June Garden Update – Part 4

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Summer has arrived!!! It has been sunny for 6 straight days and hot, humid weather has hit New England. In the backyard garden, the Cocozelle Di Napoli squash and pumpkin plants have grown quite a bit. The pumpkin plants have made a run for it, escaping their raised bed. The vines will grow 10-12 feet and possibly more over the summer, putting down roots along the way. I have eight pumpkin plants so I am hoping for at least 8 sugar pumpkins this fall.

First pumpkin vine to escape

First pumpkin vine to escape

Three of my Early Wonder Beets are bulbing, nearly ready for harvest. This will make more room for the pumpkin plants. I will plant onion sets in place of the beet plants. I have been harvesting young onions as needed for cooking and then replanting with more onion sets since I bought three bags of onion sets and have yet to plant all of them. They were inexpensive, so I am not hesitant to use them as green onions. They have amazing flavor, much better and fresher tasting than fully grown onion bulbs.

Beets almost ready to harvest being crowded by pumpkin plants

Beets almost ready to harvest being crowded by pumpkin plants

Sugar pumpkins, Early Wonder Beets, Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry, and onions

Sugar pumpkins, Early Wonder Beets, Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry, and onions

I decided to put in at least one or two more raised beds in my backyard garden area. My 17 and 13 year olds built me an 88″x44″ raised bed from pallet wood on Sunday. The spot I chose gets a lot of sun but was on a slope so I had to dig out the hillside to level the new bed. Then I discovered something that is so very common here in New England.

New raised bed on left with, what else, a huge rock of undetermined size and depth.

New raised bed on left with, what else, a huge rock of undetermined size and depth.

This rock looks like it could be larger than the one my 20 year old wrestled out of the front garden.

This rock looks like it could be larger than the one my 20 year old wrestled out of the front garden.

I think I am just going to leave it alone this year. These boulders rise from the ground an inch or two a year. Next spring I will reassess the situation.

So many snow peas in this little vertical garden space.

Snow peas producing well

Snow peas producing well

I sowed a small patch of Dwarf Siberian kale in the spot where I took the beet plants out to chase the mole terrorizing my garlic bed (beets survived transplantation well). After I put out a couple of slug beer traps and caught three slugs, the kale seems to be growing well.

Dwarf Siberian kale

Dwarf Siberian kale


The Romano green beans are growing well and look like they might start blooming soon, but the cucumbers have been so slow growing. I top-dressed all of the cucumber and dill plants with compost this morning before watering. I expect a lot of growth in the next week with the beginnings of cukes in the weeks to come. Fingers crossed, because we all absolutely love cucumbers. I planted pickling and Suyo Long cucumbers on the bean teepee.

Pickling cucumber and dill plants have been slow to grow.

Pickling cucumber and dill plants have been slow to grow.

Now for the front garden which is doing better since I top-dressed with compost. With the heat I water every other day. I finally have a head of broccoli growing in one of the three broccoli plants. I have been so surprised at how long it has taken for the broccoli to go to seed (which is what a head of broccoli is — a bunch of flowers).

Front garden from front to back:  Bed #1 - black beans and strawberry popcorn, Bed #2 - leeks, cucumbers, plum and yellow pear tomatoes, dwarf bok choy, Bed #3 - oregano, onions, dwarf Siberian kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, dwarf bok choy, red cabbage, and chamomile

Front garden from front to back: Bed #1 – black beans and strawberry popcorn, Bed #2 – leeks, cucumbers, plum and yellow pear tomatoes, dwarf bok choy, Bed #3 – oregano, onions, dwarf Siberian kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, dwarf bok choy, red cabbage, and chamomile


Black beans border the Strawberry Popcorn bed which is doing well.  The bare area has been resown with newly germinating popcorn seeds.

Black beans border the Strawberry Popcorn. The area that looks bare has been resown with newly germinating popcorn seeds.

Driveway area terraced bed is overflowing with Aichi Chinese cabbage and dwarf bok choy seed pods, indeterminate tomato plants, broccoli, Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry, peppers, lettuce, onions, and cilantro which has already gone to seed (cilantro seeds are known as coriander which I plan to put in the pickles I will make for my 13 year old).

Terraced bed

Terraced bed

Lettuce bed still providing daily greens (smaller lettuce in front are regrown from plants I harvested once already), bok choy seed pods, tomato and cilantro

Lettuce bed still providing daily greens, bok choy seed pods, tomato, basil and cilantro

And finally, I must show you how much my grow bag tomato plants have grown in the past week. They all have at least one tiny tomato and lots of flowers, along with marigolds about 3″ tall now.

Tomato plants in grow bags with 48" tall welded wire cages

Tomato plants in grow bags with 48″ tall welded wire cages

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