A great summer salad can be made with lemon cucumbers. Combine sliced cucumbers, red onion, colorful home-grown tomatoes, sweet corn, some greens and some rice vinegar. Sprinkle with a little lemon thyme vinaigrette and you're ready for a great summer specialty.
Great taste is one of the biggest reasons to grow your own vegetables, and this is especially true with melons. The most flavorful melons are too fragile to ship and are absent from supermarkets.
But home gardeners willing to grow from seed have no limitations. The small French cantaloupes are at the top of the flavor charts and the most famous of all is a 1920s heirloom selection called Charentais (pronounced sha-rhan-tay).
Give melons the sunniest, warmest spot in your garden and a little room to sprawl. Then get ready for a flavor explosion when you cut your first melon open and scoop out the sweet, intensely-flavored flesh. Now that's what summer vegetable growing is all about.
RON VANDERHOFF is the nursery manager at Roger's Gardens, Corona del Mar.
They're back! My rose leaves are getting eaten again by little worms. I'm seeing small spots on the foliage, just like the last couple of years. Remind me.
Kelly, Newport Beach
Those little spots on your leaves are the larvae of a sawfly, sometimes called a rose slug. The larvae feed on the underside of the leaves and can be hard to see.
Small scratches and spots now will turn into larger holes as the season progresses. If you just have one or two roses you can probably search the leaves and flick them off with your fingers.
A brisk spray of water will also dislodge many of them. If you need a little more help, I suggest an organic, biological spray called Spinosad. It is available as a ready-to-use or as a concentrate.
ASK RON your toughest gardening questions, and the expert nursery staff at Roger's Gardens will come up with an answer. Please include your name, phone number and city, and limit queries to 30 words or fewer. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Plant Talk at Roger's Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar, CA 92625.