Nuture super senior garden vegetables

When your entire life span is just 90 days, you become a senior citizen just two months after birth. So it is in late summer when most plants in the vegetable garden reach their golden “years.” Like people, they slow down and grow wrinkled. But getting on doesn’t mean life is over.

A well-tended tomato plant will age gracefully, remaining active late in life, just like we do. For those people who take care of themselves with age-defying diet and exercise, life is fruitful after 60. Novice gardeners see food-producing plants aging and give up, concluding that because they aren’t as beautiful as before, they must be unproductive. But if we water, feed, prune and protect such plants, many of them will go on to become productive again during the mild days of fall. You can nurture them into super seniors capable of defying this 90-day life span. In short, you can give them a second wind.

Super seniors aren’t pretty, but they are productive. The key is to know what to do this time of year so plants respond accordingly to your anti-aging regimen.

n  Feed. All the compost and manure you put into the soil at planting time may be exhausted by late summer. Annual vegetable plants are heavy feeders that slow down under a poor diet. Now is the time to add high-quality organic fertilizer to beds and rows. Liquid fish emulsion, also known as manure tea, is easy to apply, as it moves directly into the root zone for immediate usability. Concentrated organic pellets cultivated into the soil gradually dissolve, becoming available to plants a lot slower.

One-fourth of Kansans obese


The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA — Kansans are getting fatter, with more than a fourth of them now saying they are obese, according to a report released Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s an increase from the 2005 version of the report and follows a national trend: Nine states now have obesity rates of 30 percent or greater, compared with no states in 2000 and three in 2005.

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