Archive for July 16th, 2010

Planting a Fall Garden

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The month of June has gone by and we can look forward to the hot humid days of July. July is considered to be the perfect time to start preparing to plant your Fall Gardens. Remember it is July, so when you begin to prepare your beds, work early in the mornings before the sun gets to hot.

Begin by weeding your garden beds removing all weeds and debris, then watering the soil thoroughly. Cover the area with clear heavy plastic sealing the edges with some soil. This is one method of solarization and it traps in the heat of the sun and will help to prevent the re-growth of unwanted new weeds, harmful nematodes and other unwanted garden pests.

Allow the area to rest like this for a minimum of six weeks during the hottest months of July and August. You will be able to plant vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers afterwards, if you do decide to opt for tomatoes or peppers be sure and plant maturating varieties such as Whirlaway, Carnival or Bingo these have a shorter maturity time, usually 75 days, giving you a crop before the first freeze. You will however still be ready to plant cool weather vegetables such as broccoli, turnips, carrots and some varieties of Southern Peas.

Sumach

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Sumach herb is a shrub up to 3 in (10 ft) high growing wild in the Mediterranean region and southeast Asia on stony banks high up above the seashore. It is grown for its sour fruits in southern Italy and Sicily.

The wild species are native to that land and the number of Chinese varieties is enormous. Even older, by a thousand years, are the inscriptions on a tablet of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, where the radish (surmaia) is listed together with various other vegetables. Either is was introduced from here to China or else the Chinese began cultivating it on their own, independent of the Egyptians. Radish is also mentioned by Dioscorides in connection with its use in medicine.

The fruits of sumach herb were used by the ancient Romans, who called the plant Syrian sumach, for the same purpose as lemons before the latter were introduced into cultivation. From Mattioli we know that the eastern peoples used the dried fruits of sumach herb in place of salt.

They are used sliced on bread and butter, chopped or grated in salads and as an accompaniment to cheeses and salamis. They arc best eaten raw. Radishes are wholesome, for besides mustard oil they contain Vitamins B and C and many mineral substances.

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