Summers just got Brighter in the Garden

by on July 31, 2011

A Melon without the Wait

Watermelon Fresh fruit from the garden is a perk of summer, for sure. If long harvest times are making you impatient, we’ve got a tasty suggestion to shorten the wait.

‘Shiny Boy’, a sweet, tropical-flavored watermelon, averages 20 pounds and is ready for harvest in 90 days from planting—a lot earlier than most melons its size. Plan ahead for next year and give this summertime treat a try in your garden.

Common name: ‘Shiny Boy’ watermelon
Botanical name: Citrullus lanatus ‘Shiny Boy’
Plant type: Fruit
Zones: Annual
Width: 12 to 13 feet
Family: Cucurbitaceae

Growing conditions
• Sun: Full sun
• Soil: Rich, humusy loam
• Moisture: Medium

• Mulch: Use straw or hay to retain soil moisture and provide a place for fruits to rest, so they don’t sit directly on wet soil. You can also place boards under fruits.
• Pruning: None needed.
• Fertilizer: Use plenty of compost and other organic fertilizer.

Check Out This New Pain-Free Edging Tool

Watermelon Among the many gardening chores we all do, few produce the kind of shoulder and wrist pain you can get from edging.

That’s why we’re glad to know about the Radius ergonomic stainless-steel edger—and we bet you will be, too. The big, circular handle lets you grip the tool from many different angles, which makes it much more comfortable than traditional handles. And the blade is angled and has oversize edges, so there is plenty of room for your foot to push down without slipping off.

Protected by a resin coating, the edger’s shaft is rust and damage resistant. Better still, this tool weighs just 4 pounds. Oh, and did we mention that the handle grip is cushioned?

Prevent Hand Injuries in the Garden

Hand Tips Gardeners love their tools. However, better than a special rose pruner or that pricey three-in-one tiller is a healthy, pain-free set of hands that are, really, your best tools.

The repetitive motions in garden chores can stress your hands, causing fatigue and pain. Follow these tips from the American Society of Hand Therapists on how to prevent serious and long-term injuries in the garden.

Wear gloves at all times. Bacteria and fungus live in the soil, and a small irritation or cut can develop into a major hand infection. Thick leather or suede gloves help protect your hands from thorns, cuts, and scrapes.

Keep your hands and arms covered. Be especially careful if you’re working in a spot where you may disturb a snake, spider, or rodent. By wearing gloves and long sleeves, you’ll also be better protected from poison ivy, insect bites, and other common skin irritants.

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