Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June Garden Plans


June is maintenance month.

Unless I'm planting sweet potatoes or late planting of potatoes, beans, or corn, my garden planting if over until the fall planting (which is actually done in August to be harvested in fall.) We are enjoying fresh strawberries, broccoli, beets, and lettuce but compared to late summer, there is little to harvest and preserve.

I enjoy this time in mid-summer when I get to enjoy the fruit of my garden with little work.

But I do need to do some work in the garden.

Our May was very dry. After planting our garden, it looked rather good. No weeds were growing because of the lack of rain. Of course, neither was anything else thriving either.

But two weeks ago it started raining. And it rained, and it rained. In two or three days the entire garden was covered with tiny green weeds, except for the areas that we managed to get mulched.

But the rain was worth it because all the garden plants too off too. They are such a lovely lush shade of green now. I'm so glad that Ed mulched the potatoes before the rains because they grew so big I can't see the rows at all and they would be impossible to mulch now.

The view from the end of our main garden.

New strawberry plants, carrots, and onions. You can see the area we didn't get mulched.

Green beans - and weeds. 

Broccoli and cabbage under cover, sugar peas, lettuce, and beets. 

Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

The black plastic at the top of the last picture was covering an area that was covered with nasty crab grass. It is impossible to pull so I covered the foot tall weeds with the black plastic a few weeks ago. When I pulled the plastic off today I found it completely bare of weeds and ready to plant. I plan to move the plastic to another especially weedy area of the garden to repeat the success.

Some herbs, garlic, and strawberries - and lots of weeds.

The weeds are very easy to pull since the rain and I really have no excuse for not having a wee- free garden. All I need is the motivation to make it a priority. And on Saturday we have friends coming. I'm worried that while the men cook, the women may walk down to my garden. Just the push I need to get this garden whipped in shape the next few days. If the children help, it shouldn't take long.

The hard-neck garlic is growing curly heads called scapes. So another task this month will be to snip off the scapes so that more energy will go to the bulb. The scapes can be added to stirfry or even pickled. 

At the risk of repeating myself too often, I'll again gloat over the effectiveness of row cover to keep worms out of broccoli. 

It is such a delight to uncover the broccoli and find perfect heads. 

The cabbage is also growing well under cover but the cauliflower failed. I need to remember to not plant cauliflower. Apparently it takes something that my garden doesn't have.

So my goals this month are simple – weed and walk.

1. Weed (and finish mulching) the entire garden. And then keep after it so it doesn't get this bad again.

2. Walk the garden daily. I've written about walking the garden before. I find that frequent walks through my garden are the key to keeping on top of problems. I have found a few potato bugs (some years we don't even see one) and so far I'm able to pick them off. If I keep checking them daily, I may keep them from becoming and infestation.

I'm also trying to avoid blight in the tomatoes and black rot in the grapes this year. Though I hate to spray, if I do spray, I like to hit it early before the plants are fruiting. So I'm trying to spray the grapes and tomatoes with a fungicide every couple weeks. I hope it helps.

What are you doing in your garden this month? Do you have any tips to avoid blight?


  1. I love looking at vegetable gardens more than flower gardens! Thank you for the tour. You're farther ahead, season wise than us, as we are still planting some things. We have not harvested more than greens and radishes and rhubarb and asparagus, pea shoots, peas. We just eat the peas we grow...I can never grow enough peas to keep up with what we eat so we buy frozen for the rest of the year. Your broccoli looks delicious.

  2. Nice garden..even with the weeds!! They are a never ending battle it seems. We use a product called daconil for early blight on tomatoes. It seems to work good. On our grapes,we use liquid copper added to the regular fungicide. I am not sure how hubby mixes it,but if you want to know just ask. I don't do much of that sort of gardening..he does. I pick stuff and take care of it. It may be a goofy system,but it has always worked for us!! Happy weeding..focus on the results!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. A friend just recommended copper to me. I need to look into it!

      And how fun that you and your husband have worked out a system. My husband does a lot of the planting, weeding, and mulching. And sometimes he helps pick too. But the preserving is my department!

  3. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your garden. It looks like a lot of fun and work! One question I mulch with grass clippings, right? Do you put them on the garden fresh, or do you let them sit for a while? We just moved and worked up a new garden plot this spring and I'd love to be able to use something like that to help keep the weeds at bay! Thanks, Trina

    1. We mulch with fresh grass clippings. Grass has so much nitrogen that it seems a shame to waste that great source of fertilizer and mulch from our large yard.

      We do spread the grass clippings thinly. If you pile up grass clippings they will get slimy and yucky. We would rather do several thin layers throughout the summer. We have seen an improvement to our garden soil since we started mulching.

      Happy Gardening,

    2. Thanks for your reply! I have a small pile of grass clippings I'll just have to go out and spread. We don't have a bag on our lawn mower so I just have to rake, and it doesn't add up super fast. Thanks for the tips on how to do it! =) Trina


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