Joel In The Garden

'You can see we're going to get a bumper crop'

'You can see we're going to get a bumper crop'

Watch Joel in the Garden on KMTR NewsSource16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays

EUGENE, Ore. - The bees are busy among the colorful flowers at Alton Baker Park and so is Richard Golden. 

“You can see we're going to get a bumper crop,” Golden said while examining his tomato plants.

Golden has already grown a few impressive indigo bell peppers and he's waiting to see red among his beefsteak tomatoes.

“We expect to be canning and jarring and filling up cabinets. There are that many tomatoes there,” Golden said.

His cucumbers will soon start producing, but Golden says he stays cool as a cucumber by staying out his plot during the heat of the afternoon.

“Watering late and night so the water stays in the ground longer. And the longer they're hydrated, the better they'll do,” Golden said.

This is something I should've done a long time ago, but I'm going to install a soaker hose to help water some of my fast growing plants right down to the roots. This will come in handy during some of the dry spells during July and August.

“I think once plants are established, I believe you really only need to do a good watering once a week or so,” gardener Leonard Epstein said.

Epstein is well covered with a hat and sunscreen to avoid any burns. But he says the key to a bushel of sugarsnap peas comes from laying the groundwork.

“A lot of it is preparation of the soil, having some good mulch to begin with,” Epstein said.

If you're still putting in transplants, they may require more frequent watering until the root systems are established. Vine plants will do fine in the heat, including watermelon, squash and cucumbers. But onion bulbs and cool weather plants can have a tendency to bolt under intense heat.
Here's some piece of mind if you can't bring yourself to check on the garden in 90 degree heat. Most plants shut down when the temp rises above 90. And anything you do in the garden could add more unnecessary stress.