Thursday, June 25, 2009

June in the Garden

During the first few weeks of June we harvested our garlic. This year's crop seems to have grown quite well, despite having planted it later this year, (in the beginning of November). Some of the varieties we grew were Spanish roja, Chinese Hardneck, Music, Chesnok Red, Germidor and Oregon Blue. I cleaned some of the first garlic that was pulled and dried, and some is for sale now in the fruit stand.

Our garlic is grown in wire-lined raised beds in the garden to prevent gophers from getting in. After pulling out the garlic, I planted pumpkins in the beds. The pumpkins should be ready for harvest in September or October, and then the wire-lined beds can be planted again. We also planted winter squash and gourds in the gardens for the Fall.

Some of the tomato plants have gotten as tall as us or taller, so it was time to help support their cages by connecting them together with rope and tying them to T-posts. Only a few tomatoes have gotten ripe so far, but the vines are full of green tomatoes on the edge of turning pink. Since the weather has become hot and the tomatoes are ripening, we have had to hang sheets or agribon on the side of the plants that faces the hot afternoon sun. This helps protect the tomatoes from sun scald. Hopefully during the first week of July we'll have enough ripe tomatoes to begin selling them at the fruit stand. The tomatoes are ready later than usual this year, maybe because of the cool weather and late rain that came in the beginning of the month.

During June the zucchini and summer squash started producing (much more than we needed), and cucumbers have been producing well, too. Yellow string beans are probably going to be finished by the end of the month, but green string beans are just beginning. Right now blooming catnip, bee balm, lemon balm, lavander, borage and buckwheat are attracting many kinds of bees to the gardens. Bees are also visiting squash, tomato and cucumber and other vegetable flowers. Since this spring we've continued to have cotton tail rabbits around the orchard, too. When I walk out to the garden lately, sometimes I see one running out of the garden and into the black berry bushes. A rabbit has tried to make burrows in the cucumbers and squash, but as far as I can tell it hasn't eaten much yet. Maybe it just wants a cool place to be out of the sun.

Above is a photo of a wheelbarrow full of garlic just pulled out from the garden.

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