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A report from the garden

July 22, 2010
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere

I sometimes have to run a column as a follow-up to several things that we have talked about in the past.

I like to hear from you because I know what it is that you are concerned about and I also use your questions to help out other gardeners who may have the same question(s) as you are having.

First of all, a report on how the sunflower garden is going. The weather has been cooperative and the sunflowers are about 5 feet tall now. They look like they will soon start to push out their sunflower heads which I would guess they will be about 6 to 7 feet tall at that time.

When the heads are fully out, then we will work to bend over the tops of the sunflowers with string and tie them to each other to make the roof of the sunflower house.

The flowers we planted in front of the house are growing strong as are the carrots.

The kids have been running in and out of the house while we have been picking raspberries which are located right next door to the house. The sunflowers are dense enough that once the kids are inside, we can't see them but we can still hear them. They don't seem to understand that part though.

The raspberry patch has kept us busy for the past couple of weeks and will we will continue to pick berries for at least another two weeks. I think this is great because our strawberry bed and our apples didn't do very well for us this year. I believe that this is related to the cold snap we had back in May.

We have Latham raspberries which are really, really good. They are very good bearers, easy to pick, care for and sweet. I see that often the kids come out of the patch with red fingers, shirts and faces so I am not sure how many are being eaten on the spot but I think it has been a lot.

Grass B gone has been on a lot of people's minds lately. I have had several callers looking for it. It is an Ortho product and it usually comes in a ready made spray bottle. I have had to use in on a couple of my perennial flower beds because I just didn't have time to deal with the crabgrass problems that I have had this past year. It has worked like a charm. You will need to check around to see if stores still have it on the shelf. I generally buy two or three bottles each spring and keep it on hand since it is hard to find. Remember to read the instructions on what you can and cannot use this product on.

And last but not least, the questions are in regarding why potato plants are growing tomatoes on the tops. Well, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and nightshade plants are all related. The little green tomato looking fruits on potato plants are really seeds.

We shouldn't eat them and you can not grow potatoes from them. However, to me they raise a flag that there is probably big enough potatoes underground to eat.

We have been eating our potatoes for about three weeks now and there isn't anything better then freshly dug potatoes from the garden. They are the best.

If your plants are mature enough to have the seed pods, then you can probably start digging a few fresh potatoes for your next meal.

For more information regarding gardening, you can reach me at



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