Awe cautions.
If you are short on space, you can interplant your vegetables.
Interplanting means planting two different vegetables either mixed
together or in rows, one cool and one warm. One will grow early in the
season and the other one later. For example, plant lettuce with
tomatoes. Intensive gardening means growing plants close together, not
in rows. This saves space and shades out weeds. If you want to have a
vegetable that lasts throughout the season, try successive planting.
Plant several rows of beans, then two weeks later, plant several more
rows. If you have bad soil or little sun, Awe suggests planting
vegetables in pots. "Use loose soil that you buy, not soil from
your garden. Add granular fertilizer and water every day. Herbs also
do well in pots."
Mix in flowers to add color and interest. Or be creative and put
vegetables in your flower garden. Edge flowers with lettuce; combine
rhubarb with your blooms.