E-newsletter from Mark and Ben Cullen

Mid August..... bring on the harvest!

You have waited for it and worked for it. You prepared the soil, sowed the seeds, weeded, mulched and otherwise nurtured your harvest. Now don't blow it by forgetting it.  Or going away and not leaving someone in charge to pick and eat.

In our gardens we are busy:

Harvesting all of our garlic. Mark and Ben have dug up and washed the whole bulbs. They are drying in the potting shed now.... Out of direct sunlight in a well ventilated area. There they will stay for about 2 weeks before they are put in a cool, dark place until use. 

Commercial growers tell us that there is no limit to how much garlic they can grow. The demand for the organic, domestic stuff is THAT great. By the way, plant your garlic in October. If you don't have any, buy some from your supplier of Holland bulbs next month.

Tomatoes.  Mark picked his first basket full last weekend.  We continue to apply Green Earth Bordo mixture every 2 weeks to help prevent early and late blight.  We know it is coming, we just want to delay its arrival as long as possible. Pick as they ripen and each plant will reward you with plenty more.

French beans or snap beans are ready. They last up to a week on the plant before they get too mature and "woody" for our liking.  In other words, pick whenever you can.

Carrots, beets and radishes are more than ready. Some of our carrots are so ready they are contorting into shapes, as if applying for employment at the circus.  Dig when young and at maximum sweetness. Unless you plan on feeding them to a horse.

Cucumbers. Why do we have a record crop of cucs? They are hanging through our diagonal trellis affairs looking for customers and we can't pick them fast enough. Let us know if you want any. They seem to like growing off the ground: note for next year.

Zucchinis.  If you have them, you have to love them because they produce with abandon and without shame. Mark has so many of them he scratches names of his grandchildren in their skin when small. They grow into mini-blimps and delight the youngsters even if they are too young to know how to spell their name. 
Another note to self: the Mark's Choice Golden Delight Yellow Zucchini Squash are amazing. Try them in 2020.

Kale, Swiss chard, leaf lettuce and mesclun mix. Whether you are harvesting now or not, it is not too late to sow some seed for autumn harvest. Especially leaf lettuce and mesclun mix. Another couple of Mark's Choice winners Tango Green Leaf Lettuce and Simply Salad Mesclun Mix.

Note for 2020: Swiss chard and kale win the "longest harvest" award. Mark started pulling leaves mid July and will continue to harvest until early November. That is about 5 months of the stuff. Lucky chickens. Lucky egg eaters.

Runner beans. Do people actually eat these? How do you prepare them? We love their flowers: hummingbirds do too. And they twine up support to beat the band, like a morning glory only with red or white flowers.

Herbs love the heat. They should be thriving right now. We plant ours right outside of the kitchen door where snipping a nightly harvest is easy. Ben uses containers and Mark has plenty of kitchen-door gardens to go around.

Look for us in 2 weeks when we turn the corner on our summer garden and begin to gear up for autumn: for some, the best time of year!

We will have an exciting announcement about the Liberator Tulip, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.  

Also, important news about fall lawn care.
All here, in your inbox. With our compliments and thanks for watching, reading and supporting our brand at Home Hardware: Mark's Choice.
Mark and Ben Cullen

Gardener's Wash Basket

Practical for gardening, beautiful enough for your kitchen counter. 
The Mark's Choice stainless steel gardener's wash basket, exclusive to Home Hardware, features an easy to carry handle. 
Just place garden items into basket and you can wash them with a hose while remaining in the basket. 
It's also ideal for storing fruit on counter tops, as a table serving basket and many more uses.

Home Hardware item# 5093-192

Harrowsmith's 2020 Almanac is now available on newsstands! 

As you enjoy those first sweet ears of corn with a local IPA, learn how to grow your own hops with our article "A hop and a skip away'.  

As the gardening editors, we have also contributed an article on growing garlic "From cloves to scapes to bulbs".  

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