BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maximize the Growing Season

If your veggies are limping along, don't fret. Expand your growing season with creativity and resourcefulness. Here are a few tips to help you bounce back from this year's cool, wet weather.

If you only think tomatoes and cucumbers, open your mind to a myriad of other choices. Research your seed catalogs and do a little homework. Think cool season vegetables. You can still seed string beans, Swiss chard, and spinach etc. Scout out the local greenhouses; you may still find straggler sets. At this time of the year, you can plant a second crop of zucchini and summer squash. Another plus; the squash vine borer has finished its growth cycle. This insect is very destructive to zucchini and summer squash.

Usually by this date, we roll quickly into fresh, plump tomatoes. Unfortunately, most fruit may be a few weeks behind schedule, unless of course you have a greenhouse. A thought for the tomato lover: cover with clear plastic, creating a temporary hothouse later in the season. There are additional ways to protect your tomatoes and mimic ideal summer conditions by increasing your heat source during the day and maintaining it during the nighttime hours.

Many people wonder if it is worth the time and the investment to grow your own produce. The National Gardening Association puts out the figure that the average family with a vegetable garden spends $70 a year on it and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables. (A factoid from Ball Publishing's newsletter) Your choice tomatoes on average will cost .27/lb. instead of $2.50/lb and a head of lettuce a mere.16/head instead of $1.50. Not a bad deal, especially in this economy.

(Photo from the internet - one can only hope we will be reaching this high for our tomatoes!)

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)