July Comparisons

Another month, another set of comparisons. It was a very wet July for us. Considering our region is considered semi-arid desert and I have mushrooms growing and slugs hanging out, I would safely say it was a wet month. It was interesting to see what did grow despite the lack of blazing sun and 35+ degree Celsius heat.

Our strawberries had a hiccup in July. Starting mid-July we noticed that our plants all but stopped flowering for a couple weeks. there was the odd flower during that time, but our harvests went from bowls full to one or two strawberries every few days. Last year we harvested a pound more than we did this year. Good news is that our plants are exploding with flowers once again so the harvest will hopefully be up for August. I need it to be good so I can make a bunch of delicious jam!

The scallions harvest is a little deceiving. I would argue that we had just as many last year, possibly more, but we didn’t harvest as many last July. This year, with working from home, I have been using them a lot for egg-salad sandwiches, fresh salads and other recipes. Last year I just wasn’t using them as much.

Last year and this year have been rough years for cucumbers in our garden. Last year they were choked out by the Peter Pan squash plants and this year they just aren’t getting the sun they need. That being said, I am doing much better this year than I did last year. They were slow coming, but they are finally growing. I have a mix of long English and lemon cucumbers this year. Last year I had straight eights, which were good when they did grow but a little too seedy.

These numbers are pretty close. I would argue that I have slightly more herbs this year than I did last year. 2019 I had basil, oregano and rosemary. This year I have 2 types of basil (green and red), oregano, thyme and rosemary. Although I harvested more this month than I did in July 2019, that is not a reflection of what I actually grew as it is another situational number.

Well, I have a few posts now about our carrots or recipes using our carrots. This comparison does not surprise me in the least. Last year we only grew in half one of the raised beds. This year we are growing in the entire 8’ x 4’ bed…so we have a lot of carrots. Also, last year I didn’t get a chance to weigh what Basil harvested for her personal snacking pleasure. I believe last years final harvest numbers I would have doubled to account for Basils thievery. That being said, we certainly have been harvesting a lot more this July than we did last July.

We love onions. During the summer months we make a lot of foil packets for on the BBQ. For the perfect flavouring, it needs a whack—load of garlic and onion. The chunks get all caramelized in the pouch and stick to the other veggies. Mmmm. Ok, now I am hungry. This year we planted a spring onion as well as a sweet yellow onion. The spring onions are ready in the spring (surprising fact…ha!), while the sweet onions are ready later in the summer and into the fall. Changing up and adding the spring onion has given us more to harvest on a consistent schedule throughout the summer, rather than patiently waiting until late summer.

Our hot peppers are about the same as last year. We did add more selection this year with 3 varieties; hot Hungarian, banana pepper and jalapeño. Last year we only grew the banana peppers as our hot pepper. We like it better with a variety. Fairly close harvest numbers for the two years.

I look forward to seeing what comes in the fall. My watermelon is finally growing and even has a melon growing. I didn’t think it was going to happen with our cold, rainy weather, but the temperatures the last few weeks have been very hot so the plants are exploding. my squash plants are also finally climbing the trellis and are sprouting lots of squash. We will see if it grows fast enough to actually get to enjoy some.

There is a bit of sad news. My brussel sprouts, which have been super happy all season so far are struggling now…just when the brussel sprouts are finally getting to the right harvesting size! Oh man. Anyways, it looks like something is attacking it, whether bugs or some sort of disease, I’m not sure. I have a bit of research to do. For now I have only pulled one plant as the others don’t look too bad. I’m hoping I can keep whatever is attacking them, under control. it is only my first year trying to grow them, so I’ll learn and fix it all for next year.

Happy growing! Here is to August bringing lots of harvest to all our gardens.

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