16 June Weekly Update – Summer is Here

Annual Garlic Harvest

Harvested Garlic Drying

Harvested Garlic Drying

We did the annual garlic harvest on Saturday morning.  Garlic takes a long time to grow – it’s amazing it’s so cheap at the grocery store!  In our area, we plant in mid-October and harvest in mid-June.  That’s 8 months of growing time although, admittedly, during the winter it’s mostly just surviving while waiting for Spring.

The bulbs were pretty small this year.  Not quite sure why that happened but we’ll buy some larger bulbs from local farmers when it’s available and use those for October’s seed garlic.  Once our garlic has dried and cured properly, we’ll be saving out only a few bulbs for use during the next few months and we’ll mince and freeze the remainder.

One day's pickins'

One day’s pickins’

Another day of Pickings

Another day of Pickings

First Cucumber

First Cucumber

First refrigerator pickles

First refrigerator pickles

Other harvests this week were:  the first slicing and pickling cucumbers of the season (and more later in the week), plenty of yellow and patty pan squash, cauliflower, 3 tomatillos, the first 2 French filet green beans (aka haricot vert), and dill heads/fronds to put in refrigerator pickle brine.  Most of our pickling cucumbers will just be tossed into the refrigerator pickle container(s) as we pick them for eatin’ whenever we want them.

We cut the three cauliflower heads late in the week (one of the heads was very small but was on the verge of separating) and pulled up the plants.  These were all the “Early Snowball” variety.  We still have three “All-the-Year-Round” cauliflower plants in the garden and, although the plants are quite large, they show no signs of forming heads.  At this point we don’t need their spaces, so they can stay in the garden for a bit longer.  I don’t think we’re going to try this variety again though because I’m pretty sure all of our cauliflower success (limited as it is) is attributable to Early Snowball.

After the garlic harvest, we worked and fertilized the former garlic box and seeded more field peas (Running Conch variety).  All of our field peas are now seeded for the season. 

The next big harvest (getting everything of one type of “crop”) will likely be digging potatoes although it’s possible the onions or carrots will need to be pulled before the potato plants die back.  It’s like they’re in a race!  We’ll likely doing at least one of these harvests in a couple of weeks.  Butter beans (aka lima beans) will be seeded in most of the former potato and onion boxes after the big dig/pull.  One of the former onion boxes is in a position in the garden that will make it our first conversion to the new garden boxes/plan we’re going to undertake this year.  It’s a little complicated to plan the transition (since we want to have a Fall garden and those “crops” get planted in August) because the new boxes will be a little wider as will the aisle space between them.  All the while, much of our current garden will still be growing until the first frost in October.  Part of the new garden plan also means that 6 or 7 trees will be coming down at the edge of the woods.  Reminds me that I need to call the tree guys to get an estimate for the work…

Although some of the summer squash is still having pollination issues, we’re getting enough of it now that I went out in the morning only once early in the week to hand-pollinate.  As I was doing so, I saw 2 bumble bees and 1 honey bee among the squash, so I know some beneficial flying insects are out there.  We decided to put out a message on a beekeepers listserve to see if any beekeepers might be interested in placing a hive on our property.  We got one nibble; we’ll see if it pans out.

The zucchini squash and some of the butternuts have started flowering.  I even saw the first female butternut squash flower on Saturday!  If we get any zukes, it’ll be the first time in 3 years.  For some reason, zucchini has been a challenge for us to grow.  I realize it seems to be only us with this problem!  Most people have the opposite problem with zukes – far too many.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Spring-seeded Parsley

Spring-seeded Parsley

Peppers fore, Squash in back

Peppers fore, Squash in back

Onions - we have real ones this year

Onions – we have real ones this year

Melon plants / Cucumber behind

Melon plants / Cucumber behind

Lettuce patch

Lettuce patch among bush beans

Leek Patch

Leek Patch

Garden 1

Garden 1

Garden 2

Garden 2

1st Tomato - Opalka paste

1st Tomato – Opalka paste

Celery Patch

Celery Patch

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5 Responses to “16 June Weekly Update – Summer is Here”

  1. Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) Says:

    Those Patty Pans look perfect! I am hoping ours will be successful this summer! Great harvests this week…Congratulations!

  2. Barbie Says:

    Amazingly productive. Your garden always keeps me on my toes I love waiting to see what’s next. 🙂

  3. Jenny Says:

    Wonderful harvest! You already have squashes and cucumbers and picking garlic! We won’t be having any of those for a while yet and garlic will have to wait at least two more weeks.

  4. Stoney Acres Says:

    Looking great! It’s amazing the difference in your climate versus ours. We won’t even be thinking about cucumbers for at least 6 weeks!!

  5. Shawn Ann Says:

    Your garden is looking lovely! Love the patty pan squash! I am impatiently awaiting mine, but all the other summer squash seems to be coming on quickly!

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