Well as you know June ended with a bang. But some of that heat is sure to bring some of our plants rearing into July with lots to harvest. During the heatwave the cucumber plants have easily doubled in size each day during the crazy heat week, and the flowers are abundant. Little cucumbers are already showing, so it is only a matter of time. Likewise, the zucchini also exploded with at least 5 zucchinis that will be ready within days. Our corn is starting to get cobs. The squash plant, shaded by the sunflowers and avoiding the crazy heat also has flowers. Our cabbage have some beautiful, solid heads forming. The brussels sprouts are growing like crazy. Our tomatoes and peppers are also producing a lot of vegetables. The tomatoes just need time to ripen, which if this weather continues (though maybe a little cooler), then we should be seeing some soon. The peppers are growing big and strong. Some of the best peppers I have ever grown will be ready within a week. And the celery is almost ready to start stealing stalks from. Ah, it feels good to see everything flourishing.
So what did our June look like? Let’s take a look.
Our strawberries are a little low on production this June as compared to last June. This is mainly due to replacing a bunch of our established plants that didn’t come back with newbies. The newbies always take a little time to start producing the year you put them in. They are getting there. Lots of flowers and some strawberries starting to form. Hopefully July will be more on par with 2020.
The plants that are returning plants have basically grown all of the June berries, with the exception of maybe one or two. So really, our numbers aren’t bad considering we have less than half of our plants returning from last year.
Ou little driveway wild strawberry patch was killing it this year. They are well established and happy where they are. We picked three times the amount that we did last year. Hopefully they continue on for years to come. I was actually able to make a strawberry rhubarb pie this year, using only the driveway strawberries! I would have never thought that we would have managed to harvest that many from the plants that randomly grew on their own and get no help from us. The drainage pipe from the roof is the only water they get, and June had almost no rain.
The cherry tree has fully established itself and seems to be happy. Considering a year ago we thought it was going to die, because half of it actually did, it came back with a vengeance. Not only did the limbs that we swear died last year, come back, but they produced cherries! I have made some fruit leather in my new dehydrator, a pie and still have some leftover for some smoothies. Unfortunately, that tree has to go this fall. We are hoping to find someone who is willing to try digging it up to transplant it. I am not sure how well that will work, but it would be nice if it did.
This is a bit of a cheater comparison considering we didn’t receive the rhubarb plant from our neighbours until July. I imagine that they had a good harvest off it last June before giving it to us due to having too many rhubarb plants to deal with. Either way, it is very cool that we got almost 10 lbs off the plant in June, with new shoots coming up for July harvest. We did leave some of the stalks on to help shelter the new stalks during the crazy heatwave. They will likely be a little woody, but I will just stew them down for on ice cream or in smoothies. I may also make some more strawberry-rhubarb fruit leather. I love the dehydrator that my sister gave me for Christmas. So many more goodies will be made from the garden.
Last year I had red beets that I had planted. Unfortunately something happened and I lost all of them. It was weird because I had always had success with them, so it was a little surprising when I didn’t get any that made it. Well, this year, the patch is large and in-charge. I harvested 1.5 lbs for grilling, and will likely be harvesting the rest of them throughout July for dinners. The ones at the front seem to have developed faster than the ones at the back, even though they were all planted at the same time. Maybe some shadowed the rest. Either way, I am excited for golden beets for dinners throughout the summer. I love red beets as well, but find golden beets easier to mix with other vegetables and I love them pickled. MMMM, beets!
I have never done anything with beet greens in the past, though I knew you could cook and eat them. This year, I have saved some of my beet greens to cook up as a side dish for dinner one night soon. I have found a few recipes to try out. I’d better get to them soon though because most of my other beet greens left in the garden have scorch marks from the heatwave. The ones I have in the fridge don’t, and are so far staying crisp.
After planting a plethora of herbs this year, I was able to harvest some a little sooner. Last year, I had to wait patiently for my herbs to get big and established enough to start trimming. This year, because I have so many, I was able to trim a bit here and there from different plants without stressing them. I’m looking forward to many more delicious meals flavoured with the herbs from the garden.
Well, that’s it, that’s all. For now. If the garden continues the way it is, July should be a banner month for a lot of growth. Granted, we have a lot of new veggies that we weren’t growing last year, so some won’t have comparisons to be made this year. I will still fill you in on the progress regardless. Lucky you! Hahaha. JK, we appreciate that you continue to tune in to our little adventures.