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Vegetable Garden

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September 2008

Introduction

During the summer, you harvest vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, salad greens, beans, potatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, and all sorts of herbs. As the summer comes to an end, it's time to harvest your late-summer crops such as celery, fennel, and artichoke.

Celery

  • Apium graveolens 'Conquistador' produces full upright heads packed with crisp flavorful stalks.
  • Sow seeds in spring after risk of frost, or they can be started earlier indoors and transplanted outside after frost.
  • Takes approximately three months to mature to harvest.
  • Harvest by cutting off stalks at the base of plant, or you can cut a few as you need them and let plant continue to grow.

Fennel 

  • Foeniculum vulgare 'Zefa Fino' -- a biannual with swollen, bulb-like bases that can be used either raw or cooked; has a sweet crisp anise flavor.
  • Plants do best if seeds are sown directly into beds in mid-spring to early summer.
  • Transplanting may disturb the roots and cause bolting, where the plant will prematurely go to seed.
  • Plants take about eight days to mature.
  • Harvest by simply cutting off at ground level with a sharp knife.

Artichoke

  • These are Globe artichokes -- Cynara scolymus 'Imperial Star' -- bred for annual production in colder climates so they will produce artichokes the first season.
  • It is actually an edible flower.
  • Each plant will produce about 6-8 blooms.
  • Plant after last frost; they take 90 days to mature.
  • Harvest by cutting the flower stem an inch or two below the base of the flower with sharp pruners.

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