Last updated on June 21st, 2014
HOW’S YOUR VEGGIE PATCH PROGRESSING? Any problems to report? My own Kitchen Garden, above, is still waiting for consistently warm temperatures to arrive. Still, the lovage is blooming, the tomatoes are climbing, and a couple of greens worms are going about their wicked ways. My June “farm-report,” followed, I hope, by yours:
The Kitchen Garden, facing west. That’s a dark purple Calibrachoa in the urn. Flowers in a food garden are necessary in order to attract the bees, butterflies, and other insects which pollinate the crops.
To my eyes, the Calibrachoa makes an inviting focal point when you peer through the garden gate.
Flanking the gate is Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll.’ The pink flowers of this David Austin “English” rose are beyond intoxicating. Please lean forward and sniff.
Shall we open the gate and step inside?
That’s not a real question.
Here, ‘Kennebec,’ ‘Red Norland,’ and ‘All Blue’ potatoes are happily growing in the bed-on-a-bed I arranged for them.
The spuds are in flower now, too.
Tip: About 2 weeks after your potato vines have flowered, you can reach into the soil (or straw), and retrieve some baby potatoes. Otherwise, wait until the vines have completely died back — a sure indication that tubers have achieved their full size, and production has ceased.
In another bed, the tiny ‘Copra’ onion seedlings I planted a few weeks ago have added 18 inches to their stature.
If you’ve never grown them, onions are the easiest of all root veggies. Furthermore, instead of attracting pests, they repel them.
You’ll never hear anyone say “The deer/rabbits/woodchucks ate my onions.”
Elsewhere, this ‘Red Russian’ kale is strutting its handsome, violet-veined leaves…
And this broccoli is heading up…
And this red cabbage is…under the attack of cabbage worms. I show these disgusting green beasts no mercy.
In another bed, a crop of ‘Ace’ bell peppers is setting buds…
And the lovely lovage is in bloom. Are you familiar with this celery-flavored herb? Its tender leaves are terrific in salads. And they are magnificent in this summertime soup.
Tip! If you have lovage in your garden, be sure to let its flowers develop. They are a magnet for beneficial insects, including the tomato hornworm-killing braconid wasp.And speaking of tomatoes! They are merrily climbing the Joan Crawford-Approved trellis I built for them.
Once each week or so, I tie the vines to the trellis with Velcro garden-tape. Because the tape is soft and flexible, it can’t cut or choke the stems as they grow (unless you tie the tape too tightly).
And by the way, I remove suckers from my tomato vines. Here’s why.
More flowers. I planted the garden’s four central beds with ‘Dreamland’ zinnias. Because the zinnias are in mixed colors, I felt the need to edge the beds with white alyssum. The alyssum will bring a sense of order to the chaos of color.
I pinched off the tips of the zinnias a few weeks ago. As a result, the plants have produced multiple new branches, each one lit with a flower bud.
Tip: If you have zinnias in your garden, pinch ’em back. You’ll get more blooms for you buck.
Well. We can check this garden’s progress in another month or so. Meanwhile, in the comments field below, let me know how your own veggie garden is coming along. Are you harvesting yet? Or are you waiting — like me — for steady warmth to arrive?
Don’t miss anything at A Garden for the House…sign up for Kevin’s weekly email updates.
Angelic Zucchini Fritters
Kevin’s Braised Fennel
Easy Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Michele Reeves says
Each day is like a treasure hunt looking for yellow squash, zucchini’s! I overlooked one the other day and found one the size of a small ball bat! I like to grate zuks and freeze for zucchini bread. I have eggplant, cuks, onions, garlic, kale, arugula an all kinds of peppers and of course tomatoes. I planted some Russian tomatoes (heritage) this year, very pretty purple and tasty. I made an awesome fresh salsa yesterday, would melt a plastic bowl! Loving my garden and reading your blog!
How do you keep the deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, and woodchucks out of the garden? I’m having a terrible time this year with something eating everything I plant. Went out this morning and all the leaves on half my royal burgundy bush beans were gone. They are planted right beside the peas, but the peas weren’t touched and normally the peas are discovered by deer every year. My lovely winter-sown zinnias and marigolds were eaten down to the ground overnight as well!! Grrrrrr!!! This is war!! Any ammunition you can offer is greatly appreciated.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Gloria – I rely on a fence to keep deer, rabbits, and woodchucks out of my two food gardens. You might want to invest in the same. The cost is minimal, but the peace of mind is immeasurable. As for marigolds — the older varieties had a strong odor that thwarted most pests. The new varieties are virtually odor-free. Unfortunately!
Your garden looks great this year! Can’t wait to see more of it. What is the purple plant growing in the middle of the garden? Is that your Bachelor Button urn? So beautiful!
A number of things delayed getting most of our garden planted but despite being about two weeks behind where I’d like to be, everything is growing fairly well – tomatoes especially. We cage our tomatoes instead of trellising and they’re beginning to fill out inside their enclosures. Some of the earliest garlic is just about ready to pull and dry and the kale is almost done. Our winter cold-framed sown lettuce and spinach is but a memory – a very delicious memory! The corn is up; cantaloupes, butternut squash and cucumbers are vining up nicely and we’re about three days away from some long awaited peas. Two days ago we had a high of 59 but today it’s over 80. I commiserate with you over the unsettled weather you’re having.
Lovely garden, Kevin. Thanks for the invite!
Karin G says
I have some rather strange little beds and pots floating about my yard, nothing so fancy or organized as your beautiful gardens. After some chaotic weeks with end of school year for this retiring teacher, graduating daughter and subsequent hospital stay due to a terrible accident for my daughter, I am getting the garden started, or under semi control. I have tons of volunteers in some new beds which I use as compost colletors this winter. I am trying sweet potatoes for the first time, and have had trouble finding rosemary plants. Apparently this lovely winter was hard on them everywhere not just in my yard. My hostas are growing like weeds, the banana plantation has renewed itself and something is eating my hollyhock. Looking forward to playing outside when all the other school teachers are in classes in early August. HA HA. And daughter is healing well and looking forward to college.
Delores Short says
love love your web site–beautiful garden–
Martha Ellen says
We picked a small serving of bush green beans this morning in our raised bed. Had to mix in some carrots to serve two for dinner. Around the tomatoes are basil that is growing quite nicely. Our tomatoes-started by your milk jug winter method , are now producing blooms. The yellow squash is blooming–hopefully we will be harvesting it soon. So far, knock on wood, there seems to be no problems with pests. Your garden is looking wonderful. ♥
Sharon from Maine says
Well, my garden is far behind yours. However, things are growing. It is a constant fight with the rabbits, chipmunks, slugs, snails, and turkeys. I have had to fence the garden for the first time. I am sure the hen turkeys are about to bring their brood into the yard any day now. We have as many as 20 to 30 birds visiting us at a time. I have pinwheels to scare the bunnies. A neighbor brought me a very realistic cut-out of a wolf to help repel the turkeys. Not sure if it works on them, but it scares me every time I come around the corner of the house. Your garden is beautiful. PS saw 5 baby Canadian geese on the bay yesterday. Wildlife abounds.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Sharon from Maine – A cut-out of a wolf? Brilliant!
There is no waiting for heat here in Tennessee….I pulled out the last of my peas and broccoli yesterday, and am currently up to my ears in squash and zucchini! I’ve already frozen a few gallons of green beans and a couple batches of pesto, and the tiny green tomatoes are getting bigger every day. Thanks for sharing your garden!
Our garden is late here in northern New England, but it is coming along. Your gardens always look much better than anything I can pull off here.
A nice lady that I ran into on vacation offered a (possibly) disgusting but very effective tip for keeping deer and other four legged pests out of the garden. She said she stops by her local dog groomer and picks up bags of dog hair monthly, then spreads it around her garden. She swore she never had a problem with pests again. I couldn’t go so far as to get dog hair from a groomer, but my own dog sheds quite nicely, so I tried it with his hair (I know where he’s been). It works like a charm! Two years running, no pests. It didn’t take much hair to keep them out, either. Every time I brush him, I randomly drop little tufts of hair around the edges of the garden. Bonus: The chickadees love picking it up to line their nests.
Carol Durusau says
We dug red onions and a variety of potatoes this morning. Now I have room to plant more summer squash of several varieties and some butterbeans. We are getting cherry tomatoes but the big tomatoes are still a few weeks away from getting ripe. Gardening in Georgia does have it’s advantages. We can get started earlier and go longer into the autumn. We’ve been picking green beans every other 3 weeks now. We dug garlic about a week ago; more butterbeans are going in there. The okra is almost knee high. It will be a while before it starts making okra.
Eliza J says
Hi Kevin: In Zone 5, my Heirloom tomatoes are doing well after a rocky start ~ they always have a rocky start… Something, for the past few years has “peppered” the leaves with tiny holes when they go in. I grow them from seed and don’t have a greenhouse, and therefore they are not as strong as GMO greenhouse plants. I did fertilize them with Neptune’s Harvest and right now they are looking very healthy. It has been a bumper crop year for strawberries, but the slugs are out hot and heavy, so I have 3 of 5 rows covered. Slugs I believe, are also attacking my beans and pepper plants. I am planning on adding diatomaceous earth to the mix this weekend. I had to replant cucumbers and summer squash. It has been a bit dry here and I don’t think they got enough water. Blueberries look good, as do the raspberries. One problem I had this year is that my rhubarb after 4 years was finally big enough to cut, and it smelled “skunky”. Any ideas on that? We couldn’t eat it. When I cut it, it smelled skunky, and cooking did not get rid of it…so, I’m asking the “expert” 🙂
badger gardener says
Wow, everyone’s garden seems much farther along than mine. I had a good spring harvest and my first ever kale crop looks healthy. The tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers are only about a foot and half high, but I have faith they will hit a growth spurt soon. The eggplant is actually further along than last year. However we just went through a few days of a deluge, my rain gauge measured 8″ of rain in 2 1/2 days, and now my eggplant looks to have some blight-y spots.
I put in strawberries and was ready to pinch off the flowers this first year. A few had flowers on them when I bought them, but they have had no flowers since I planted them. They are June-bearers. So now I’m not sure if I have to pinch off the flowers next year or if I can let the plants produce.
Barbara D. says
Very inspiring photographs. My rider mower broke down, and it’s amazing how much it’s set me back in the garden since the push mower is so time consuming. The only edibles i’m growing this year are the fruit trees and berry bushes. No time for anything else (as is evidence by the rampant weeds).
Trudi Dido says
Our younger son decided he was going to have a hydroponic water tower on our deck this year . It began beautifully. All the seed s germinated and grew into monstrous plants. .Tomatoes , Zukes, Basil, Lettuce, Mint, and a watermelon(!))….and then,,,..t. It turns our that curcubits don;t do well in hydro. because they require so much more than hydo can provide (?) That is the answer I got from our local garden guru. at the Botanical Garden. The mint and basl are flourishing .I think we will use hydro to germinate and then move plants to the soil and see what happens Since we have a long growing season maybe we will get something .
Amanda Mid-Hudson Valley says
As a matter of fact, the rabbits did eat my onion plants. And leeks, and scallions. I have planted a decoy bed of clover for them; it’s untouched.
Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says
My shelling peas called ‘Strike’ made it into two Mint/Pea Quiches before something chewed the remainder of the crop. I assumed it was bird damage, and stretched tulle netting across their support trellis for protection, but the villain crawled under the netting and continued to scratch, scrape, gnaw and destroy the plump and delicious pods. New verdict – chipmunks.
Still picking Sugar Ann Snap Peas, lettuces all over in pots,the cut and come again types, and my fig tree has fruits swelling up. Black Raspberries are a bit behind schedule but will be enclosed in huge sheets of bird netting shorlty. They’re just now looking pink.
I planted Radish seeds, 6 weeks late, but trying them for the very first time. They were 2″ high in 3 days! Just thinned them last evening.
I’ve lived here 12 years and I’m on my 4th garden set up. First was in-ground where it had been for years when my parents lived here. It was on a slight hill and all the nutrients washed off when it rained. My mother had fought that and lost. I gave up quickly. I tried using rows of pots, that way no tiller or tractor was needed. My husband’s high powered gas weed-eater ate up the bottoms of the pots.
Then after keeping my mother in a mobile home in my yard for the last years of her life the mobile home was sold and when it was moved there was a blank canvas. No grass, no weeds, nothing needed but a hoe to make me a garden. Worked great the first year but then husband brought in a big tiller and turned under all my amended soil and brought up red clay that you could make pottery with. When red clay is plowed when wet, you get concrete clods that never go away.
This year, I went back to the gardening in large pots idea but I enclosed those pots in a rectangle made of landscape edging metal. I put down many layers of cardboard (thanks for that idea). Then utility wire over the cardboard to keep the dog and the armadillos from digging there. Covered that with pine bark mulch. Set my big pots on that, put cheap weed screen from the dollar store in the pots to hold the soil in because I had drilled many many drainage holes in the pots. I put wheat straw in the bottoms of the pots and a mixture of potting soil and potting mix on top. I have lovely tomato plants, cucumber vines, several types of peppers, yellow squash and even a pot of beans. My herbs are on the back porch.
If you want a garden bad enough you can find a way, lol.
Linda R says
Good morning everyone,
We have been grazing on sugar snap peas and strawberries for a week now. None make it into the house, but it doesn’t matter….just to pick and instantly pop in your mouth is wonderful. All the veggies are up and thriving. We had an unusually warm spring here in Southern Idaho so I took a chance against a possible killing frost and put plants and seeds into the ground almost one month earlier than usual. The cherries are being harvested by my family and the birds and the squirrels…..everybody is happy. Apples, nectarines and raspberries are going to be a bumper crop this year!
Lynn Paterson says
Kennebecs make the very best french fries btw 😉
Walter K says
Here in my garden just north of Seattle I just harvested and am drying the first of 2 kinds of Garlic (planted last September and grew all winter). Have had some lettuce, a few Strawberries and Blueberries, this is the first year for those. The Cherry trees are covered, and should be ripe in another week or so. The basil and tomatoes are coming along fine, this is the earliest I have ever had tomatoes in the ground, our night time temps are usually not warm enough until July 4th or so. The wild Russian Kale I sowed directly into the ground a week or so ago is already up.Scarlet runner beans are 1/2 way up the trellis they are sharing with the “Trombone” squash. Beets, bush beans and Zucchini are all looking good. Drum roll please….. I spotted the first artichoke starting to bud last evening!
Thanks for your website, so much useful information!
A wonderful kitchen garden. How do you keep your pathways so weed free? We’re in the process of laying newspaper and mulch on ours–many pick-up truck loads since it’s a pretty big area. Deep mulch that we put down originally didn’t keep the weeds at bay. I’m hoping the paper will work, tho I guess when it breaks down we’ll have to do it again.
I’d love to hear your secret.
Marjie T. says
We are on the western shore of Lake Michigan and have had very cool, wet conditions (seven inches of rain last week) and temps still in the low 50’s at night off and on. Strawberries are starting, rhubarb and asparagus are pretty much past picking. Radishes are ready…LOL but most everything else is moving slowly. The cool weather has kept the bugs at bay.
Your garden is beautiful – thanks for sharing.
Anne in Vermont Zone 4/5 says
Because I did not fully trust the milk bottle greenhouses in my area I started broccoli, cauliflowers and brussels sprouts indoors. We have already eaten the four cauliflower heads and the broccoli. I had not grown either vegetable before so did not know what to expect. There has to be a way to stagger the seedlings; maturity to a week at a time. I have some more seedlings in but don’t know how they will fare in the summer heat. My broccoli was a bit disappointing. The heads were tiny, only enough for one broccoli quiche from four plants, but again I have more seedlings in. Maybe next year I will try a different sort.
The kale is flourishing and, probably like everyone, I have too much lettuce. The basil seems to replace itself overnight every time I cut some. Like the lettuce, we have too many radishes. I hope they keep well in the fridge because the carrots needed space.
I tried bush peas for the first time but that was a total bust. There were a few flowers, but so few I gave up on them. For the first time I have leeks, thanks to a friend who had excess. They are looking okay, not great. I don’t grow the tomatoes, Paul does, but they are in flower and there are some babies. Speaking of babies, my brussels sprouts have teeny bumps that I think must be the future sprouts. This is new to me too.
We finished eating all the arugula and spinach just as the last of it bolted. Flea beetles got to it, but only later so the leaves were large enough to withstand the attack. I am replacing the spinach with New Zealand spinach which I understand can withstand the summer heat and tastes like spinach, but is not.
This morning I was worried until I saw the vegetables untouched as a bear had eaten the suet and sunflower seeds set out for the birds. I guess they will have to wait for their breakfasts from now on until we are up and hang the feeders.
Barbara Petersen says
I am new to gardening, encouraged by your website. I harvested my very first tomato today. How exciting. Thanks for your wonderful blog and website.
After a late spring (hard frost on May 12th) and late planting (due to spending a lot of time helping clean out my parents’ farmhouse as they moved to assisted living in April), things are starting to speed up. June has been crazy-rainy with 8″ of rain the past 3 weeks; prior to this we’ve been in a 3-year drought, so I’m hoping my town will now lift the watering ban! I’ve been harvesting a LOT of volunteer lettuce, arugula and peppercress–and sharing with my neighbors–as well as many radishes and a few handfuls of strawberries (if I can get to them before the mice & birds nibble on them!). Blossoms are starting on my tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries and pepper plants. Pea plants are starting to climb the fence, cukes and zucchini are still small but doing well. I’ve been planting a few flowers here and there in the garden to try to help out the bees and other pollinators. If I can keep ahead of the weeds, all should be good!
So far our garden is doing well. We just ate the last of the spinach. We are now enjoying rainbow Swiss chard and when the soil dries out I shall tie my tomatoes to fence paneling Soon I shall be podding peas This year I do have a bumper crop of strawberries.
Lovely as always, Kevin! Most of my seedlings never germinated, am nursing 6 bitty heirloom tomatoes and a turnip plant. Four o’ clocks from seed and store bought petunias are flourishing in a small bed. Recently learned that you can regrow the nubs of store bought veggies and have recycled celery, lettuce and scallions in pots, along with a sprouted sweet potato. The rosemary cutting from a friend’s plant is doing well. Night temps here in SW WA state are still in the 40’s, several neighbors have large gardens that are growing slowly. Looks like I’ll be trading baked goods for fresh veggies again this year. The neighbors share their excess freely, we just like to give something back. I’m thinking your scrumptious tomato pie this year, as soon as we can find some tomatoes worthy of the recipe.
Wow! Just looks amazing!
Diane Amick says
Hubby just completed a virtual fortress around our raised bed vegetable garden…..take that bunnies and deer! One rabbit had her brood of newborn babies under a broccoli leaf so they didn’t have to go far for dinner! Lettuce, spinach and broccoli are bolting…guess I can pull them out now. Chard, leeks, kale doing nicely. Tomatoes are fruiting, but we’ve also had wacky weather in northern Virginia (95 last Wednesday – 65 was the high Friday with rain), so they are not even close to ready yet. Yellow squash, peppers, green beans, cantaloupe and cucumbers are flowering – should see some edibles very soon. Lost 5 blueberry bushes, 2 figs, 5 cryptomeria and numerous boxwood and azaleas to the combination of deer/extreme cold last winter. I spray “Deer Fence” monthly on all hydrangeas, azaleas, and other tasty morsels the deer go for. Look forward to your recipes and words of encouragement Kevin.
Mary Ann Z. says
This year is the first time I used your planting methods and I am very grateful that I did. I always have trouble with SAD in winter and I get spring fever every January 2. This winter in Wisconsin was the worst winter I remember ever having but learning how to plant “Kevin’s way” helped me get through the winter weather. I am in Zone 4 and I started planting my seeds in the first week of April and setting them outside on the deck. When my half gallon milk bottles were covered with snow, I groaned and wondered if I would see even one seedling pop it’s head out of the ground. You can imagine my excitement when the seedlings began to pop up. To make it more exciting for me, they even began to grow in spite of the continuing winter weather. Every morning, I would awake and run downstairs to the deck outside and check on my “little babies”. My garden is fairly large and most of my garden is planted. I still have sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, green and wax beans to plant. It has been a battle to plant between rain storms but I think I can get the sweet potatoes and potatoes planted today. There is a 50% chance of rain tomorrow so I may have to wait until that storms blows over. Thank you so much, Kevin, for helping me get through this winter.
You say that nothing will eat onions, but, like Amanda says (above #8), I have onion (and garlic) problems: leek moths! It’s really terrible. But stinky soap, hung in old stockings to the trellis, seems to keep rabbits out of the peas and lettuce…and I have the double wallop of getting a bag of human hair from my hairdresser and use it the same way as the dog hair. Seems to work…and I KNOW I have bunnies – I see them all the time in my yard!
Other than that, I’ve had rhubarb (of course), volunteer arugula and dill (randomly in the yard and garden)…and I’m clearly a gardening loser (someone noted that everyone must have an abundance of lettuce, but I have the hardest time growing it – I think maybe I don’t water it constantly enough after it is first planted or something) when it comes to some things.
My pear tree and my blueberries didn’t develop flowers this year, for some reason – any ideas? The pear tree, especially, is fully mature and has been giving me pears for years.
Other than that, I expect lettuce, kale, chard, mustard greens and basil in my near future.
I am so impressed by all the different ways people garden. I particularly liked the description of the husband whose well-meaning yard work keeps getting in the way of the gardening!
Thanks again for sharing all of this with us, although if I tried to match your gardens, I would just be depressed…so I am taking bits and pieces of what I see and trying to incorporate into my yard…and enjoying looking at the photos!
You’re garden looks lovely! In our garden, the squash and zucchini plants are so tall and big around, and we have such an abundance of veggies from them! I have zucchini bread in the oven now, the smell is just wonderful! I have had lots of lettuce and spinach for fresh salads. Carrots are getting close to being the perfect size. We have 25 tomato plants in the ground and some more coming up from the tomatoes that fell on the ground last year! We put a handful of eggshells in the ground when we plant them (I save eggshells for months before gardening time). This provides them calcium and helps prevent them from cracking open when they ripen.
I do have a question for you, do you know anything about care for bubby bushes?
Betty rohr says
Lost all my tomatoes to a hard freeze in mid-May. Replanted. They were just starting to do well and have now had 11 inches of rain in less than a week. Think some of my tomatoes are drowning in a low area. Ground is so wet can’t get in to weed, and the weeds do well no matter what. With all the rain there’s no sun. But my soggy garden is nothing compared to all the farm fields under water. I garden for enjoyment, not my livelihood.
First of all let me say that I totally covet your beautiful fence! I have raised beds but no fence to keep the beasties out.
My garden report: Mid-Central Iowa – Zone 5
Deep frost killed almost my entire asparagus patch and half my raspberries. Oh, and my lavender! My garlic is “scaping” and onions are doing well. The spinach and arugula are bolted. Tomatoes doing well. I also plant zinnias as well as marigolds in my garden. I love butterflies. Also left some milk weed growing to attract monarchs. Having lots of trouble getting my basil to germinate, but amazingly, my parsnips did! First year for kohlrabi and it looks great! Beans and peas coming on like gangbusters!
Gina D says
Our garden has done exceptionally well thus far without the usual squash bugs we battle and lose to each year. Maybe it was the extreme cold we had this winter. The squash is so large it is taking over and producing wonderfully. The pepper pants are growing nicely. The green beans are about done, thankfully, as I have canned so many already. The tomatoes are loaded with green fruit but no red ones yet. The onions had to be pulled a little early this year – the tops bent over sooner than they should have. The Texas sweets didn’t grow as large but the Candy Apple Reds are beautiful. They are all dried and stored and ready for use. My first try at garlic has been very successful and it is time to pull them up and dry. Can’t wait for it to be ready to use. The sweet potatoes are growing well, as are the cantaloupes and watermelons! Looking forward to those sweet treats. And finally the corn is tall and producing despite losing several plants to a terrible storm a couple of weeks ago. I love that the zinnias are blooming and give me color while providing a benefit to the bees and birds. Each seasoning the garden brings new lessons to this former city girl!
Elaine ransom says
Here north of 49th and in the mountains with cool nights my garden is well behind yours. However we have been eating salads with radishes and green onions and mustard greens. Due to the long days the spinach has bolted. I tried some mesclun mix and had some mild mustards and some baby book choi as well. Late in the fall I will try sowing lettuce and spinach to germinate in spring. It has worked well here,providing early lettuce and a decent crop of spinach before it bolts.
Because it is so dry here and the sun and wind so intense, I don’t sucker my tomatoes, also because I don’t have time. The garden is fenced against deer and with a cat on patrol few other rodentts. Except pocket gophers!!! All the damage is underground and by the time the damage Iis done , the tunnels located and the pest trapped, we have lost bulbs tubers roots,flowers.
The local deer don’t worry about dogs much and if there are fawns around we worry more about our dogs. Bobbex seems to help keep them off ornamentals iff used enough.
We are quite pleased to have had over an inch of rain this month!
We are enjoying our lettuce & spinach produce…already enjoyed steamed asparagus. Our beets are coming up great, along w/ everything else. I believe deer ate the leaves of our strawberries & string beans. Too bad, they did not even touch our overabundance of lettuce! In the future, hopefully we can build an eight-foot fence. Maybe four-foot would suffice, but am not sure. We also have bear come through on a couple occasions during the night. Living in Susquehanna, PA…not far from the Catskills….where we as kids went camping!
I have harvested a salad from my garden yesterday – sweet onion, radishes, lettuce, beet greens, fennel fronds and sugar snap peas. There are blossoms on the tomatoes, squash (spaghetti and delicata) and the beans, carrots and others are producing beautiful leaves. Weeding is a forever task, but a bowl of salad is luxurious pay for labor!
Katie Zack in Southern California says
Garden doing well despite drought conditions. Used layering in raised beds. Adding well rotted straw with goaty ‘O’s’, peat moss and home grown compost!!. Watering is greatly reduced and everything is doing well. So far have harvested cherry tomatoes, the Black Cherry is so very good, the larger tomatoes have set fruit but it will be weeks before we eat any and I’m longing for BLT’s
I loved your calibrachoa so much, the million bells, that I ordered one from a mail order company. It arrived in beautiful shape. I planted it carefully and tended it as the instructions noted, giving it dappled light for a few days to let it acclimate, then a few hours of direct sun for a few days, etc. The day I left it out in the full sun, however, it turned crispy and I was unable to save it. I was watering every day. I was so sad. The plant company refunded my money but I would rather have had the million bells spilling out and over the container like yours. Maybe next year, as the song says.
Hi Kevin – I am pea-green with envy (note the veggie reference?)! My tiny culinary patch is in my 20 x 30 foot herb garden that is divided into Sweet, Dye, Tea, Medicinal, Spells & Charms (don’t ask) and Culinary beds. All the herbs together with lettuce, radish, onion, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes are doing well, HOWEVER — a sweet rabbit family has decided to nest between the oregano and the purple basil! I first noticed this when weeding and spotted some purple basil blooms nipped off and laid upon a bed of straw swiped from the potato patch. To add insult to injury Mrs. (I am assuming Bunny is married) Rabbit added stems of French Lavender to her nest as well. Zeesch…..these rabbits have the nicest smelling nest in our neighborhood! My garden is due to host about 400 visitors in 28 days for the annual Garden Walk — let’s hope Mrs. Rabbit and her brood have not nibbled the entire herb garden to extinction!
Diane C says
Hi Kevin, we are currently harvesting heirloom raspberries but, the tomatoes have just started blooming. I have tiny peppers and a few small Baby Boo pumpkins.
My Art Deco zinnias have buds and my poppies are a brilliant shade of red! I was afraid my Pinky Winky hydrangea would not bloom after the hard winter but ,I saw a few buds today!
Gay Sullivan says
My garden is in zone 4/5 in central. Vermont. As everyone , we have many deer sampling everything. My lettuce is doing great and I am trying 2 new varieties of tomatoes, New Girl and Juliet. They both are flowering and have baby tomatoes coming. Haven’t had much luck with tomatoes here. Maybe this will be “the” year!
Love, love, love your website and blog. Thanks.
Laura Swieton says
Right across town from you. Just stopped harvesting my asparagus patch and pulled up most of the sugar snap peas. Enjoyed kale chips last night. Lost most of my strawberry bed over the winter, so the kids are nibbling the few stragglers while I’m pinching the flowers off of the new plants. Have a few tiny green tomatoes already forming and the bush cucumbers and bush beans are covered in flowers. Some straight yellow squash will be pickable in a few more days.Cantaloupe and pumpkin vines are growing well. And I have one massive vine that I’m not sure what it is (heavy wind knocked over my mini greenhouse and destroyed my first round of seedlings, except this one — but it lost its tag). Broccoli and cauliflower are large but not forming heads yet. Some of the bell peppers have flowers. Black currant, blueberry and Nanking cherry bushes are ripening. Still waiting to see how well the thornless blackberries survived the winter, though I think the brambles invading the compost heap will be happy.
Chris A. says
I so enjoy your blog and the photos you post, thank you for that. My garden is going well I think. The blackberries survived the winter and are getting huge. Wasn’t prepared for them to move along underground so I’m always having to cut the new shoots down…but feeling guilty doing so. My yard won’t allow for this type of “wandering”. 🙂
I live in SW MI and our weather has been “weird” for this year, following a rough winter but I’m happy to say that I think everything is doing well so far. Last year I planted 2 nectarine trees that did experience some damage and absolutely no flowers budded… 🙁 so no fruit this year.
I actually found a gogi berry bush at a local greenhouse and am so excited to get it planted this week. My goal is to make my whole yard at least 75% edible with annuals and perennials, I still have a long way to go on that end. This year will be my first attempt to have a fall crop of cooler weather veggies and start saving my seeds.
Wish me luck and thank you again for sharing your garden with us.
Rhonda Strahler says
I have good-sized green tomatoes (the one Early Girl I planted!!) , and 4 Sweet One Hundred Cherry Tomato plants that are loaded with still-green yummy babies! I have 25 tomato plants in all , mostly heirloom varieties I started from seed in my little greenhouse. I tried something new this year – 2 Trip-L-Crop tomatoes. Planted them on a trellis, as they are supposed to be 6-8 feet tall & bear heavily! I will report my results!
The Zucchini plants had 4-inch zukes yesterday, so they are probably close to the casserole dish (hah). It’s pretty warm here already (SE Ohio) so the broccoli is trying to bolt, but the Pole Green Bean vines are tall as I am (a stately 5’1″) and flowering. The bush-style ones are a-bloom too. I have bi-color sweet corn (12 stalks up, 12 more planted) about a foot tall. I have cukes that are cuking, bell pepper plants soon to ring, Brussels Sprouts , radishes that are starting to get a bite to them from the heat, but my carrots didn’t do too well – dunno why. I still have spinach and mesclun , and lots of Zinnias!
Liz in Salem says
Kevin, Beautiful gardens, as always! After 2 frosts in late May and iffy warm weather, including some nights in the 40s this week (!), my gardens are slowly starting. We raise lettuce in a large raised container shaded with cloth on our east porch. Lots of that, kale and chard to eat now. Other plants starting to blossom and some small peppers and bush beans show promise. Should be a great red raspberry season, they love the rain in the spring and Maine gave it to them. Fingers are crossed that steady warmer weather will stay around. Darned green worms are on my green cabbages & kale but not on the red ones. Keeps me flexible, leaning and looking for them.
Karen R says
This year I did a 4×4 raised bed in my full sun garden — planted just 3 tomato plants and one eggplant. All doing well — and getting BIG! I haven’t been removing suckers — is it too late to start that? My tomatoes are just about 5 feet or taller….Thanks,
My 1st year organic raised beds are doing WONDERFUL up here in Western MA. Blossoms & Fruit on all my tomatoes, peppers, & squash. Beets will be ready to pull in a couple weeks. I have already been harvesting the lettuce and kale. However, I too am fighting an aggressive battle, of no mercy, on those dreaded “Cabbage Loopers”! they have been attacking my Kale & Brussels ~ little Creeps can strip a leaf down to the rib over night. A friend in PA told me about Diatomaceous Earth (DE) POWDER… organic, pulverized fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. *grin* Nasty lil’ green worms BE GONE!
Herb garden… producing very lush greens for my culinary experiments 🙂
Enjoying the bounties of all my hard work.
Thank you Kevin for the description on how to build raised beds.
First Timer for vegetables, trying square foot gardening in my new raised garden hoop houses.
Peas are climbing nicely and have flowers, as do the tomatoes.
The most exciting part I have 6″ eggplant and zucchini!
Lovage is new to my garden this year, glad to hear the bees like it as I have four hives . Also pl anted lots of goji berries along with the usual plants, not sure what to do with them, but wanted to experiment. Found something new this year…..while beets, carrots,kale and broccoli will not germinate when it it still cold (freezes here in central OR till Memorial Day )’ if you germinate them in the house they will grow in the garden . Planted them in February and We have been eating broccoli, kale and spinach for several weeks. Would have had beets alsoit they got some kind of virus so pulled them up. Thanks for sharing…..oh…..is lovage an annual? I thought it was a perineal .
Claudia S says
I love seeing the pictures of your garden and reading about other’s gardens as well. Mine has really taken of in the last several weeks. I live in Central Texas, Dripping Springs to be exact and we are ramping up for the heat this summer. This year we have a fenced garden plot and my husband built a wonderful 4×8 raised bed out of cedar. I planted tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash (that didn’t make it), jalapeno’s and tomatillos. To my surprise, a pumpkin plant has also started growing from where I had a compost pile. I also planted two “ollas” in the raised bed, which are clay urns, that you fill with water every few days, the roots pull the moisture from the clay pots. I have also added cedar mulch, to help retain moisture. By July, plants here can really start burning up, so my garden is in an area of our yard that has some trees to the west of it, for a “shade break” during the day. I have been harvesting tomatoes, jalapeno’s, few cucumbers, but really excited to see some baby zucchinni’s growing and baby pumpkins. It is always an adventure out there!
Ann Honer says
We are in N. Illinois. I grew all my plants in milk jugs this year. All 27 grew! Took forever to plant everything out but was worth the while.
We have been picking salad greens for 2 weeks now. Peas are ready and so is swiss chard.
How do I stop spinach from bolting? 2 years in a row it has bolted as soon as I have planted it out.
Everything else is coming along nicely. Potatoes have flowered.
My garlic did not produce ‘scapes’; do you know why that is?
I used your tip on news paper and mulch on my flower beds and they look great.
Thanks for the info.
Karen Duke says
Our family raised garden beds would be doing exceptionally well were it not for my well-meaning, free-ranging chickens, ducks and turkeys. The chickens don’t bother plants too much, but when putting out seedlings there is still too much free dirt for them to scratch around in so they inadvertently dig up plants. Determined to try and figure out how to have both veggies and happy, free-ranging chickens I tried several methods to keep the chickens from being too destructive. I won’t talk about my failed projects, so the one that worked best for me is to take plastic garden pots, cut out the bottoms, bury the pot about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way into the soil, then plant the plant inside the pot. This keeps the chickens from digging up the tender roots AND has kept my beds TOTALLY slug free, fertilized and well-weeded! Most of the raised bed veggie gardens are luscious enough now that the chickens don’t bother getting in them any more. The ducks are not too destructive to my gardens, except that they love the taste of impatiens (2 flats planted in pots disappeared in one afternoon), and I’ve had to devise a plan to keep them out of my goldfish pond – heavy gauge metal fencing stretched tightly across, kept in place with tent tie-downs, then edged with stones. They can walk on the wire without it collapsing and stick their beaks in for a drink, but they can no longer swim in there or go fishing… muhahahaha. THE TURKEYS ARE ANOTHER STORY. A mammoth turkey or 4 devours nearly anything. Their favorites have been my corn (the stalks eaten to the ground and replanted several times), and they adore onions, chives and garlic so they were eaten to the ground, and the turkeys now have bad breath too. Our berry plants produced well this year, but the turkeys got about every raspberry, mulberry, strawberry and blueberry from within 3′ off the ground. Mercifully my husband finished a very large palace for the ducks and turkeys on Monday complete with their own swimming pool, so the family garden should make a quick comeback and I may be able to keep all the blackberries that will be in within a couple of weeks. At least we have plenty of eggs to eat and to sell.
Our county’s sandy soil makes it famous for tomatoes and we’ve planted about 70 varieties of heirloom varieties, about 300 plants in all, and most of them are in the field where we will hopefully have an awesome selection of produce to sell. The heirloom corn is coming along, melons and cukes are adding a foot or so per vine per day. Thanks to our freakishly cold and long winter here in central VA, everything is a few weeks behind schedule but so far the gardens are doing quite well.
I planted steak, Roma, grape ,bush and on the vine tomatoes . Ttey all are producing fruit except for the Bush tomato it’s has flowers. My cucumbers have flower and my eggplants are doing well , but no blossoms yet. I planted 3 Clemson Okras and they are doing fine.Beet plants are looking very healthy and my bush beans are good too. I just planted more bush beans yesterday and sowed more lettuce . I enjoyed my frirst crop of lettuce already.I also planted a variety of peppers , bell ,red maya, yellow hot and pimento peppers,those I planted in containers .
I live in the Central Valley of California near the foothills. I have a small veggie garden, mostly because it’s all I can keep up with. No large pest problems. I planted 5 different kinds of tomatoes, Stevia, parsley, onions and a hot pepper which died. I have harvested all of my onions, they were starting to rot. Tomatoes are finally coming on. Its plenty warm enough here, its WATER that is an issue, hence the small garden. i usually get an abundance of tomatoes and that is really what I am after, for salsa, and just plain eating. Now I also want them to make Taboulah. So good fresh. Thanks for your info, love it. The flowers is a good idea, and I did not know about the marigolds, i will search for stinky ones!
Jennifer Naylor says
Thanks for YOUR great updates with photos.
My garden in Texas has been successful this year due to early planting and not so hot summer! (I only had to cover it once in April due to cold temps). I have harvested great zuccini, a giant beefsteak tomatoe, many cherry tomatoes, kale, short carrots, a few hot peppers, and some cucumbers. My radishes were great in early May! I lost my first two zuccini plants to some bug. Was told to buy some ‘BT’ from the feed store and inject them into my plants. I hope my second set of plants survive, because we were all enjoying those zuccini fritters from your recipe! Keep the recipes and updates coming, please!
oh yes, the cats like the catnip i stole from Dad’s Wisconsin garden…
manju mehra says
Hi Kevin, beautiful garden as always. I’m having trouble with my cayenne & serrano pepper plants. They don’t seem to be growing too well, they have flowers and even some peppers. the plant on the whole is rather small. Have fertilized & composted. Any suggestions would be welcome. regards Manju
Your garden is so beautiful! and organized haha mine is not …I just have 11 tomatoe plants different kinds and lots of bell,banana and hot peppers but all is doing well here in cental indiana.
To my surprise, the variety of snow peas I planted this year have pink flowers! (CAROUBY DE MAUSSANE) Zone 5B, Finger Lakes New York. Eating peas, strawberries, kale, lettuce, radishes and lots of garlic scapes. Enjoying lots of flowers: Rudbeckia Indian Summer, Irish Spring and Rustic colors, dianthus, asclepias curassavica and tuberosa, delphinium, zinnias Cactus flower mix, Zowie yellow flame and profusion double fire, Black and Blue Salvia, cosmos sulfureous, gem marigolds, salpiglossis and even geraniums.
Hi Kevin, Just wanted to let you know that all the winter sown plants I planted this spring have done fantastic! My Dad was here (Prince George,BC Canada, zone 3) and was all praise, said my garden was way ahead of his and what had I done! He gardens in about a zone 4, and usually mine is far behind his. A lot of things that I winter sowed are almost finished and I’m doing second plantings of lettuce and spinach etc. Love your blog and especially you tours please show us more. The drinks and humor cheer my day!!!! You Keep me inspired!
OH Kevin, I forgot to ask. Do you know why my radishes only grow tops no radish???? I’m stumped. Is my soil to rich, I have new raised veg garden beds, to which I added lots of bagged manure and my own compost. If you have any ideas let me know please???? Thanks!