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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?
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