Summer Vegetable Garden, Garden Societies, and Gardening Books

For dedicated horticulturalists, here's some info about joining garden societies, gardening books, and planting a summer vegetable garden.

| July/August 1980

High summer is here, and the garden basks in the shimmering noonday heat. Dampen your shoes as you weed in the morning dew, come to understand—once again—the preciousness of water, and sniff the rich odor of the earth after a late afternoon thunderstorm.

Then, while fireflies glimmer in the lengthening dusk and the warm air is heavy with the scent of honeysuckle, give thanks for the goodness of the land.

Summer Vegetable Garden

As Cynthia Driscoll points out elsewhere, it's a shame to waste an opportunity to have an autumn harvest ... so here are some crop suggestions for the a summer vegetable garden, your garden's "second season."

Broccoli: If you've got the time, try Cleopatra (75 days), a frost-resistant variety . . . otherwise, grow Green Comet (55 days), which is the earliest type available. Beets: The people at Stokes warn that beets sown between July 15 and August 15 tend to become tough and stringy. If you're planting either before or after that period, however, try Stokes's Pacemaker ll (58 days) or Harris's Warrior (57 days). Both of them have sugar beets in their ancestry and superb flavor. Or, for an interesting change of pace, you may want to grow Burpee's Golden Beet (55 days). Bush beans: For a really quick crop, try Thompson & Morgan's Limelight (38 days). Burpee's Tenderpod is an All-America winner that matures in 50 days, and Park's Contender gives a fine crop in 49 days. Lettuce: Buttercrunch is a prime choice (75 days), or—if time is of the essence—try Burpee's two short-season varieties . . . Green Ice (45 days) and Royal Oak Leaf (50 days). Cauliflower: Go with a sure thing: Snow Crown (53 days) is hardy and vigorous. Chinese cabbage: Harris's Early Hybrid G (50-60 days) is the best selection by far. Spinach and peas: Early September may be the best time for planting these vegetables in all but the coldest sections of the country, and most varieties will mature in plenty of time. 

The Best of the Garden Societies

Gardeners are gregarious folks, forever exchanging experiences and advice. And sometimes a casual "back fence seminar" can turn into something considerably more permanent, by bringing people with common interests together to share and learn from one another.

There are many gardening societies worldwide ... but two "umbrella" organizations have become especially well-known: the American Horticultural Society in the United States, and the Royal Horticultural Society in England. Membership in both organizations is open to all comers, and the benefits of joining are substantial.  

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