Jun 17, 2014

June Garden Update

The garden has been in now for over a month, some things are doing great while other plants are struggling. I planted my seeds and little sprouts were coming up… and then something was eating and killing my sprouts! I couldn’t figure out what it was until I caught them in the act - those little pill bug rolly polly things! We have them all over the garden but I thought they only ate dead plant matter. But I googled it and it turned out that they eat dead plant matter and tender little sprouts when there’s a lot of moisture around (and this was during a very rainy period of time). My gardening expert grandfather sent me an organic product for slugs and pill bugs and it worked really well when my second round of seeds started to sprout. It’s also protecting my lettuce and slug-sensitive plants.

The Tomato Bed
The tomatoes have a touch of blight from the humid weather and torrential rainstorms, but overall they are doing well and growing steadily. The stalks are thick, the leaves are green, the flowers are blooming and I even have a few little tomatoes starting to form. While the tomatoes are happy, the marigolds were not. One day they were fine, the next day all the leaves were gone. And then they promptly died without leaves. I think something ate them? I planted some marigold seeds hoping they might sprout, but nothing came up - I have to go pick up some more from the garden center.

The Vine Bed
This bed had a rough start. I planted seeds for cucumbers, watermelon and musk melons with a row of carrot seeds off to the side. Things started sprouting and then I had the bug problem… I lost half the cucumbers, all of the musk melons and a couple of watermelon (but none of the carrot sprouts oddly enough). The cucumbers and watermelon are doing really well now. The musk melon seeds didn’t come up after the second planting and I’m not sure why. I am currently trying one last time and after this I’m giving up the space to the watermelon.

The Flower Bed
The flower bed suffered the pill bug infestation the worst. The zinnias, the teddy bear sunflowers, the snapdragons all suffered greatly. I lost everything but a few zinnias and had to replant, but I was out of snapdragon and teddy bear sunflower seeds. Maybe next year! I planted two new dahlias in red and orange over here and the sole surviving purple one is coming back well. Hopefully they will get big soon.

The Lettuce/Bean/Herb/etc. Bed
The lettuce, swiss chard and snap peas on the trellis got a head start before the pill bug swarm, so other than a few nibbled leaves (which could have been slugs), they were unaffected. Now I have tons of lettuce and we’re eating salads like its our jobs. The peas are blooming and just starting to form (which is weird since it’s mid-June, but it’s been a late/weird year) and the swiss chard is growing. The oregano and thyme transplants are doing well, the basil I bought is happy. The second round of green bean sprouts, after dealing with the pill bugs, are now almost tall enough to start climbing up the trellis on the other side. When the peas die back in the summer heat we’ll add more beans.

The strawberries have been coming in by the bowlful daily, they are at the peak and they taste oh-so-good. There’s nothing better than sun-ripened strawberries. The raspberries are forming from the blossoms and the blackberries are blooming. The blueberry bushes survived the long winter and are back, but they are still too young to have flowers. The lemon and lime trees lost most of their fruit to peskey squirrels, but have started reblooming so hopefully we’ll get some fruit in the fall. The fig trees are doing well - the new Chicago Hardy continues to be happy and the Brown Turkey that I thought died is growing back very quickly.

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