Impatient? Tips for a quicker vegetable harvest
Speed the harvest with simple tips
Vegetable gardening is an exercise in patience. Sweet potatoes can take more than 100 days to ripen; some tomato and watermelon varieties require five months.
But there are ways to shorten the wait.
The easiest is choosing plants that taste best when harvested young.
“The one thing you will miss out on with speedy growing is bulk, but what you will get in return is layers of flavor; a sprinkle of hot and peppery micro-green radish here, a sweet and nutty, barely cooked new potato there, a garnish of cucumber-y borage flowers to finish a dish,” writes Mark Diacono in the new “The Speedy Vegetable Garden” (Timber Press). “These are the crops that will mark out your cooking as distinctly and unquestionably homegrown.”
There are many ways to jumpstart the growing season so you can be harvesting a meal while other gardeners are just beginning to turn the ground. Among them:
• Choose the warmest site possible if you're planting early. “Even a small change in temperature can make a difference during spring and fall frosts,” says Jo Ann Robbins, an extension educator with the University of Idaho.
• Use enclosures. Covering plants moderates temperature, wind and humidity.
• Start vegetable plants inside from seed, and transplant them eventually into the garden.
• Warm the soil early. “Throw a piece of black or clear polyethylene over the soil in early spring, pin it down with tent pegs or bricks, and wait,” Diacono says. “The sun will warm it and excessive water will be kept off, leaving it in a fantastically workable state a few weeks later and conducive to quick plant growth.”
Final winter antiques show is March 10
The final Westmoreland County Antiques Show of the winter season will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 10 at the Greensburg Hose Co. No. 1, 6 McLaughlin Drive.
More than 30 dealers will be displaying everything from military items and sports memorabilia to old crocks and vintage jewelry.
Admission is $1. Early admission from 6 to 8 a.m. is $8. Details: 724-216-9200
IKEA plans special BYOF event
IKEA is encouraging customers to BYOF (Bring Your Own Friends) on March 9 when stories nationwide will offer several special perks, activities and giveaways.
The event is part of the IKEA Live Improvement Project that is designed to offer consumers suggestions to make a positive impact on their homes and lives.
IKEA Pittsburgh in Robinson will be giving away five $200 gift cards during the day. At 1 p.m. there will be a Life Improvement Seminar on “Empowering Women, Artesian Cooperatives that Transform Communities.” Anupama Jain of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History will discuss the inspiration behind the museum's latest exhibit, “Empowering Women.”
From 1 to 4 p.m., a home-furnishing expert will be available to discuss customer's specific design challenges. There will be free food samples throughout the day.
Register for the event at www.thelifeimprovementproject.com and then print out coupons for a free breakfast, $5 off a purchase at the Swedish Food Market and a free blue bag.
— Staff and wire reports
Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Steelers hope new faces breathe life into team
- UPMC, Pittsburgh drop tax-status fight
- Autopsy scheduled on Pleasant Hills man, 95, who died following crash
- Steelers WR Wheaton wants to produce after injury-plagued rookie year
- Range Resources increases profits to $171.4 million in Q2
- GM Colbert expects Roethlisberger to end career with Steelers
- State lawmaker still pushing merger of Pennsylvania Game and Fish commissions
- Steelers hope group of low-budget cornerbacks can deliver
- Roethlisberger ‘prays’ he can stay with Steelers when deal expires