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July 2020
Issue 136
Hello Great Gardeners,

We have had many questions over the past couple of weeks, so here are a few answers.

When are your garden mums going to be ready?
We do have some of our mums out for sale now. Choose from Igloo Mums (perennial), TriColor mums (3 colors in 1 pot), and regular Garden mums. We will put out more varieties and sizes of garden mums as they become big enough for sale. All of our mums are grown here in our back greenhouses. Click Here To Purchase Them Online

When are we going to have our Parking Lot Sale?
I am sorry, this year we will not be having our parking lot sale. We do not have enough plants that we want to clearance out to warrant, putting them out in our front parking lot. If you are looking for a good deal, we do have a small selection of clearance items in our nursery area and in our annual house that we call our "Charlie Brown" sections. Just look for the clearance signs in those areas.

Why are you having a hard time getting in pine mulch, topsoil, and potting soil?
Simple answer COVID19. Many of the places we buy products from were shut down during April into May. Some are still closed, others once they opened back up, the demand was so high that they could not keep up and are still trying to catch up. Place on top of that they are having a hard time getting in the materials they need to produce their products. So there is a shortage. We are working hard to try to get these items in as fast as we can.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, hit reply. I would love to hear from you. Have a great-gardening day.

Fall Crops
Direct Sow Seeds:
Beets: Start seeds outdoors by August 22nd
Carrots: Start seeds outdoors by August 17th
Lettuce: Start seeds outdoors by August 27th
Peas: Start seeds outdoors by August 2nd
Radishes: Start seeds outdoors by September 1st
Spinach: Start seeds outdoors by September 11th
Swiss Chard: Start seeds outdoors by August 27th
Turnips: Start seeds outdoors by August 27th
Broccoli: Plant by August 14th
Brussel Sprouts: Plant by August 14th
Cabbage: Plant by August 14th
Cauliflower: Plant by August 14th
Collards: Plant by August 29th
Kale: Plant by August 14th
Kohlrabi: Plant by August 14th
Lettuce: Plant by September 13th
Spinach: Plant by September 13th
Prime Picking Chart
Too Early: Insufficient Length
Optimum: 6-8 Inches Long -- No Fiber
Too Late: Excess Woody Fiber On Stem
How To Harvest: Simply cut the spears with a sharp knife or scissors at ground level. Stop harvesting spears when the diameter of the spears decreases to the size of a pencil.
Lima Beans:
Too Early:Insufficient bean size
Optimum: Bean Cavity Full -- Seed Good Size
Too Late: Pods turned yellow
How To Harvest: Lima beans can be harvested in the the shelling stage or the dry stage. Shelling limas are ready for harvest after the pod has changed color and the beans have plumped, but before the pods and seeds have dried. Dry lima beans are ready for harvest when the pods are dry and brittle and the seeds inside are hard.
Pole Green Beans:
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: Bean Cavity Full -- Seed 1/4 Grown
Too Late: Seed large - pods fibrous
How To Harvest: Cut or snap beans off the plant; be careful not to tear pods from branches.
Continue to pick pods before they become mature so that the plant will continue flowering and producing new pods. Pole bean plants will produce for a month or more.
Snap Bush Beans:
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: Pods Swollen -- Seeds Just Visible
Too Late: Pod Fibrous - Seed Large
How To Harvest: Cut or snap beans off the plant; be careful not to tear pods from branches. Pods on bush beans come to harvest over a two week period.
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: Roots 2-3 Inches In Diameter
Too Late: Roots pithy - strong taste
How To Harvest: Roots are ready to harvest when they are a few inches in diameter, somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball size. Shoulders of the beets will protrude from the soil. If you can see an inch or two sticking out above the soil then they are ready for pulling.
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: Bright Green Color -  Bloom Still Tightly Closed
Too Late: Head Loose - Some Blooms Beginning To Show
How To Harvest: Cut the mature heads off the plant with a clean, sharp knife, taking at least 6 inches of the stalk. Cut the stalk at a point where it emerges from a set of leaves.
Brussels Sprouts:
Too Early: Insufficient Size - Hard To Harvest
Optimum: Bright Green Color - Tight Head
Too Late: Head Loose - Color Change To Green Yellow
How To Harvest: All of the sprouts on a stalk will not mature and be harvest-ready at the same time. They should be firm, bright green, and about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. When harvesting, start by picking those that are lower on the stalk, and work your way upwards. Twist or snap off the buds, or cut them with a knife at the base where the sprout meets the stem. You can continue to harvest as long as there are sprouts on the plant.
Too Early: Insufficient Leaf Cover
Optimum: Head Firm - Leaf Tight
Too Late: Leaf Loose - Heads Cracked Open
How To Harvest: Best to do your cabbage pickin’ in the morning, before it gets too hot and the leaves wilt. Cut at the lowest point possible, leaving the loose outer leaves attached to the stalk. This will allow for a later cabbage harvest of sprouts which will grow on the stem after the cabbage head is removed.
Too Early: Stem Does Not Want To Separate From Root
Optimum: Stem Easily Breaks Away Clean When Pulled
Too Late: Background color of melon is yellow-rind soft
How To Harvest: Netting turns creamy-yellow and the ride below it turns gold. Melon separates easily from the stem without twisting or pulling. Gently pull it off the vine.
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: 1/2 - 3/4 At Shoulder
Too Late: Strong Taste - Over Sweet
How To Harvest: Harvest whenever desired maturity/size is reached—the size of your finger or at least ½ of an inch in diameter. To harvest, loosen soil around the carrot with a spade or trowel before pulling up from the greens; this will help avoid breaking the greens off from the carrot roots.
Too Early: Head Not Developed
Optimum: Head Compact - Fairly Smooth
Too Late: Curds Open - Separate
How To Harvest: Cut heads with a sharp knife leaving about 3 inches of stem to keep the florets intact. Be sure to leave some of the leaves around the head to keep it protected. A cauliflower plant produces one head and then it is done.
Too Early: Stem Too Small
Optimum: Plant 12-15 Inches Tall - Stem Medium Thick
Too Late: Seed Formed - Bitterness
How To Harvest: Cut off individual stalks or slice off the whole plant at or just below the soil line. If you don’t need the whole plant, cut stalks as needed. If you cut just the stalks you need, the plant will keep producing new stalks. Harvest individual stalks from the outside in.
Sweet Corn:
Too Early: Grain Watery - Small
Optimum: Grain Plump - Liquid In Milk Stage
Too Late: Grain Starting To Dent Liquid In Dough Stage
How To Harvest: Corn is best when you harvest it early in the morning. Grasp the ear firmly and pull down, then twist and pull. It usually comes off the stalk easily.
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: Skin Dark Green - Seeds Soft
Too Late: Skin Beginning To Yellow - Seeds Hard
How To Harvest: Clip cucumbers off of plants with garden clippers, scissors, or a knife. Pulling cucumbers off plants can damage plants. Check and harvest cucumbers daily to stay ahead of the harvest. Cucumbers left on the vine past maturity will suppress the production of new flowers and fruit.
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: When Tops Begin To Die Back
Too Late: Damaged By Freezing Weather
How To Harvest: For mature potatoes, wait 2 to 3 weeks after the plant’s foliage has died back.

Cut browning foliage to the ground and wait 10 to 14 days before harvesting to allow the potatoes to develop a thick enough skin. Don’t wait too long, though, or the potatoes may rot. Dig potatoes up on a dry day. Dig up gently, being careful not to damage the tubers. Avoid cutting or bruising potato skin. Damaged potatoes will rot during storage and should be used as soon as possible. Don’t leave the potatoes that you have dug in the sun for long after they have been dug up from your garden, otherwise your potatoes may turn green.
Sweet Potato:
Too Early: Size Small - Immature
Optimum: Most Roots 2-3 Inches In Diameter
Too Late: Early planting get too large and crack. Damaged by low soil temperature below 50 Degrees F.
How To Harvest: When the leaves turn slightly yellow they are usually ready to harvest. Because they have thin skins sweet potatoes are easily damaged during harvest so extra care should be taken.  Cutting the vines 2 or 3 days before you plan to dig will toughen up the skins. You can use a spade to dig roots, but many prefer a spading fork as there is less chance to damage the roots.  Loosen the soil, and dig around with your hands for the roots. You can gently wipe or brush excess soil off, but don’t wash the roots until you’re ready to use them.  Don’t leave roots in direct sun more than a few hours.
Summer Squash: Summer squash varieties include zucchini, yellow squash (straightneck squash), and crookneck squash.
Too Early: Insufficient Size
Optimum: Rind Can Be Penetrated By Thumb Nail
Too Late: Penetration By Thumb Nail Difficult - Seeds Large
How To Harvest: Begin harvesting zucchini and squash when the fruits are quite small (about 6 to 8 inches). Smaller fruits are more tender and flavorful with a denser, nuttier flesh. The skin of the squash should be shiny, not dull. Cut your squash from the vine with a sharp knife rather than breaking them off. Leave at least an inch of stem on the fruit.
Winter Squash: Winter Squash varieties include: Acorn, Butternut, Pumpkins and Spaghetti Squash
Too Early: Rind Soft
Optimum: Rind Difficult To Penetrate By Thumb Nail
Too Late: Damaged By Frost
How To Harvest: Winter squash is ready for harvest when the rind is hard and is difficult to scratch with a fingernail. The skin of mature squash will be dull and dry looking; immature squash will have a bright skin with a sheen. Harvest winter squash before nighttime temperatures dip into the 40°s F and before the first frost. Cut the squash away from the vine cleanly with  pruners. Leave a 2- to 4-inch stem to cure with the squash. Ripping fruit from the vine can leave a wound that can rot.
Too Early:
Flesh Green-Stem Green and difficult to separate
Optimum: Melon surface next to ground turns from light straw color to a richer yellow
Too Late: Top Surface Has Dull Look
How To Harvest: When watermelons are ready to harvest vine tendrils will begin to turn brown and die off. If the tendrils are green the melon is not ripe. A ripe watermelon will easily be picked from the vine. Another indicator to take note of is the color of the spot on the watermelon. The ground spot on the belly of the melon will turn from white to yellow when it is ripe and ready to be picked. A ripe watermelon will also make a dull hollow sound when thumped. Use a sharp knife or garden pruners to cut the watermelon away from the vine.
Determinate Tomatoes: Set and ripen all at one time.
Indeterminate Tomatoes: Ripen all season long.
Ripe: The perfect tomato for picking will be firm and very red in color, regardless of size, with perhaps some yellow remaining around the stem. If you grow orange, yellow or any other color tomato, wait for the tomato to turn the correct color. Green tomatoes that have reached three-fourths of their mature size can ripen off the vine. Place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana at room temperature out of direct sunlight; ethylene gas given off by the fruit will speed tomato ripening.
Tomatoes stop ripening when temperatures are above 86º F. If there are a long string of hot days then tomatoes may ripen to a yellow/orange color and stop. Harvest them before they turn completely red.
How To Harvest: Use one hand to hold the plant just above the stem. Use your other hand to pluck the fruit from the vine.
Peppers can be harvested as soon as they are large enough to eat. They can be eaten at just about any stage of development. All peppers start out green and turn color as they mature.
Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are ready to pick when they are full size, about 3.5 to 4 inches and firm to the touch. Will sweeten the longer you leave them on the plant, with increased vitamin C content as well. Depending on the variety they will be green, yellow, orange, purple, brown, or red when fully mature.
Hot Peppers: You can harvest hot peppers when green and immature. The longer you leave them on, the hotter will get as they mature. Depending on the variety, they will turn yellow, orange, green, or red. 
Peppers are temperamental about temperatures. Blossoms will not set when night time temperatures are below 60 degrees or above 75 degrees. Blossoms will also drop when day time temperatures remain above 90 degrees for a period of time.
How To Harvest: Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant for the least damage. Use gloves when harvesting hot peppers to protect your skin.
Online Store:
Wilson's Garden Center
10923 Lambs Ln.
Newark, Ohio. 43055

740-763-2874 (Fax)

Store Hours:
Monday - Sunday
8 am - 5 pm *

* Monday - Thursday:
8 am - 9 am
Seniors & Immune Compromised

We are open year round
(hours change with seasons)
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We are a family owned and operated garden center specializing in plants that thrive in Central Ohio

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