Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 2011 Garden Update - Part I

The latest heatwave was more of a warmwave but certainly better than a cold snap. This morning (make that yesterday morning now) the natural air conditioning kicked in as you can see below. This morning the fog was more aggressive, we awoke to a world enveloped in gray mist, the valley filled from top to bottom, but poof, it was gone by 9.

Actually, I prefer warm weather to hot weather so I wasn't too disappointed by the latest miss by the weather forecasters. The fog creeping up the valley in the morning is a beautiful sight to see and it usually slinks right back out in no time.

I don't think that the garden minded the milder than predicted weather either.

I've been trying to work up this post for the past few days so there is a mix of photos from the 19th through today (make that yesterday).

This is where most of the work has been lately, the favas are gone and the soil amended and turned. Last week I planted out Marina di Chioggia winter squash (middle ground), a couple of da Fiore zucchini (under water bottle cloches beyond that), and in the far end of the bed are two each of Green Fingers Persian cucumbers and Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers (also under water bottle cloches). The water bottle cloches are for rat protection rather than weather protection.

Since the photo above was taken I planted out some paper pot starts of Spanish Musica pole green beans and Classic Slenderette bush green beans at the far end of the bed. These new plantings are also covered up to protect them from the rats. (By the way, the rat zappers are working, I've lost count of the number that have found their way to a shocking end, at least 10 in the last week).

In the other end of that bed are some spring sown radicchio and one spring sown Hybrid One Kilo napa cabbage. In the pot are some "Little Lion" zinnia seedlings.

Here's a closeup of one of the radicchios today yesterday just before I harvested it.

Pearly squash leaves, a reward for an early morning garden inspection.

The next bed is tomato central. I planted these out about 6 weeks ago and they've grown fairly well considering how extra cool the weather has been this spring. No green tomatoes yet though, the nights have been too cold, generally below 50ยบ F until the last few nights.

The entire back of the bed is filled with tomato plants. This year I'm growing Amish Paste, Black Krim, Chianti Rose, Fiaschetto, Gigantesque, Katja, Japanese Black Trifele, Aunt Ruby's German cherry, and Galinas cherry.

I snuck a few Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce seedlings into the tomato bed and it looks like they will be ready to harvest before the tomatoes overwhelm them.

This one grew so fast...

The Pimento de Padron peppers in this bed are finally starting to look happy and should be producing soon.

Shishito, Fushimi, and New Mexico peppers and Diamond eggplant are still pouting about the cool weather. But the volunteer Monticello poppies that I allowed to grow in middle of the bed are covered with nice big fat seed pods are still producing a few beautiful flowers.

The Ear of the Devil lettuces are taking their good sweet time producing seeds...

One corner of this bed is home to the beet patch. I'm getting nice sized beets even though the patch is rather crowded. As a matter of fact, I started the beet seedlings in paper pots and when I planted them out I neglected to thin them and even though most of the pots have 3 or 4 seedling growing together they are still producing nicely shaped and sized roots.

The Devoy beets have the most beautiful magenta and orange stems, although I also get some "white" beets from the same pack - you can see that on the right in the photo below.

Oh, and let's not overlook the Yellow Wonder strawberry plant volunteering in the path next to this bed. It's a hearty fellow, surviving neglect and an occasional trampling, and it rewards me with sweet aromatic berries.

There's still more update to go but I don't have time to finish now. I'll cover the other two beds and other odds and ends around the garden in the next few days.


  1. Looks great! Thanks for the tour.

  2. Rat Zapper? Please, please tell me more.

  3. Your garden looks a neat as ever Michelle! It must be such a great feeling to know that you can have plants thriving in your garden throughout the year.

    BTW - that radicchio looks stunning.

  4. Your location really is just drop dead beautiful. The garden looks happy and productive and doing great despite the cooler weather you have been experiencing.

  5. Everything looks beautiful. I planted some Yellow Wonder strawberries too, but they got mixed up in the Rugren ones so I'm not sure if I'll end up with red or yellow berries.

  6. I'm surprised at how cool your nights are, nonetheless your garden plants are looking fantastic as usual. I'm curious, what percentage of your radiccho's head up for you? We love to grow them as they do so well for us all year around but rarely do we get a decent head.

  7. Emily, thanks, glad you enjoyed the tour. :)


    Liisa, the Rat Zapper is a battery powered rat trap that electrocutes the rats that enter it - I used to find them at OSH but they don't seem to carry that brand anymore, but you can find them on Amazon. They are expensive but very effective at trapping the local wood rats.


    Thomas, Thanks! I feel very fortunate to be able to garden all year, it's such a treat to have fresh veggies even in the dead of winter. The radicchio is a beauty, I'm pleased with my first effort at trying to grow it.


    kitsapFG, Lucky me to have that view, I still pinch myself at times over that, I really get to live here...


    Daphne, thanks! I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever berry you get, it's hard to go wrong with frais des bois.


    Mr. H., It's that cold Pacific Ocean so close by that keeps the nights cool around here. We've finally had nights above 50 here just in the past week. It looks like most of the radicchio is going to make heads but they are developing at different rates. I've read that older strains of radicchio are more variable and that the seed companies keep working to make more consistent varieties. This variety is Rosa di Treviso 4, so I guess that it is probably more consistent that the original strain of Rosa di Treviso.

  8. It all looks as though it's growing well and the pepper plants look great. The mix of humidity and warmth should be just what they need now!

  9. It looks like you have a lot of things going on in your garden right now Michelle. It's always an amazing thing this time of year. That row cover tent that you have how did you get it looking so neat and tidy????

  10. Thomas, one edge of the row cover is fastened to the ground with U-shaped stakes that I normally use to keep my drip lines in place. I use two pieces of fabric, one on each side of the trellis and half way around each end to meet at a stake a few inches from the end of the trellis. I then pull the cloth up and clip it to the trellis and the separate end stakes with binder clips.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I value your insights and feedback.