How Does Your Garden Grow - Early June

Saturday, June 9, 2012
Whew! Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Today it reached nearly 90 degrees - the hottest day of the year so far. Luckily, I get to spend these hot days in air-conditioned luxury and also have a wonderful manfriend who picks me up from work with ice cream bars in tow.

With all the moisture we've been having lately, the garden love, loved this warm day. Everything's pretty well planted (and sprouted) now. There are still three little tomatillos that need to grow just a bit bigger before they get transplanted to their "big boy" pots and I've replanted some carrots and beans to fill in gaps after the initial sprouting.

Here's how it all grows so far:
The tomato plants already have blossoms. Worried, I referenced photos from last year's garden and was happy to find that last year's plants also were blossoming at this time.  It's all good. (I always get worried that if the blossoms set too early, the plants won't form enough foliage.)

I realized this morning that I have five little pepper plants this year: two jalapenos and three bell peppers. So watch this space for tales of "Five Little Peppers and How They Grew." (And yes, that was a children's literature joke. Being an English major is awesome . . . ;)

When I took this picture of our straw potato bed this morning, I was going to be all "wah, wah - no potatoes yet," but after our sultry day, that simply isn't true. After work today, I found the first three potato shoots poking through the straw. Success!!
The new raised beds could look better - both carrot and bean germination are spotty and the onions, yet again, looked destined for less than greatness. At least the garlic is holding its own . . . 

The littlest seedlings are sporting smart little tropical fish Dixie cup collars to guard against the nasty, evil cutworm. Over the last month, many local residents have been noticing teeny egg clusters on their windows, eaves, and exterior walls. Turns out, the expert think the eggs will produce a new strain of cutworms. Oh joy! Andy's been pretty vigilant about getting rid of any eggs he finds, but the thought of cutworms in the gardens is a bone-chilling one.

Growing up, we had cutworms in our garden one time and let me tell you, it's not a pretty sight. Nothing fells your dreams of homegrown produce faster then when cut worms take down your broccoli seedlings like timber. Since cutworms only attack at the base of young seedlings, a simple paper cuff about 1 inch in the dirt and about 1.5 inch above the ground should deter even the most determined cutworm.

So far no cutworm problems (whew!), but if I could keep the chipmunks from digging up all of my squash plants in their crazed efforts to plants as many sunflower seeds as possible, I would be a calmer gardener.

We're to the point in the year when the neighbors passing by like to stop to gaze at our gardens. I can't take much credit for the current beauty of the perennial bed - Andy and his mom are the flower gardeners around here - but it's nice to think that our gardens bring beauty to others' lives as well as our own.
How does your garden grow?


  1. Your garden is looking good. And yes it is always a challenge keeping the bugs and critters from destroying our treasured vegetable plants. This spring, it's the slugs. They have turned my Napa cabbages into lace work. I have left them to eat it to the center in hopes that they will leave the rest of my garden alone. So far it's working. LOL

  2. Oooo everything is looking good! I've never tried straw beds for potatoes! Does it work well? We're trying potato mounds for the first time this year. We're hopeful!


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