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?