The Kitchen Garden-Harvest Time is Near

Today we end the month of June as being the driest month on record. I can attest to that. Its been tough to work in the garden. I find myself enjoying early mornings or later in the evening to work in the garden. Since the beginning of June, farmer Jim and I have been building the kitchen garden and getting it planted. I have to say the plants are doing amazingly well.
The Kitchen Garden- Harvest Time is Near

I started three different kinds of peppers and the miniature peppers are starting to show up now. I see salsa in my future.

The Kitchen Garden- Harvest Time is Near

Remember all the basil I grew? I need to harvest. You can see that flowers are about to form and we don’t want that. Basil needs to be pinched regularly to prevent flowering. Pinching encourages side shoots to form and that means more leaves for cooking. To pinch the basil, I snip with scissors or pinch with two fingers above a set of leaves. I could easily remove the two top sets of leaves off these plants. Remember to pick your basil as you need it as it doesn’t keep very long.

The Kitchen Garden- Harvest Time is Near

I have red tomatoes! Yes, We have harvested about three small tomatoes so far and its only June. The plant above is one of my mystery tomatoes. It’s a Sungold but it doesn’t have the typical potato leaf that it should. I must say that this flat of tomatoes produced the earliest tomatoes. I couldn’t toss them all into the compost. I am growing a few out to see if they are worth keeping for seed.

The Kitchen Garden- Harvest Time is Near

I am still trying to think of a unique way to mark the tomato plants. The plastic markers tend to fade in the sun. I temporarily placed rocks, with the names of the tomato on them, in the beds. The only issue with this is anyone could switch the rocks around. Since I grow tomatoes for a seed bank, I need to know which tomato is which.

The Kitchen Garden-Harvest Time is Near

The cucumbers are thriving in the new kitchen garden. On the far left are plants I started from direct sowing in the first week of June. The two rows on the right were transplants I started in the greenhouse. I figure by the end of this week both sets of plants will be the same size. They are struggling with the heat so I have to be sure this bed gets enough water.
The Kitchen Garden-Harvest time is Near

In between each row of cucumbers I planted Alyssum. It’s hard to see but more seeds are germinating and I hope to have a lovely bloom between each row of cucumbers. Alyssum is a good plant to use to attract pollinators to the garden. This should ensure I get a good harvest this summer.

The Kitchen Garden-Harvest time is Near

The red Marigolds are planted at the end of the pepper bed. Look how bushy they are! I used Marigolds around a few of the raised beds. What I have found this month is they seem to attract wasps. Now wasps are not the best pollinators nor are they very friendly. They may also be checking out the new wood. Some wasps harvest wood for their nests.
The Kitchen Garden-Harvest Time is NearOver the last few days we shovelled a few more yards of soil and rock. I had a wagon full of Dahlias in containers waiting for a spot in the garden. This area gets full sun all day. In the cool of the evening I planted nineteen Dahlias in front of the kitchen garden. The forecast was for more hot weather. I know better than to plant at this time of year. I was taking a chance. Thanks to mother nature, clouds rolled in and we had a light rain. The Dahlias didn’t even flinch a leaf when the sun returned. 

The Kitchen Garden-Harvest Time is Near

I had to go out the next day and left farmer Jim working on the edges of the garden. This is what I came home to see. The decor rock was filled in and more bricks were laid. We will have to get a few bricks cut to fit the angle at the front but the rest will pop in easily. We will continue to work at the back of the garden and the side along the fence. I worried about the tent causing too much shade for the tomatoes. Fortunately its protecting them from the sun this week. Tomatoes drop their flowers when temperatures get this warm. They grow best when temperatures are between 14C-24C. Higher temperatures cause the tomato flowers to fall off so you get no fruit set. There seems to be no rain in the near future so I am still looking at using hay or straw as mulch in the garden.

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Kitchen Garden-Harvest Time is Near

  1. Good Morning,

    I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your e-mails and how lovely your kitchen garden looks. One can plainly see how well it will work…..loads of vegies will be coming from the raised beds. I have one question for you. What is the best mulch to use for a large flower bed? One of my lengths alone is 110 ft long, the other is somewhat shorter. Then I have beds around the house. For now I just try to keep it weeded, but I am getting older so I know it will not be so easy in a couple of years. I have taken out a number of plants that I did not like anymore and am trying to make it a bit more senior friendly. My thought was to put down bark mulch next year once I have everything including bulbs planted. I would appreciate it if you would make a suggestion as I know that you know a great deal about gardening. Thanks so much.

    Kind regards,

    Darrell Lambie

    1. Hi Darrell, thanks for reading my trials and tribulations on gardening.We have wide flower beds with large rhododendrons in them. I found as I got older I wasn’t agile enough to get under the shrubs. We placed a layer of cardboard under the large shrubs like in lasagna gardening.We saved our leaves from the trees in the fall and placed them on the cardboard. Not only did it keep the weeds at bay it reduced our maintenance. We left the first few feet along the edge of the beds bare but covered with leaves in late fall to enrich the soil. Bark mulch is good at saving moisture and it looks good. Stay away from landscape fabric as it doesn’t last. I have to use a kneeling stool to garden and its really helped me get up and down in the garden.

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