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Proctor's Garden: Treat your vegetables right

Cucumbers, squash, beans, peppers and tomatoes should be in high gear. If you stop picking, they'll stop producing.

DENVER — Hot weather guarantees a good harvest. Your job is to keep vegetable plants healthy and keep them picked.

Cucumbers, squash, beans, peppers and tomatoes should be in high gear. If you stop picking, they'll stop producing.

It's a myth that you should stop watering tomatoes to force them to ripen. Don't do that. You'll just end up with dried out fruit with thick skins.

Flowers enhance a vegetable garden and attract pollinators. Your garden will come alive with bees, butterflies and birds.

I grow many flowers alongside my vegetables. These include zinnias, marigolds, nasturtiums, dahlias, salvias and China asters. Not too many people grow the latter. 

China asters come in many colors, are easy to grow from seed and bloom from midsummer to frost. I grew the white-tinged-pink variety 'King Size Apple Blossom' this year and it's lovely.

Sunflowers are a great addition to a vegetable garden. Don't deadhead them. Finches, chickadees and other seed-eating birds love them. You'll also get self-sown seedlings next year.

RELATED: Proctor's Garden: Tips to get rid of those pesky Japanese beetles

RELATED: Proctor's Garden: These cool daisies thrive in Colorado's hot weather

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