For annual-bearing blackberries and raspberries (including wild berry patches), after picking the present crop, cut fruiting canes to the ground. Heap compost around remaining canes.
In strawberry beds, select and mark the biggest, most vigorous plants. These will be next year�s bearers. Of remaining plants that have grown over the last year, remove all unmarked plants and runners. If you keep the selected plants watered and fertilized, you�ll have a bumper berry crop next year.
- Carrots -- Harvest when they are quarter size or smaller; keep carrot shoulders covered with mulch or soil.
- Green beans -- Harvest when they are about as thick as a pencil.
- Hot peppers -- The longer peppers remain on a plant, the stronger the flavor becomes. Hot peppers get hotter; sweet peppers become sweeter. Many fruits change color as they ripen.
- Potatoes -- New potatoes are ready when plants start to bloom. Spuds are mature when plants turn brown.
- Summer squash -- Pick when young; the smaller the squash, the more tender it is.
- Tomatoes -- The richest flavor develops when fruits ripen on the vine. Keep animals from sampling your harvest by covering fruits with netting.
Clean up as you harvest. Toss overgrown or rotting produce on the compost heap. And remove dying plant matter, such as pea vines. All attract diseases and pests.
Continued on page 4: Go on Pest Patrol