Burnett: Summer gardening season is here

Kelowna garden expert is offering chance to join him on the 2018 Chelsea Garden Show

By Don Burnett

We are now into the summer gardening phase and the anticipation of the first ripe tomato is upon us.

Every day now I take a wishful glance at the garden looking for the first bit of red. The first ones to come on will certainly be the little grape tomatoes and once they start, we will have from our two plants, plenty for summer salads and my favourite activity; summer grazing as my buddy Charlie Faulkner used to call it.

We planted a cucumber plant in mid-May which has already given us three beauties with several more on the way. Five more plants which went in two weeks ago will guarantee cukes all summer long. It’s amazing how fast cucumbers grow! One day you’re looking at a little one-inch juvenile and the next day it’s two inches and within a few days it’s sliced up in a sandwich or salad bowl or just eaten whole with a touch of salt and pepper.

I planted lots of pole beans this year and they make a nice visual backdrop to the new garden patch. My brother-in-law gave me a few hot pepper plants which are doing well but yet to set fruit. Every year there has to be at least one failure. Last year it was my tomato crop which struggled the entire season due to the ice melt I used on the adjacent sidewalk. I’ll have to start listening to my own advice when it comes to these things as I’m constantly warning people to avoid using ice melt products close to flower and vegetable beds.

This year it is my peas that are problematic. They germinated and came up beautifully however they were getting chewed off as soon as they broke the surface. I assumed it was the quail having their way however covering them with screening did no good. Turns out it was earwigs doing the deed and I didn’t get to them before it was too late. My poor little peas were done in for this year. I’ve reduced the earwig population the environmentally friendly way by laying out folded wet towels over-night which can be shaken out on the sidewalk in the morning. Then the old earwig stomp takes place with or without musical accompaniment. The same thing can be done using a well soaked corn broom.

Another reminder I’m planning another trip next May to feast my eyes upon the gardens of Britain with a day spent at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show. Featured will be the Historic Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the summer home of King George the third and Savill Gardens, 35 acres of spectacular inter connected gardens.

Even though these trips are garden oriented they offer something for everyone with visits to several historic sites and lots of free time to explore the sights and sounds of London. I will be holding an information event at 5:30 on the 26th of this month at Marlin Travel #110-437 Glenmore Rd where you can get all the info you need to be with me on this wonderful trip.

Join me and representatives from Collet Tours for this special presentation. RSVP mailto:gail.fritsen@marlintravel.ca

Listen to Don Burnett and Ken Salvail every Saturday Morning from 8am to 10am presenting the Garden Show on AM 1150 now in its 34th year.