Friday, June 20, 2014

What's Happening In The Garden - Mid-June - Part 1

We are now past the midway point in June and the garden is really starting to blossom, so to speak. Everything has been planted and most of the hard work is finished.  Now it’s just a matter of tending the existing plants and starting a few veggies here & there for succession planting and fall harvest.  Even though I still have quite a few tasks on my list with regards to the new vegetable bed areas (mulching paths, finishing the fencing/gates, etc.), I am pretty much caught up with all the routine tasks.


Garlic & Shallot Bed

The garlic & shallots are plugging along and the garlic scapes are just starting to appear.  This is about the same time as last year - funny but I thought we were about 2 weeks behind because of the late start to spring.  I do recall, however, that last year we had a very cool & dreary month of June, which probably slowed the garlic down a bit.

Garlic Scapes On The Verge of Curling
 
I have noticed a few spittle bugs here & there in the garden, but was surprised when I found a few in the garlic.
 
Spittle Bugs on Garlic
 
Only 5 or 6 plants were affected & I gave each of them a good blast of water – hopefully, that’s the last I see of those, on my garlic anyhow.


Strawberry Bed

The strawberry bed is doing fine – not amazing, but ok.  As I mentioned before, this is the 1st year of harvest for this bed so maybe I shouldn’t be expecting huge plants & a ton of berries.

Strawberry Bed
The cups support the netting and prevent it from sliding down the rebar -
This was a great tip I got from Marks Veg Plot
 
So far, we have harvested a couple of handfuls of the Fort Laramie strawberries.  My unknown variety June bearer has given us one ripe berry but many more are just starting to ripen.

June Bearer (Unknown Variety)
 

Rapini

The rapini is doing well – I will probably begin harvesting by next week.

"Zamboni" Rapini
 
 
Spinach

The Galilee spinach that I direct sowed about 10 days ago is doing ok although it hasn’t grown that much yet.  Hopefully it’s just one of those crops that takes a while to get going, but then puts on lots of growth.

"Galilee" Rapini - 10 Days After Direct Sowing
 
Swiss Chard

A couple of weeks ago, I started having issues with leaf miners on my Swiss chard.

Leaf Miner Damage
 
I immediately removed all of the affected leaves.  I then surveyed the underside of each leaf & found numerous eggs, which I destroyed.

 
The next step was to prevent more damage, so I covered the chard with netting.  And that was that, right?  Wrong.

Only a day or so after I covered the chard, I noticed a number of small flies inside the netting.  I opened up the netting, waved away the flies, then replaced the netting.  Over the next couple of days, this happened a few more times.  I couldn’t understand it – where were they coming from?  I had made doubly sure that there were no gaps at the bottom of the netting, so I doubted that they were getting in that way.  Then I read that when the miners leave the leaf, they drop onto the soil, pupate, then emerge around 12 days later as adults – so I'm guessing I had numerous pupa in the soil around my chard & these were emerging as adult flies.

Then, when I was taking photos of the pepper plants, guess what I saw?

I didn't even realize that this was in the picture until after the fact,
when I viewed the photo on my computer.

 
Looks a lot like this, doesn’t it:

Vegetable Leaf Miner
Photo from the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
 
The thing is, the flies on the inside of the netting were completely black, with no trace of yellow.  Hmmm.......

Well, I decided to uncover the bed (and keep it uncovered) & sprinkle the soil with diatomaceous earth.  Not sure if this will do anything – my hope is that it may impact on the adults in some way as they emerge from the soil.  You just never know what each year will bring – last year I didn’t have any issues with leaf miners in the Swiss chard.

Swiss Chard with a Sprinkling of Diatomaceous Earth
 
Carrots

I sowed all my carrots using Granny’s seed mat method.  I had spaced them 1½” apart & last week, I finally got around to thinning them to about 3” apart.

Carrot Seedlings
Looks like I may indeed get my bumper crop of carrots, unlike last years carrot fiasco.

 
Beans

So far I haven’t put up the fence around the area where the beans are & they are still doing ok (I know, I know - famous last words ;).

Bush Beans in the Foreground & Pole Beans in the Back
 
There is a baby bunny that seems to be calling our yard home as we constantly see him (her?) in both the front & back yard.  He may be a bit too little to hop up into the beds or his appetite may be satisfied by the plethora of weeds we have in our lawn – in either case, I hope my plants stay safe until that fence is up.

 
Peas

The Super Sugar Snap peas are starting to flower!!  Yipee – we should be seeing our first sugar snaps in less than 2 weeks!

Super Sugar Snap Peas Flowering
 
I’m actually quite surprised as I was expecting the bush snap peas, Cascadia, to blossom first.  These are supposed to be 48 days to harvest and it has been 46 days since I sowed them.  They look healthy enough & nothing out of the ordinary has checked their growth, as far as I can tell – I guess they are simply going to be late.

This bed does get a bit of shade in the afternoon, so maybe that has impacted Cascadia more than the climbers.  My plan was to stagger the harvest by growing an earlier bush & then a later climbing sugar snap.  So much for my plans.

At the moment, the climbing sugar snaps on the right are only about
12" taller than the bush sugar snaps on the left
 
The climbing sugar snaps are doing an adequate job of clinging to the jute string.  However, I do find that they tend to lean out of the bed.  Each time I see them bulging into the pathway, I run a length of jute in front of them to get them back to their proper spot.  So far, I have only had to do this twice.
 
Squash

The squash is doing ok – they haven’t grown that much since I planted them out about a week ago.

Bush Squash Underneath Tulle Netting
 
I must get to all those weeds tomorrow.  That's the problem with row covers/netting – usually I just casually pick weeds from the beds as I stroll by.  When the bed is covered, however, it becomes much more of a chore in that I have to specifically set aside time to do it.

That's about it for this post - tomorrow I will continue my mid-month tour through the vegetable garden.

Till next time...

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

4 comments:

  1. Things are looking pretty good--especially those strawberries. Mine are "skimpy" this year. I'm trying to look at the bright side--maybe with less foliage , I won't have the rot problems I had last year.
    I wouldn't worry about that spinach--that stuff just EXPLODES all of a sudden. I had lousy (I thought) production until about a week ago, and now I can't keep up with it. Lucky I have lots of neighbors that love it as much as I do.
    Have a great weekend

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    1. Thanks Sue - A couple of the strawberries that were touching the soil did actually start to rot; I'm trying to make sure the clusters are sitting on top of the straw, which I think really helps. Lucky you with your spinach! I have yet to have too much spinach. I am anxiously awaiting that explosion :). Have a wonderful weekend too!

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  2. I only weed the row covered beds occasionally. Maybe every three weeks, or a month. Usually two or three times before something crops. It is such a pain to get under. And I often get fly hatchings under my row covers. But not the flies that prey on the crops as I rotate the crops. I always figure it is something from the previous year and won't do them any harm. Though I do shoo them out as I hate the flies in there.

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    1. That's so interesting you say that about the flies. I did notice some of the same flies that were in the chard netting also under the netting for the squash...there are so many different miner insects - maybe I jumped the gun when I assumed that those flies were some type of miner? Thanks Daphne, this is good to know especially if I decide to recover the chard.

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