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Into the Vegetable Garden We Go!

Wow, is it already the middle of July? I just finished making my morning smoothie, just in time to log on to another virtual work day. I take a second to look out the kitchen window into the garden. Everything looks green and healthy...and suspiciously all the same size…

Let’s go outside and take a closer look.

My cucumber is wilting…

What are those little white spots?

Are my tomatoes eating themselves?!

What the hell is going on out here?!! 

Okay, don’t panic. 

My vegetables are not dying. And no, they’re not developing a weird type of fungus either. Well actually, they might be. But not to worry, I have a solution!

No matter how well I monitor my vegetable garden, it’s only natural that I’ll run into some bumps in the road. With sunny summer months come heavy heat waves and heat is notorious for stunting plant growth. When temperatures reach over 80 degrees, plants actually stop growing. Which is why, you can’t grow vegetables in Florida in the summertime.

Some vegetables endure the heat better than others. Greens such as lettuces and herbs enjoy cooler weather over warmer, making them more ideal for early spring and late summer into fall. Fruit-producing vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, eggplants, and peppers will survive the summer, but they’ll still need some help to push them through. These are the ones we want to focus on right now. 

Plants are like humans. When the heat rolls in, our bodies require more hydration and nutrients to keep us functioning. Our little green friends are the same way. 

Now that we’re in the peak of summer, it is crucial to feed our veggie pals to make sure they’re growing the best they can. After all, no growth means no fresh produce and no fresh produce means we probably spent all those hours in the burning sun setting up that vegetable garden for no reason at all. Wouldn’t that suck.

There are a bunch of different food options for our fresh friends. Grow Big or Tiger Bloom are both liquid formulas that I like to use to get the most blooms, and therefore the most ready-to-eat produce. On days that I prefer to use a granular, I opt for one of the FoxFarm foods: Tomato & Vegetable, All Purpose, or Marine Cuisine.

Since plants are like humans, they also have to be fed multiple times. Thankfully, our vegetable friends are not actual people and only need to be fed once every few weeks. Each type of food has a different feeding schedule, so it’s important to check out the instructions on the back of the packaging. 

But what about those unsightly spots that make my vegetables look like they have a flesh-eating disease? 

Stay calm. 

My tomatoes have in fact not turned cannibalistic. They’re actually just calling out for a little more attention. My tomatoes are trying to tell me that they’re lacking calcium and magnesium, giving them something called blossom end rot. The result of this is a dark brown, sunken in, and leathery looking spot on the bottom of your vegetables. 

Blossom End Rot

Because blossom end rot is caused by soil being calcium and magnesium deficient, I want to add in those elements that are lacking. For this, I’m going to add a product that is rich in both calcium and magnesium (to balance off the calcium). This would be Mag-I-Cal, Love Your Soil, Cal-Mag Plus, Bone Meal, or even FoxFarm Tomato & Vegetable food to the soil to boost the plant’s levels.

Now my produce pals have been fed, hydrated, and properly patched up to push them through the summer heat. 

Check in next week to see how my veggies friends are doing!

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