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Friday, June 26, 2015

Garden Update - June 2015

So far, this year's summer garden has been wonderful; probably the best I've ever grown.  Because of my needing to eat paleo (with a huge emphasis on the autoimmune protocol) we eat vegetables, usually at least two, with every meal, and the garden has been keeping up with us. Honestly, we're actually having a little  trouble keeping up with it.  I've been drying Costata Romanesco zucchini (on trays in the back of the car parked on the driveway- why not?), but otherwise we are sort of keeping up.  I needed to cull some rutabaga leaves because they were shading the carrots and parsnips and we've been eating them like greens with bacon and garlic (delicious), and we're finally done with the first culling.  Naturally, they need it done again.  If they don't make good bulbs this fall (they need cool weather to form a bulbous root), they will still have been worth the real estate because of their delicious leaves.  They produce a lot of food for the space they take, and that is always a plus in my book. The garden is still popping out new lettuce plants all the time; I succession planted more but that was really unnecessary.

Nasturtiums in the salad
 Summer showed up this year in early June of all times. Usually we don't get hot weather until the weekend of Independence Day, but we already have forecasts in the low 100's for this weekend.  I hope they are wrong about that because all the lettuces will bolt which will make them bitter. However, I do have cucumbers and cabbages coming right now, and those make good salads as well. I'm glad I planted nasturtiums this year; they are a nice addition to salads as well as making the garden a little prettier.
Covered winter roots in the summer
Because of the forecast I am concerned about my carrot and parsnip seed.  The carrots (Berlicum, a giant storage variety from Seeds From Italy) are starting to come up but the parsnips (Andover, Johnny's Seeds) are still thinking about it. So I spent some time this morning covering them up with Agribon to try to keep them a little cooler.  It seems a weird thing to be planting for winter when it's so darn hot outside but that is what you have to do.  This is the first year I left parts of the garden unplanted so I would have room for planting winter things, and it's also the first year I've managed to get them scheduled and in the ground on time.  More winter vegetables will go into the ground in July.

The big bed currently has new beets and leeks in it; I'll replace the beets with lettuces once they are ready.  The other side of the big bed currently has garlic and more volunteer potatoes.  I swear potatoes are the gift that keep on giving.  I think the only way to not have potatoes in the same place year after year is to turn pigs out on it, which is exactly how I'll manage one day.  In the meantime though, I'm leaving the potatoes for their 'free food' factor, and they'll come out at the end of July ready or not when I harvest the garlic.  At that time, Lord willing and the crik don't rise, I'll put metal ribs and plastic on that bed and finally get around to building my greenhouse.  Well, the ribs and ends will be built; the plastic probably won't go on until the end of September or early October. The leeks will then be protected against frost this winter, and I'll plant lettuces and chard in there as well. I discovered that the chard will go all winter if you keep it covered.

We are currently harvesting (and eating!) beets, blueberries, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, lettuces, nasturtium flowers, radishes, rutabaga leaves, strawberries, turnips and zucchini.  The carrots, cauliflower, and potatotes are almost ready.

Hopefully the hot weather won't croak my garden.

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