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What’s Happening in the Garden: Mid-June


June is a big month in the garden — this is when our mid-season crops really start to take off.  We’ve gone from sprouts to hardy blooming plants, beginning to produce fruit and getting close to harvest.  Here’s a look at what’s been happening in the garden in June. In our Raised Bed, the edamame has gone from sprouts…

…to strong little seedlings…

…with flowers that will soon lead to fruit.

Our okra is standing up on strong, straight stems, about 4-6 inches high:

I had thought the okra would need to be held up by our trellis, but so far it’s fine on its own.

Our squash, zucchini, peppers, melons and cucumbers have all sprouted and are growing well.  The melons are struggling with the heat, but hopefully their vines will strengthen with the growth of a few more leaves and deeper roots.  In the mean time, our trellis is helping support them:

And our tomatoes are thriving:

The mystery tomato plant on the right is taking off.  I really wish I knew what variety it is, because it’s doing great here!

Over in the Camellia bed, our green bean sprouts have begun to climb the trellis:

There’s a reason these are called “pole beans.”

And our butternut squash seeds have sprouted:

The Lilac Bed, which I had previously used for our cold season crops, has been replanted with warm weather plants.   I pulled all the remaining foliage from the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and lettuce…

These early season plants had grown well beyond their edible stage.

… and planted mid-season crops in their place:

Our third planting of the season includes peppers, melons, cucumbers and onions.

And last but not least, our fruit.  I’ve planted grapes and blackberries for the first time, and I know they’ll take a few seasons before they produce fruit, so I’m considering this an experiment.  Here’s how they’re coming along:

The red grape vine is healthy and growing well.

And amazingly, the blackberry vine that appeared to be dying a slow and incomprehensible death…

The blackberry leaves all turned brown and eventually fell off, leaving dead vines.

… has breathed new life with the emergence of new vine sprouts.  The new sprouts appeared three days after my last-ditch effort of applying Citrus-Tone (an organic fruit fertilizer).  I had never previously applied a store-bought fertilizer to my plants, so I was skeptical, but I am now a believer.   Either this is a miracle product that resuscitated my berries, or it was an amazing coincidence.  Either way, the new vines are now growing strong, and I’m thankful for it!

New blackberry vines sprouting.

And the new vines growing to replace the old, nearly dead vines.

So we’re heading into the heart of the season, and most of the plants are well on their way.  There have been some blips along the way, but that’s a natural part of the farming experience, and we’ve learned some valuable lessons for next season.  If all continues as hoped for, our mid-season harvest should begin within the next few weeks.

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