Welcome to the July garden. Sunlight, warmth and water are what the plants have been craving and they are thriving. Jacqui-cat is looking for some petting as she gingerly steps between the marigolds and the King Richard leeks.
Lilltle Leaf H-10 organic cucumber
Butternut squash saved seed
Sugar Baby watermelon from Lizzy
The cucurbits have pulled through the initial onslaught of striped cucumber beetles. After a number of years of not having enough cucumbers to make pickles, I’ve planted a number of patches through out the garden. Butternut winter squash is our old standby. The seeds are easy to save. It’s in moschata family and doesn’t cross with other squash varieties. The Sugar Baby watermelon is the surprise of the season. I’ve never grown a watermelon. HB randomly mentioned that he would like to grow one because he likes the shape of the leaves and my dear friend Linda gave him this beautiful seedling. It even has a teeny tiny watermelon.
Striped Zebra and San Marzono Tomatoes from Andi
Rutgers, Jubilee and Grandma Mary tomatoes
Tomatoes are my annual challenge. I have the hardest time getting them staked up. I know they need to be pruned, but I’m not really sure how to do it properly. The hornworms are expected any day! Thank goodness, they have been so forgiving to me over the years. My garden buddy and sister goddess Andi shared the most magnificent tomato seedlings with me this spring. I’m looking forward to having heirloom Green Zebra’s this fall.
Top Hat open pollinated corn is a seed crop this year. I am concerned about seed availability next spring and want to have as many seeds as I can produce for next years food crops. If you are interested in how to “de-hybridize” an F1 crop, here is an interesting story of how Top Hat was selected from Tuxedo corn.
Alliums are a constant weeding challenge! The grasses are disguised to look just like garlic or onions and require vigilance, sharp eyes and lots of mulching to prevent them from overtaking my treasured bulbs of flavor. The garlic tips are beginning to turn brown. When half to two thirds of the leaves are brown, it’s time to harvest. Usually the last week of July for me. The braiding garlic is ready first followed by the Music Pink hardneck.
Greens, beans and ganja. We eat a lot of greens. I try plant rolling patches to keep us in ready supply, moving from spinach to chard to bok choy and back to spinach again in the fall. This year I am planting an overwintering greens garden. I have often had unintentional early spring goodness from the newly emerging garden and believe it will work well to plant on the other side of the calendar.
Diablo Brussels sprouts and Covina organic broccoli are thriving. I plant brassica as a fall crop. Brocolli loves the cooler weather and keeps growing and producing through September and October. I ordered the broccoli before the pandemic was known. It strikes me somewhat ironic to be tending a Covina broccoli….
Flowers everywhere. Tucked away in sweet little corners, massed in beds, pampered and treasured, they delight me during my morning garden inspection. You can see Lizzy’s orange frilly zinnia, the echinacha is ready to burst into bloom, the poppies are forming tseed heads while the last lingering purple petals feed the bees in the morning. The little Canadian Shield rose is my prize this year. I thought the rose bush was dead, but one little spring came to life followed by a sweet red rose bud. The Campfire rose is also a first year transplant. There have been many flowers on this vigorous bush. Tricolor salvia is an old reliable for my flower vases. It is an annual that self seeds throughout the garden, but I always plant a few extra so I can place them in strategic locations. Feed my soul.
The garden tour ends in the Prelude raspberry row. We have been rewarded with a bumper crop to graze on. They haven’t made it to the jam pot or freezer yet! I need to find a place outside of the vegetable garden so they have enough room to spread into a true raspberry patch. I would love to see your mid July garden photos! What delights you in your garden?