The Garden Plot: Keystone is a super productive sweet bell pepper – The Stokes News

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One of the best varieties of sweet bell peppers is called the Keystone. Sweet peppers are very tropical and will grow quickly in warm June soil of The Garden Plot. Keystone bell peppers produces fist-sized peppers from mid-summer until early frost.
Set plants about a foot and a half apart in a furrow about the depth of the first two tiny leaves. Add peat moss to the bottom of the furrow and apply Garden-Tone organic vegetable food. Hill up soil all around the peppers. Cage or steak the plants to give support from the wind or storms and to aid in a cleaner harvest. Feed with Garden-Tone and hill up soil to the peppers every 20 days.
The almanac for June
The moon reached its last quarter on Wednesday. There will be a new moon on June 10. Flag Day is June 14. The moon reaches its first quarter on June 17. The first full day of summer and longest day of the year is June 21, and there will be a full moon on the night of June 24 called the “Full Strawberry Moon.”
Strawberry harvest winds down
There remains just a few more days to visit a strawberry patch. Buy enough to freeze several gallons for desserts during winter. Mornings in June are comfortable and this makes picking berries a fun thing to do.
Big guns of summertime
As we move into the first month of summer, we can also look forward to the beginning of humid afternoons and the advent of pop-up thunderstorms that the heat of summer often brings. Thunderstorms can be the lifeblood of the summer garden, as it settles the dust and perks up flowers and gardens and livens up the leaves on the trees. The air after an afternoon thunderstorm is also refreshing on a humid day.
Check the potato crop
The Irish potato crop now has some white blooms, which is a sign that tiny spuds are forming. Feel under the vines gently and you may discover a few small potatos as an earnest of a crop that will be ready before a few more days.
Remember vegetables do not need to be fertilized but fed with organic vegetable food such as Garden-Tone, Plant-Tone or Tomato-Tone. Keep summer vegetables healthy and productive with these special organic blends.
Tomato-tone is a totally organic product and is available in three-pound bags that are zippered to make application easier and cleaner. This product is also calcium enriched to prevent blossom end rot. A bag may cost quit a bit, but it is very effective and a little goes a long way. It has a fine texture and will quickly absorb into the soil and feed tomatoes.
These organic products are specially formulated for all flowers, tomatoes, roses and vegetables. They are all proven products that have been used by gardeners since 1929.
Keep planting green beans
Green beans are a 65- to 75-day crop and can be sown to succeed other crops and provide a harvest over the summer. Use peat moss in the furrows when sowing green beans in warm summer temperatures to retain moisture and improve soil texture. When green beans develop two leaves, apply Garden-Tone organic vegetable food and pull up soil over the plants. Repeat this every 15 to 20 days.
Dastardly Japanese beetles
Japanese beetles are the bane of every flower, plant, and vegetable in the garden. As soon as you see one, place the traps and locate the traps to draw beetles away from the garden or flower beds. Empty the traps often. Destroy the beetles by dipping the trap of Japanese beetles into a five-gallon bucket filled with a pot of boiling water. Empty the dead beetles on the driveway or sidewalk for the birds to eat. Do not pour on grass because the hot water will kill the grass.
Dragon wing begonias
The dragon wing is a large blossoming begonia with long wing-shaped leaves. One of these hot pink blooming plants will quickly cascade over the sides of a large container and produce clusters of large flowers all summer. A dragon wing cost around $5 and will need to be transplanted to a large container when you bring it home.
Planting tomato seeds
As we move past the first week of June, it is time to start a couple packets of determinate varieties of tomato seed for transplanting tomato plants to the garden in mid-July. (In July, tomato plants are harder to find which makes it wise and practical to propagate your own.) For late summer, the determinants such as Celebrity, Rutgers, Homestead, Marglobe and Early Girl are best.
Use a good seed starting medium such as Hoffmans or Jiffy by Ferry Morse for excellent results. Sow the seed packets in one pint or quart pots of seed starting medium and allowing enough medium per pot to cover the seed. Mix medium with enough water to moisten it. Place medium in pot to within half an inch from the top. Thinly spread one packet of seed on the medium and cover seed with a layer of medium and pat down for good soil contact. Repeat process with second seed packet.
Use a spray bottle of water and mist the seed each evening. Keep pots out of direct sunlight. In eight to 10 days they will develop two leaves and will be ready to transplant to individual pots. Use the seed starting medium and place one plant in each pot, keep from direct sunlight and water daily. They will be ready to transplant to the garden in about three weeks.
Strawberry Cobbler
1 quart fresh strawberries
1½ cups sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup flour
Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice and mash berries, then mix in 3/4 cup sugar and set aside. Melt butter and pour into a 13x9x2 inch baking pan or dish. Make a batter of ½ cup sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and milk. Pour this over the melted butter in the pan, then add the strawberries on top. Bake for one hour until batter rises to top and is crisp and brown.

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