Here’s the right side of the garden, in June and now. You’ll note the squash has been quite pleased with the hot weather we’ve had.
Right now this is the height of the growing season, and I’ve had slight lull in the work with everything planted. But there’s only a few more weeks before everything starts needing picking and cooking and freezing and canning. And I’m starting to get reminders that I need to start seeds for the fall and winter garden soon!
Things I did this month:
- Harvest all the garlic! Garlic post upcoming.
- Planted more flowers in the back bed.
- Planted sweet potatoes in the former lettuces bed.
- Planted my dry farm tomato experiments. Tomato post upcoming.
- Put up the new fence on the right edge of the garden.
Things I still need to do:
- Am I ever going to get around to planting potatoes?
- Plant dry-farm squash.
- Harvest and dry onions.
- Plant more green beans, carrots, beets.
- Start planning for the fall and winter garden.
- Buy lumber for the new beds in the top right corner.
- Continue mowing.
The garden is now very nearly fully planted and, at the moment, well-mowed. Here’s a pic of the right-side of the garden, from ground level:
There’s not much here because I took out two beds at the far end of the garden, and haven’t put them back yet. And these are the melon and squash beds, which are just starting to get going. Cucumbers will go up that trellis in the middle.
Things I did this last month:
- Planted melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, summer squash, sunflowers, green beans, and cilantro.
- Planted more of carrots, beets, kale.
- Continually eating bok choy, spinach, lettuces, kale, broccoli.
Things I still need to do this month:
- Plant Potatoes.
- Plant Sweet potatoes.
- Fill in remaining spaces with flowers or herbs.
- Finish the fence at the back of the garden.
- Keep mowing.
No vegetable garden is perfect every year; there’s lots that goes wrong. In the interest of honest garden blogging here is a good-sized head of bok choy that was nibbled to death by bugs. And if the other heads of bok choy I harvested yesterday are any indication, it is also probably completely full of earwigs.
Fortunately vegetable garden failures can all be recycled via the chickens into eggs.
A garlic scape is the young flower bud from a garlic bulb. As the garlic matures the scapes peek out from the plant, stretch up, and then curl around in spirals as they grow.
Scapes are pretty and interesting to watch as they grow but they draw energy from the garlic plant, and you want the plant to put that energy into the bulb, not the flower. So the scapes have to go, preferably as early as possible. You can snap them right off the plant or clip them with scissors. (that picture up top is from a bunch of years back when I let them grow a little too long.)
The scapes do not go to waste, however. They are totally edible. They have a milder flavor than bulb garlic, but can still be used in place of garlic in any recipe. And since last year’s garlic is getting on in age, but this year’s garlic isn’t ready yet, its nice to have something garlicky in the house.
I have a lot of garlic in the garden, so there were a lot of scapes to pick. Normally I just wrap them up and put them in the fridge and use them as I need them — they last a long time — but I was thinking I might make a garlic pesto with these.
How is the actual garlic growing, you ask? Well…
I’ve had a lot of trouble the last few years with garlic bottom rot; the plant will grow just fine and then wilt and die and when you pull it up it’s all mushy and gross on the bottom end. Best as I can tell from The Google this is because of a fungus in the soil that is extremely difficult to get rid of.
In an attempt to stave off at least some of the rot this year I’ve been keeping this bed pretty dry, which means the leaves are starting to die back and it all looks kind of ugly. But there are good-sized bulbs under the soil ready to go, and it’ll only be a few weeks before I can harvest it all. Good thing, too, because I have sweet potato plants coming in next week to fill the space.