Sunday, June 14, 2015

June Update - Luscious Lettuce

This is one of those lush growing years.  I don't think the garden has looked this good since it's first year back in 2010.  I give credit to the rain and the blood meal I have added to all the beds.  Everything has taken right off.  We've had good growing conditions, plenty of rain, and sunny days.  I have also fertilized twice since planting with fish emulsion.

I am very happy that I finally bought the extra tall pea fence for the Wando peas.  They are reaching towards the top already.

The Maestro peas are just now ready.  I picked some and put them on my salad for supper tonight.  They are a more normal pea height and great producers.

But June is ruled by lettuce.  I remember when they were just tender little babies needing to be watered every day.  They look so cute at that size.

Now they have reached maturity and are elbowing each other for growing room.  There are three mature rows here and a new row planted down each edge.

I religiously spaced these plants 12 inches apart, but with the healthy soil and plenty of rain they have grown enormous!  I've never seen such large leaves!  I carefully removed any extra plants first.  For over a month I have been "pruning" them to harvest, taking only the outer leaves.

This week I realized the best course of action would be to just cut and remove every other plant.  It took a couple of days of studying before I chose which end to start on so I leave a perfectly balance selection of varieties in each of the mixed rows.  Now they have some elbow room and are off set so no one is pinned between two neighbors.  This morning I cut POUNDS of lettuce, rinsed it, and packed it into two gallon bags.   Besides here at home, and my office fridge, I am also giving bags and bags to my mother and co-workers.  There is enough lettuce for everyone!  Besides this bed, I have two mature rows along the peas, and one just started in the bean bed!

Remember the first signs of spring?  The survivors in the herb bed?

Well they are growing and spreading and looking beauteous.
Clockwise from the top:  Rosemary, common Thyme, Verigated (yellow and green) Sage, Verigated Thyme, Daylillies and Irises and a Nasturtium tucked in.  And right in the middle is the Tri-colored or Purple Sage.  I even think I have toad in my little toad house there.  There was fresh soil kicked out the doorway, but I didn't want to lift it up and disturb him.  That makes for a grumpy toad.

This year I am trying my cantaloupes in containers.  I really didn't have a good spot to rotate them to and I thought with fresh soil and the added heat of the sand in the chicken yard they ought to do well.

This bed held potatoes the last two years.  Now there are 4 zucchini plants in wire cages (just until they get big and prickly and inedible to the deer and bunnies).  The rest of the plants are weeds.  Well, weed-potatoes to be precise.  No matter how careful I am at harvesting I always miss some.  These are blooming now and within the next two weeks I will pull them, use the baby potatoes, and give the zukes more room to grow.  Those are a good kind of weed to have.

So, how are all of your gardens coming along this year?  This is the best time of year.  Enjoy!