Planting A Midsummer Garden
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
"My summer garden;" writes Dr. M. R. Sharpe of Maine. was started more as an experiment than from any real expectation of its being a success. Some of my neighbors laughed when they saw me after July 4 sowing seed which they believed should have been put in the ground by the middle of May.-My results were far better than I anticipated, and in the future I shall be able to get more from a certain plot of ground than ever be-fore, for, in many instances, a succession of crops will keep the ground working from early spring until the frosts come.
Among the vegetables I planted in the summer were corn, squashes, parsnips, lettuce, wax beans, bush limas, parsley, cucumbers, radishes, endive, spinach, tomatoes, and beets. The corn used was Early Crosby, the seed being dropped July 4, with a liberal amount of hen manure for a pusher. The exceedingly dry summer affected the growth, as it did that of all the vegetables, so I was forced to water the 25 hills planted. This began to bear about September 15, the last mess of some 20 ears being picked October 13, after frost had killed nearly all the other garden truck.
"Two kinds of squashes were planted July 5, the Summer Crookneck and Hubbard. The former did well, escaping most of the ravages of the squash beetle, but the winter squash did not make a good size, the largest being about 9 inches in diameter. The parsnips remained in the ground yet to be dug in the spring. In this section the season is not long enough from July to make a very large growth. Lettuce was sown all through the summer, Denver Market, Black-Seeded Simpson, and Tennis Ball, Hanson and Boston varieties being used. A cold frame was placed over the late plants and I had some fine heads for Christmas.
"Golden Wax beans were planted July 5, again the middle of the month, the last sowing being on August 3. The two, earlier plantings did finely, and from the latter I picked a nice lot of string beans. Bush limas, planted July 4, proved to be satisfactory, and bore well. Parsley planted July 5 made fairly good plants in October, just right to pot for the house. Early Cluster cucumbers, from seed of 4, yielded good returns, and seemed to grow as well as those planted earlier. Radishes galore came from the garden, crops being sown to the latter part of August, the French Breakfast being the favorite for quick growth and sweetness. En-dive, too, was another crop continuously in the gar-den until the heavy freezing weather.
"Two sowings of thick-leaved spinach were made after the middle of July, the last being on August 3, both doing well. The tomatoes set out July 4 were from seed planted the second week in May, a good yield resulting, the small ones being used for fall pickling. Beets were planted almost as freely as radishes, furnishing greens and plenty of beets for table use and pickling. Besides the above, two varieties of turnips were planted, mainly as a winter green food for the fowls. Next season I shall plant an early dwarf pea after the early corn, and endeavor to use every foot of ground the entire season. In late planting one crop of weeds is skipped, but the ground should be thoroughly cultivated and frequently to bring the crops to perfection."