This Week in the Garden - June 20
This is the time of year when my garden activity is much like watching a pot, waiting for it to boil. Everything's been planted, I've started observing or trying to treat minor issues here and there, but overall, I'm just waiting.....and waiting.....and waiting. Summer will literally be upon us tomorrow and it certainly feels like it too.
I had a good Swiss chard harvest so far and will bring more in this weekend. I'm using succession planting with the chard, so when I put in the transplants in April, I added more seed, and when I harvested the other day, I added more seed. I hope to have a steady stream of chard....one of my favorites. I do the same kind of planting with lettuce. A couple bulbs of my fennel look ready to eat, so I'll take those in this weekend as well. Herbs, of course, are always being "snipped" now and added to meals. I love being able to eat seasonally. I go out and see what's fresh and ripe and plan my cooking around it.
Gardening in the 'burbs is not without it's odd challenges. We had a 4-week interruption of our deck/yard due to having our deck stained....and sort of stained again (fiasco project) ....amidst some rainy weather. I've got deck stain on a couple of my broccoli leaves, I think someone must have leaned their body into my potatoes, tossed something into my dill, and I kept having to remove heavy canvas tarps that were parked on my coleus plant day in and day out, but...things are getting back to normal and I have control of my garden once again.
I've always known pollinators were important and I've tried to plant things like sunflowers, lavender and other flowering plants to attract bees and butterflies. This year, I'm stepping up my efforts. I planted two different kinds of milkweed, salvia and hyssop along with sunflowers and lavender this year. I even got a mason bee house to help encourage native bees in the garden. I'm concerned about a lot of the spraying activity trends I'm seeing in our area in the last couple of years - particularly the mosquito spray companies. It seems that they are spraying "natural" products, but those can even have an impact on other insects and pollinators. My concern is more of a suspicion at this point than anything scientifically definite, but it worries me a bit. I want to do everything I can to encourage pollinators. Other flowering plants like marigolds and calendula have also been introduced as benefits to main crops.
Here's a quick tour of the garden as it is now with some photos below. Let me know what's going on in your garden!