Saturday, June 30, 2018

June's Garden (2018)

June's garden is still being planted and is much smaller than any previous year; however, it's compensating by growing extremely rapid.  The front arch was bare one month ago.

May's Garden
This month it's almost covered with leaves. The cucumbers are growing up the back wire fence support, pole beans and tomatoes are going up the center pole and side arches. The leaves have been removed from the lower part of the bean vine to allow sunlight on the tomatoes.  What I didn't anticipate is how the cucumbers would grow toward the morning sun (which rises on the right side of the picture).  I assumed they would fall over the top of the fence but instead, they are growing up toward the top of the arch.  I keep unwinding the vines and moving them to the left side but they ignore me and grow toward the right.

The center tomato going up the pole is a Yellow Stuffer which is hollow on the inside and will be stuffed with salads.  The two tomato plants on either side are White OxHearts which are white and shaped like an oxheart. They have a mild flavor that I love.  Both are heirloom varieties that I have not grown in a few years.

June's Garden
Underneath the arch are two bell pepper plants with carrots below them.  The Kuroda carrot seed packet was not very full (considering what I paid for it) so I did a second planting of Danvers variety a few days ago in the empty spots.  

Don't be impressed by the big pepper. When I bought the plant from the store it was already half grown. You can be impressed by the cucumber.

Directly behind the cucumber arch on the right, are sweet potatoes.  The next row going toward the left is Henderson Bush Lima beans and Dixie Butterpeas.  Next are Giant (and they are giant) Peruvian Bush Lima beans and the empty spot in front of them is planted with green beans.  They did not sprout so it was planted again with another variety a few days ago.

At the far end of the bean and sweet potato row, is another arch.  This one has Calico Lima Pole beans.  The support pole in the center has a surprise tomato that has sprouted. 

Behind the Lima Bean arch is the area where the Collard Greens grew for two years.  These run parallel to the other rows.  Potatoes are at the bottom of the picture.  The empty spot above them has green beans which were planted a few days ago.  Above the bare area are watermelons and cantaloupes.  They will grow toward the sun away from the shade and should overtake the beans and potatoes.  The beans should grow higher than the melon vines.  When we dig the potatoes, it will be easy to push the melon vines aside.  Well, at least that is the plan.

The tomato row is beside the bean area and will take some explaining.  This year I decided to use an old piece of fence with four-inch squares for support. It will require less time tying them up since they can be threaded through the holes.

My preference is heirlooms because I know exactly how they will produce.  Every year my few local stores usually sell hybrid plants - they always stock the newest varieties and it changes every year.  Most of my tomatoes came from the local garden center and are hybrids.  This year I didn't have the time to grow my own from seeds. These tomatoes are Hybrid Big Beef and I will probably never see them again for sale.  So far, they are doing great.

The tomatoes are running up the fence and underneath carrots are growing.  A few flowers, one Malabar spinach vine, three peanut plants and one mustard plant have all sprouted in the area.  It is a bit crowded.

Beside the tomato fence, is the row of everbearing strawberries which are dormant now.  They will begin producing again in a few months and will continue until frost.  A watermelon plant appeared in an empty spot and looks like it will take over the area.

The left row will be okra and herbs.  Nothing is tall enough to photograph.

Strawberries & one watermelon
Okra and herbs
When I said everything was late this year, I meant it was really late.  Everything in these two rows should have been planted at the beginning of April.

Both rows will be my hoop houses this winter.  Since I am so far behind I decided to try putting them up early to see if it will make a difference.  Only one is up now and the other one will go up in a few days.  I am trying to see if using them will keep bugs away and shade the cool weather plants in the heat of summer.  The second row on the far left is in the process of being planted.

Soon to be a hoop house
Uncovered hoop house

All of these are cool weather plants which have been sitting on the porch waiting for me to get them out in the garden.  My assumption was that they would immediately bolt and die from the heat but they haven't!

Blue Curled Kale
Nero di Toscana Kale
What a surprise, Siberian Kale is loving the hot weather!  The Scarlet Kale is not very scarlet because it is the cold weather that changes the color.

Scarlet Kale
Dwarf Siberian Kale

Tronchuda Kale
All Season Cabbage

Brunswick Cabbage
Swiss Chard

This was a shocker, Michihili is loving the hot weather!
UPDATE: I originally called this Green Seoul but later found the name tag buried deep under the plant.

Not everything loves the summer. Tokyo Bekana has not done well at all - it can't take the heat or dry soil.  I must water it every other day and if the ground is anything less than soaking wet, it wilts completely.  Bugs seem to find it irresistible and I have had to spray to keep it from being devoured. I think it is because the leaves are thin and tender.  Anything that requires spraying and constant watering is not for me. In the future, it will only be grown in the spring and fall.

Tokyo Bekana
Aichi, Komatsuna, and Tyfon are oriental vegetables which have thin, tender leaves but seem to be able to handle the weather. We will see how they do in July. 


Komatsuna Mustard Spinach

This year's garden has been different than years past because everything has been planted one to three months later.  My growing season is six months long from April 15th to October 15th. We have rainy springs, then the rain stops in the summer.  It has always been a rush to get everything planted so it can either be finished before the sweltering dry heat of July or so it can be established well enough to withstand the droughts. Even though we have unlimited, practically free well water, I hate to spend hours watering the garden.

Some of the things I noticed that are different is that my okra missed the onslaught of Japanese beetles; however, the one and only hibiscus in the front flowerbed felt their fury. The flea beetles also did not have anything to feast upon when they hatched (ha, ha). The cabbage looper butterflies are circling the garden looking for delicacies and are finding none -  all are under the hoop house. There will be no summer squash because of the squash vine borers. I can't win against them.  Planting later has its pros and cons.  I am undecided as to which way is the best, early or late.

June Bug
"It is hot outside, hot in the garage, hot in the basement, hot everywhere!" moaned Scooter.  "Dustin has moved his smelly technical thingies into the living room so he can work where it is cooler.   I am helping him by blocking the air from the fan.  It would be a shame if he got too cold."

Links mentioned above:

Last Month's May Garden (2018)

Last Year's June Garden (2017)


  1. I love your posts about your garden. Things grow so fast there! Mine is growing well, slowly and surely.

    I will be doing a garden post in the next few days so I can show my 2 zucchini that are really tiny, but will grow quickly. I got lots of berries today, which made me happy. Last year, I only got about 1 quart of blueberries total, due to a bad crop. Today, I got a quart and a half on the first day and there's lots more to come!

    The lettuce is growing abundantly and I need to spend some time this week re-seeding, weeding, and pulling out the spent lettuce and snow peas. I do succession plantings to keep it coming all summer. Our part of Oregon is cool enough to pull it off, which is why my 1 surviving watermelon plant looks like a little, itty bitty plant compared to your vining beauties! Even with the green plastic mulch. Hmmm.

    And, I'm happy to report that the Jake method of cucumber planting works! (He took Dollar Store 25c/pkg seeds and put some at the surface, and dug deep holes for the rest, and planted them in clumps). They came up. So, I finally have slicing cucumbers growing!!! They are about an inch tall, but should grow quickly.

    1. I envy your zucchini. I have given up on summer squash even though we love it. It just won't survive here. Our blueberry plant is almost finished producing. Bill is the designated blueberry picker because he is taller than I. He picks high stuff, I pick the low stuff. Soon he will need to pick the beans at the top of my arches or I will have to put a ladder out in the garden.

      I have no lettuce at all and I miss it. I planted some new seeds three weeks ago - not one single plant came up. The ground is too hot I think. Snow peas also will not germinate or grow in this heat. Maybe by the end of August I might get them to come up. They never make it in the house here because I munch on them whenever I pass by.

      This morning I harvested almost all of the onions in the garden. Old timers say to pick them on July 4th. This is the first year I have ever had any last this long! I learned the secret which is to put them under the hoop houses; otherwise, they won't survive the winter. As for harvesting them on July 4th, I discovered they are going dormant! The tops are beginning to die back. I guess I have about 10 pounds sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me.

      Jake the farmer! He might be like Reese who enjoyed growing vegetables but didn't like to eat them. Now that he is an adult, he has learned to enjoy eating them. Way to go Jake!

  2. Home grown veggies are the best - our vegetable garden is in its fallow stage at present - will leave it alone for a few weeks and then get it ready for spring.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. Oh Stewart, that sounds so strange, to hear from someone who is in the death throes of winter while I am fighting the heat!

      Enjoy your slow time. Summer is coming!

  3. Such a great variety of vegetables. That should be enough to feed your family of three (at the moment)Names like AICHi, TYFON and many others on you pictures are completely unknown
    to me and I have never seen them in gardens around here. I suppose, they are Asian vegetables. Here the most popular vegetable at this time of the year is head lettuce.
    When there are enough tomatoes available we also like it mixed as a salad. Maybe with some
    pieces of Feta-Cheese. So good on hot summer days with pieces of baguette.
    By the way, your blueberry bushes must be rather high. I have never seen such blueberries.
    Must they been cut every year or do they just grow the way they are?

    1. I have never seen them in anyone's garden and I don't think many people around here have heard of them either. They are all Asian vegetables that I found by searching through all kinds of unusual seed catalogs. Every year I like trying a few new things. Some are successful, most are not. The hot, bitter mustard flavors are something I don't like at all!

      Lunch today was a salad using the mild flavored greens, covered in cucumbers (they are beginning to come in) onions, bell pepper and a tomato we purchased from the Amish. My tomatoes are not ripening yet. I took the extra greens and onions and sauteed them for dinner.

      My blueberry plant is about 7 feet tall. I don't know what type it is because we planted it years ago. I wish we had more. We keep saying we are going to plant another one but then forget. We have never trimmed it and don't know if we are supposed to. As long as it is producing we won't bother it.