June Gardening 2020

After constructing a tomato and cucumber trellis, I have planted several cucumber plants at the base. I bought a lemon cucumber start to get a jump on the season as my ones grown from seed are still fairly small. We will see how the cucamelons do too. Many of my tomatoes have been growing rapidly and we have started harvesting the first of the cherry tomatoes.

Sun gold cherry tomatoes

Strawberries put on so many during June that we picked about a quart a day for a while. We had to freeze several quarts to keep them from spoiling. An evening treat of strawberries and whipped cream with granola is a family favorite! Later in the summer we will switch to blackberries.

Blueberries are starting to ripen. A bird got my two cherries on my tree before I could. Several apples are growing on my three small trees. I even have a single peach still growing. We have started to get a few raspberries too, but these plants have not fully established enough to get a reasonable harvest. My passion fruit got heavily raided by earwigs. I am hoping it recovers now that I have put down diatomaceous earth and check it every evening.

A small peach
Ripening Blueberries

Honey berries have stopped producing for the year as have most wild strawberries. The snow peas are putting on strong though and our lettuce is growing.

We are trying a new variety of lettuce called Nevada Lettuce which is a loose leaf variety resistant to bolting or bitterness in hot summers. So far we have been pleased with the results as long as I can keep the slugs controlled.

Nevada lettuce

My first row of sweet potatoes have come up and are starting to spread their vines out. My second row was planted a couple months later, so it will take a bit.

We had lots of late rain this year which has resulted in a surplus of slugs which ate many of my beans and lettuce. I replanted some and hope to still get a decent harvest. This also cost me several corn plants as they do not germinate well without hot days.

I also discovered my sprinkler timer was not set properly and half of my sprinklers were not coming on for weeks. I fixed this but my corn has not gotten enough water and is still small.

I have cleared out chard and kale to make room for squash. The chard and kale were going to seed anyway and I have relocated quite a few elsewhere. The chickens have enjoyed multiple chard plants a day for weeks.

Zucchini

I tried hatching chicks while one was broody, but none ended up making it due to the other hens stepping on the eggs. One made it to nearly full development though, so I will probably try again sometime.

I bought a couple katniss plants from eBay that have started to put on leaves. I planted them in a five gallon bucket of soil with no drainage holes and filled with water.

My red kale has come up and I tried some Savoy cabbage, but I think it was not early enough to get a harvest this year. My carrots that I planted from my own seed all came up wild, so even though I kept the wild carrots out of the garden, they are plentiful in my area and apparently have all the dominant traits. I will not be collecting carrot seed again as it unfortunately seems to be a bad fit for my area of plentiful wild carrots in pastures around my place. I planted more carrots from seed I purchased.

I also harvested some salsify I found growing wild. They were bitter as it is summer, but I got enough good flavor in with the bitterness that I decided to try growing domestic salsify. I planted some black salsify too. Both should do great in my area as the wild ones seem to.

Salsify (black and white)

My grape plants seem to finally be getting established and several feet of growth. Maybe we will get some actual grapes next year. My kiwi and mulberries still have no signs of life. The late frost killed the kiwi back to the ground in May and it has not recovered.

My green Hubbard squash plants have come up fast. I planted several of them and hope to get lots of squash this year. I have not had Hubbard squash before, but they say it is wonderful and tastes like sweet potato.

Hard white wheat almost ready to harvest