July 2010 Product Spotlights
Kohlrabi, once a little-known oddity, is fast becoming a farmers market favorite. With a flavor a bit like turnip and a texture like water chestnuts, kohlrabies are perfect for fresh eating. They can be julienned like carrot sticks for munching or dipping, or they can be shredded for salads.
One of the best kohlrabi varieties for growing at this time of year is the giant 'Kossack'. Unlike most varieties that are harvested at 2-3" in diameter, 'Kossack' can grow up to 8" in diameter and still be sweet and tender. It can be stored for up to 4 months at 32F/0C and 95% humidity and retain its fresh flavor.
'Kossack', like all kohlrabi, should be grown in rich soil with plenty of moisture. Rapid growth and cool weather produce the best flavor. At 80 days to maturity, it is a perfect crop for fall hoophouse or Quick Hoops production.
zinnias, and with Johnny's extensive selection of varieties, you can design your own signature bouquets for late summer and fall. The Giant Dahlia Flowered Series produces double, semi-double, and single flowers in nine separate colors or a mix. This series does not contain the high percentage of fully double flowers found in the Benary's Giant Series, but it is considerably less expensive.
For customers who require the highest-quality double zinnias, we still carry the Benary's Giants in 13 vibrant colors and a mix. We also offer the smaller Oklahoma and Sunbow mixes, State Fair mix, and the specialty colors Queen Red Lime, Uproar Rose, and Zowie! Yellow Flame.
Zinnias planted now and given plenty of moisture will grow quickly and be ready for harvest in about 75 days.
Cranberries don't need a bog to produce tart, Vitamin C-rich fruits. All they need is acidic soil, moisture and sunshine. They are perennial in Zones 2-6 (Zone 7 and higher is too hot in summer for them). Johnny's sells 4-year-old, potted 'Howes' cranberry plants, which will be shipped in early August through September.
To prepare a cranberry planting, mark off a 4' x 4' plot for four plants, or a 4' x 8' plot for eight plants. Dig out the soil to a depth of 6" to 8". You can use garden edging to keep weeds from encroaching if you wish. Replace the soil with a 50:50 mix of peat moss and coarse sharp sand. Add one cup each of bone meal, blood meal, Epsom salts, and rock phosphate. Water and mix until the peat is moistened. This requires patience as dry peat moss is notoriously slow to get wet.
Cranberries produce two types of growth: runners, which can spread 2-3 feet per year; and upright shoots, which produce the flowers and fruits. Johnny's cranberry plants come with complete cultivation information.
Johnny's has everything you need to make your own compost:
- Compost bins made of coated wire, cedar, or durable plastic.
- Compost thermometers so you know your pile is heating up.
- The Compost Crank, the easiest way to aerate your compost pile.
- Moisture meters so you can tell when your compost pile needs to be watered; these can also be used to measure soil moisture.
- Compost Accelerator Powder to speed the breakdown of organic matter in your compost pile.
- Compost Keepers, attractive ceramic or stainless containers to collect kitchen scraps.
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah Martin
The Rodale Book of Composting by Deborah Martin and Grace Gershuny, editors