Sunday, June 22, 2014

Garden roundup for June

We had a little dry spell, but otherwise the rainfall has been plentiful, resulting in a burst of garden growth that is filling the raised beds and beyond. Despite the rodent damage (I fluctuate between blaming rabbits or woodchucks) and accompanying avian damage, there will be plenty to harvest (knock on wood).

Two of the three sisters, pumpkin and corn, are waiting for the germination of the pole beans. The corn is barely getting above the pumpkin, which is sprawling out of its bed. I've never had much luck with pumpkin or winter squash because of squash pests, but things look healthy so far (more knocking on wood). I don't know why I continue to plant marigolds - they always get overshadowed.

The potatoes are starting to bloom, which means they should be making potatoes. I was hoping to get more dirt into their beds but life intervenes. Maybe it's not too late?

There will be sauce. There are twelve Roma tomato plants in this bed (and four overshadowed marigolds). I'm dreaming of Eric's marinara (from Poor Man's Feast) and pizza sauce (from Preserving by the Pint).

So far, only male blossoms on the zucchini. A friend posted this recipe for zucchini chips that I am anxious to try. Soon, hopefully.

I was extremely pleased with the storage capability of last year's 'Big Daddy' onions, but tried some new varieties this year, including this 'Red Zeppelin'. It's pretty, if nothing else.

I'm still a newbie when it comes to growing raspberries. When I pruned and thinned them after last year's harvest, I thought I did an admirable job. Now the little bed is just bursting at the seams and the plants so loaded with fruit, they are bending under the weight. I'm a little concerned that the berries themselves will be small and seedy from the plants being too dense, but there definitely will be lots. Must protect them from the birds.

In the future, I will also have to protect the peas from the birds. Sparrows and finches ravaged the plants this year, presumably because their spring food supplies were scarce after last winter. I did not realize just how badly they were damaging the plants, especially the blossoms, so few pea pods developed. BUT the ones that did appear are wonderful.

I've been looking for a good pod pea and I think I have found it in this 'Green Arrow' variety.

Despite the rodent damage, my poor broccoli plants are trying to make heads. I am not holding out much hope that they will develop to any meaningful size, but I will be happy to be surprised.

I do not even remember ordering hops last year. The rhizomes simply appeared in the mail one day. I stuck them in a big pot because I did not know what else to do with them, and they grew. I forgot to move the pot into the garage last fall, so did not expect them to survive the winter, but they did. Someday I will find them a more permanent home. Meanwhile, I am not having much luck getting them to climb. This funky trellis, assembled with my SO's help, is the latest attempt.

The Meyer lemon tree continues to recover from my neglect. We recently added manure to the asparagus beds, and some manure tea is being used here and there, especially here. I want to keep this plant healthy.

I recently harvested scapes from the garlic, making a garlic scape pesto with some and putting the rest into a stir fry. One secret I learned to harvesting the scapes is to snap them off, sort of like trimming asparagus, to avoid the hard, unchewable parts.

It helps to have a garden cat guarding the garden.

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