Grow Your Own
June is time to plant warm weather crops like okra and watermelon, and to plant cantaloupe and honeydew melons for a second crop in the fall. The blight-resistant Hearts of Gold cantaloupe yields sweet fruits with dark orange flesh and a musky aroma. Choppee okra is our okra of choice, a variety that dates back to the 1800s. It stood tall and strong through the 108° drought-laden summer of 2012 and the cloudy, rainy growing season of 2013. Find the seeds for both at Liberty, SC-based Heavenly Seed. www.heavenlyseed.net
July is the month to plant collards, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes for fall harvest. (Collards can be planted through the end of August.) If you have highly-compacted soil, or a restrictive HOA covenant, consider container gardening. For tomatoes, a 5-gallon container is best; for eggplant, 3-5 gallon; and for peppers, at least 1 gallon. Or visit South Pleasantburg Nursery to purchase an EarthBox, a container gardening system that ensures you can’t overwater your plants—one of the most common causes of plant demise. www.earthbox.com
August is the time to plant snap beans, pole beans, beets, kale and mustard for fall. For early-maturing mustard, try “Purple Osaka,” which reaches maturity at 40 days, or the Hotshot Spicy Mix, a variety-pack of colors and shapes (all open-pollinated) that you can begin harvesting at 21 days. Find these at High Mowing Seeds, an all-organic seed company: www.highmowingseeds.com. If you enjoy planting different colors of bush beans, consider Tricolor Bush Beans: one package with seeds for green, yellow and purple beans, available at www.reneesgarden.com.