The New Home Economics

Garden update, mid-June

6 Comments

It’s the middle of June already! Time to check in on the edibles around the yard.

my urban garden

Things are coming along swimmingly in the garden. Dare I say it? Best garden year ever?! It might be a bit soon, I better not jinx myself. Look at the pumpkin, squash, and potato tower in the foreground! Happy to report that rabbits do not seem interested in pumpkin or squash plants. [phew]

The Tom Thumb peas that the kids planted back in April (see picture at the top of the page) are finally just about ready. They are in a part-shade spot, and I don’t think they get *quite* enough sunshine to have reached their full potential. But we’ll get one solid meal, anyway.

Rowan’s garden, with a couple of radishes left and some rather pathetic-looking “Gourmet Lettuce Mix” from High Mowing Organic Seeds. We had a couple of hot days.  Also, I should have thinned a bit more. I am going to give this another 7-10 days and if things don’t look better, I’m ripping it all out and planting some quick-growers that we could harvest before fall: turnips, radishes, and maybe some kale.

mesclun mix

Anneke’s garden, on the other hand, is looking spectacular. We planted it with a 50/50 mixture of Burpee Organic Mesclun mix and rainbow chard. I’ve thinned it quite a few times, adding the baby greens to our salad bowl as we go. I don’t know if this mix is more heat tolerant than the other, but I think it has a greater variety of lettuce types. The arugula we thinned out and ate early on; it’s gone now. All that remains are the hardier greens and lots of chard, filling in nicely.

bee pollinating a raspberry plantBees are hard at work to give us raspberries in a few weeks.

Alpine strawberries are loaded with fruit. Picking and eating immediately, every single day for about a week now.

Regular strawberries are just getting going — picked the first actual bowl full tonight.

comparing alpine strawberries with regular

Anneke was kind enough to stop eating strawberries long enough for me to shoot a quick comparison shot — alpine strawberries are tiny! The strawberry on the right is a standard size, like what you’d get at a pick-you-own farm (note: still smaller than grocery store strawberries). If making jam is your thing, you’d better plant 500 alpine strawberry plants and plan to spend your entire day picking.  Rather, alpines are great for eating fresh, especially when you have a part-shade situation. Regular strawberries will not produce much at all in part-shade, but alpines will.

Blueberries! I pinched off most of the flowers on this plant, because it’s still so young, but I had to keep at least a small handful of berries for my efforts.

Tomatoes. Absolutely mental. Could this be the year when I finally have a good tomato crop? Could it? Pretty please?

Cabbage area. Lots of things going on here: two cabbages, chamomile, rosemary, kale, carrots, garlic on either side, a sage in the back, and chrismas lima beans climbing the trellis to the right. Didn’t have great carrot sprouting rates, hence the couple of semi-bare areas. Look at how free of insect damage my cabbages are. Unbelievable, considering the cabbage worms I dealt with last summer. Could it be that surrounding my cabbages with herbs and garlic confounded them? Hard to say for sure.

This area looks like total chaos but it’s actually quite nicely ordered according to my plan. It includes: golden beets, red beets, turnips, celeriac, parsley, rosemary, and some nice green pole beans climbing the trellis in the back to the right.

Finally, the peppers and eggplant, with cuke plants finally reaching up toward their trellis at the back. Everything is kinda slow-moving in this area so far, so I hope growth rates pick up.

OK, that’s it! Lots going on here!

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6 thoughts on “Garden update, mid-June

  1. Forgot to note: I’ve had a handful of garlic scapes already, and expect to be knee-high in them pretty soon.

  2. “absolutely mental” — love it! Your garden is crazy gorgeous!

    I love watching everything come alive. We’ve been eating our alpine berries like mad this week too, and just started dipping into the regular ones. We did a pretty big garden overall with different methods and places and I’m interested to see what comes of it all.

  3. Pingback: Strawberry Girl | mamalooma

  4. What a horticulturalist’s dream. Great work, Jennifer!
    Here in OK I decided not to plant any tomatoes this year because we’re going to be gone so much. Good thing. With the 95-100+ F heat the last couple of weeks, almost everyday, they would be suffering badly right now. I planted snow peas in March and we enjoyed them in May for a couple of weeks.
    I hope your weather cooperates!
    John

  5. looks amazing! i’m hoping for my best garden year ever too (fingers crossed) and ditto on the tomatoes!

    also- what do you do with your garlic scapes? i’m about to pick some of mine and am just not sure what to do with them! thanks 🙂

    • So far I’ve been adding them to anything that might taste good with garlic and/or chives. Fresh salsa, salad dressings, guacamole. A friend just made pesto with his — I may try that tonight! (Google garlic scape pesto for 1,000 recipes.) I’ve also had them raw in spring rolls, which I thought was delightful but it was a bit too much for my kids.

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