We’ve had some interesting weather in the Stark County, Ohio and Summit County, Ohio areas this year. An early thaw followed by a cold snap, followed by record high temperatures and record low rainfall. But, you should be used to that by now if you’ve lived in Canton, Ohio; Akron, Ohio; Massillon, Ohio or any of the surrounding areas. What you may not be used to is how this affects your garden. Below are some fun garden facts about your flowers, fruits, veggies, and even your garden pests from Jill at Manda’s Plant Farm in Canal Fulton, Ohio. She’s prepping for a potential second crop of vegetables, enjoying some extra hot peppers, gearing up for an amazing flowers and shrubbery sale, and slowly cutting back on the hours as cooler weather approaches.
The hot, dry summer was a challenge for many garden enthusiasts. Whether you just like a colorful flower bed or you’re growing your own fresh produce, keeping everything healthy became a full time job during the worst of the drought. Not everything about this summer was bad, though. The early thaw moved up the timetable by about a month, making it a good year for veggies, and allowing for a second crop of vegetables like kale, spinach, lettuces, Swiss chard, broccoli, and cauliflower. You may also be able to get a second flush of color to carry you into the fall by pruning the dead heads off your flowering plants.
The heat we’ve experienced has manifested itself in more ways than just stifling afternoons, too. Those mild or medium hot peppers you planted? Take your first taste carefully, and don’t be surprised when it’s hotter than you anticipated. Hot, dry weather—just like those weeks in July and early August in Canton and Akron—intensifies the capsaicin oil in the fruit giving you a hotter pepper!
Here’s another fun garden fact for you tomato growers out there… You know those pesky horned tomato worms (which are not worms at all) that you’re trying to keep from ruining your Stark County crop? And those amazing hummingbird moths that you find near your Massillon area flowers in the spring? Well, they’re actually one and the same! At the end of the growing season, the caterpillar burrows into the ground to go into its chrysalis phase, only to emerge next spring as a large moth that is active both in the day and night, and is a boon to flower gardens as pollinators. Of course, that doesn’t help you while they’re decimating your Summit County tomatoes, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re determining what kind of deterrent or control you’d like to use.
As summer winds down, so do the greenhouses at Manda’s Plant Farm. Jill is busily getting ready for her off season, so hours have been changed to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am until 5pm. But, the fun isn’t over by any means, and there are plenty of savings to be had. Help Jill clear out the greenhouses by visiting Manda’s Plant Farm during the first two weekends in September for the best flowers and shrubbery sale of the year: the Armload Sale! The Armload Sale is exactly what it sounds like: whatever you can hold, you can get for $50 to $75! Perennials only will be $50, or you can fill your arms from fingertips to shoulders with shrubs for the incredible price of $75 (if you’ve purchased shrubs from other places, you know what an unbelievable deal this is!). As Jill points out, you don’t have to actually carry the plants anywhere, you (or someone you know who has REALLY long arms) just need to be able to hold them long enough for a photo to be snapped. And don’t worry about dolling yourself up—chances are you’ll be hidden behind all those plants! This is an excellent opportunity for you to fill in holes where you may have lost plants during this harsh summer or to get an early start on next year.
Though the hours have been cut back, you can still give Jill a call at 330.854.2637 or leave her a message on Facebook (where you can also find other fun garden facts) if you need to set up another time to stop by your favorite Canal Fulton, Ohio nursery, Manda’s Plant Farm. The contest for the largest elephant ear is still on, so don’t forget to keep your Thailand giants well watered while keeping up with your second crop of vegetables. The contest runs through the end of September, so you still have a month to grow that mammoth leaf! In the meantime, make the scenic drive from just about anywhere in Summit County, Ohio and Stark County, Ohio for the end of year flowers and shrubbery sale and extra savings at the Armload Sale! You’ll be glad you made the trip from Akron, Ohio; Canton, Ohio; or from nearby Massillon, Ohio!