Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard has agreed to provide updates on the squash, peppers and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos will allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”
By Jenna Howard
After a week of high heat some of the veggie plants were looking a little wilted — especially the giant squash leaves. I made the unfortunate mistake of pruning some of its dry leaves. I learned a very important lesson when I later read that you should NEVER cut off squash leaves! There are three important reasons why you should not do this: First, it opens the plant’s vascular system up to bacteria and viruses. Second, the squash leaves also act as a natural sunscreen for the fruit. Without the leaves they are susceptible to sun scald (like a plant sunburn). Lastly, the leaves not only shade the fruit, they also block the sun and make it hard for weeds to grow around the plant. So the moral of the story is: Don’t cut the leaves from your squash not matter how dry or wilted they look. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I just hope it doesn’t affect my squash too badly!
On a positive note, we have an eggplant! Well, at least the very beginning stages of one.