Monday, June 22, 2020

Week of June 22 - Let’s keep this garden going!

As our gardens burst out of spring and into summer we see a change.  From sowing cooler weather crops to summer crops that love the heat, the tasks continue on.  Everyone’s gardens are different and as such, keep in mind we  need to adapt to our micro climates as everyone has unique climates.  

The cabbages in my garden that I’ve so religiously guarded from slugs and cabbage moths are ready to harvest.  All 12 heads have formed at the same time.  This year I sowed Farao, a variety I’ve not grown before.
 I will definitely repeat this because we are swimming in Coleslaw and Sauerkraut! 

So what can I put in their place once I harvest?  The best rule of thumb I’ve read is think of crops as falling in to 3 different criteria.  Leafy, Fruiting, Root crops.  So once I pull the cabbage I’ll sow a root crop, probably carrots.   By always cycling through leaf, fruiting, root you will help you garden to avoid pests.  If you always sow tomatoes in the same place you will deplete your soil and invite pests.  As long as you keep the same cycle, Leaf, Fruit, root you will alternate crops and help your soil to heal.

General Planting Reminders

Sow under cover or indoors:
Tomato (large or small)

Sow outdoors or plant out:
Beans (Bush Snap) 
Potatoes (Main crop) 
Sweet Potato 

As always, keep an eye on those pests.  They can mow down your well tended garden in a night.  Here at our house we have rats, gophers and squirrels to deal with.  It never ends!

Hand pick pests, squash beetles, slugs,

Mulch to conserve water

Cut off suckers on tomatoes and strip bottom 2 feet of indeterminate tomatoes to prevent blight.  Here's a good article on vertical growing.

Pinch tops of peppers to force side stems and increase your harvest.

Hand pollinate squash.

Consistently harvest beans to continue production.  If your bean runners are growing taller then your trellis, snip the top and they will bush out below.

Amend soil when re sowing with 1 hand full compost, 1 hand-full perlite per square foot and replant with an alternate type of crop (root, leaf, fruiting) 

Finally, continuing to build your compost. An even ratio of greens (fruit and vegetable cuttings and garden trimmings) to browns (dried leaves, dried grass clippings, paper bags or cardboard) and crushed egg shells;  layer it all with shovels of your native soil and sprinkle with water occasionally for the worms.  

Start thinking on fall sowing.  I know Fall you say?  Yes. Many crops for fall harvest are are sowed in mid summer.

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