This Week in the Garden
After getting most of the work done at the beginning of the season (early May), there tends to be a lull in activity and I feel like I'm watching a pot waiting for it to boil. During this time, I make sure everything is watered, I add plant supports, treat any signs of pest damage, and I keep an eye on how things are generally doing.
Now that it's mid-June, I've had to do a little more to keep things going and the pests have started challenging me. I do a walk-through of the garden almost daily. I don't know if that's obsessive or attentive, but it's the truth.
- All of my tomato plants have started producing flowers, but no fruit yet.
- My lettuce is BURSTING. In fact, some of it is near ready to bolt...time to eat healthy salads every night! I've been harvesting bags of lettuce every week now. Soon, I'll need to think about what to do with the space once the lettuce is done.
- My basil actually started to "pop." For the longest time, the true leaves were just tiny things. Now, they look like they're becoming something edible. I also have basil in my tomato garden beds but, those I started earlier indoors and transplanted.
- I added supports around my potato plants. I have them in grow bags, and they're growing by leaps and bounds. It was time to add the remaining soil to top it off and make sure they're supported.
- My garlic, which I planted last October, is still going. This is my first time growing it, so I'm watching it carefully. It will likely be a July harvest the way it's looking. I have hard neck garlic, which I'm expecting to provide scapes, and some soft neck garlic, which is smaller and by the looks of things, may be ready before the hard neck. I also wrote about growing garlic on Urban Gardeners Republic blog.
- Zucchini flowers are starting to come out. Male flowers only right now, but it's a good sign.
- The cucumber plants I started from seed indoors are starting to flower also. Others that I started by seed are also doing well. There's a little fungus, but I'm treating with copper fungicide spray.
- Aphids, flea beetles, leaf miners....Oh my!
- I've noticed white flies on my tomato plants and have been trying insecticidal soap. Hopefully this will do the trick. I've applied it on two occasions now when there were active bugs on there. There doesn't seem to be more bug activity as of yet. I'm also checking the underside of the leaves and wiping off anything that might be eggs they left behind.
- I may have flea beetles on my eggplant and broccoli leaves. Haven't acted on that yet, as I just noticed it very recently, but I saw very small holes in the leaves and will try to treat them shortly and swiftly. Thankfully, the leaves and plant are fairly mature at this point and may be able to withstand this. Will see...
- My carrots haven't come up as much as I thought they would. Just a few have sprouted above the soil. Maybe I'll try adding some more seed and see how it goes.
I tried something I haven't before -- pruning my pepper plants. I've always had tall, top-heavy pepper plants that have never yielded much. I've been reading more about pruning methods and decided to give it a try. Just in a few days I've seen more growth come in. Stay tuned for video on this as I see how the plants progress (I hope)!
This time of year, I always have both anticipation and worry as the garden takes shape. There's so much that can go right and so much can go wrong. This is why I check on things so often.