As a teacher, the phrase, “Is it June yet?” started being heard sometime around March. Because June meant the end of the school year and summer vacation, it always seemed that June was very slow to come. As a gardener in New England, where the last frost date is the end of May (well, I know they changed it with climate change to May 21, but it will always be end of May for me) June has come all too soon! We had a late and cold Spring this year and I was later still with Bill’s ankle, etc (not to mention losing my sweet Brianna ) so June’s arrival has been a bit of a shock for me. Suddenly things need to be in the ground!
So I have been very busy trying to get things planted. As usual I have more ideas than time but I am getting there. I am also trying to decrease lawn and expanding all gardens. So it has been a bit hectic.
I have again tried planting potatoes in straw. It worked last year but for the deer.I have planted sprouted potatoes here next to the compost. I think I will put a fence up to protect the potato plants from the deer. Fingers crossed for a good harvest.
I have also tried “grow bags” this year.Here they are in front of the site of the future greenhouse. I haven’t ordered the greenhouse yet, but my lovely neighbor, Heather, has offered to help me put it together when I do. I have found one I think will work. It is small, 6’x8′, but that is all I have room for….(and even that is technically illegal under the power lines….but there you are). So I planted more sprouted potatoes in the grow bags. You add more soil as the plants grow. Once the greenhouse is in place I can put them inside at night. And there will be no potatoes on the deer menu this year.
I made an asparagus bed next to this, though a bit late for asparagus season, so I planted some winter squash in it.
I will add some nasturtiums and some marigolds..and maybe a fence or netting to protect the plants from the deer.
These sunflowers are in the next bed. I got these at the Farmer’s Market. I have some I started from seed (late) but the chipmunks discovered them and nibbled a few leaves.
So it might be awhile before they are ready to go in the ground.
The strawberries I planted last year are very happy.We have berries already. I got some things to put next to them that are supposed to keep deer out…and I will put some netting over them if that doesn’t work. Hopefully we will have strawberries all summer.
My tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and basil are small but I have planted them and they seem happy.Peppers.Eggplant.Tomatoes and nasturtiums.Basil. The huge plants at the Farmer’s Market made me jealous, but mine will grow. And next year I will have a greenhouse so maybe my plants will be bigger.
I planted green beans at the bottom of these bamboo teepees with zucchini and nasturtiums.They are in the bed in front of the coop so hopefully the deer will stay out. Last year they ate the beans in the pumpkin patch and in the original garden , but those beds are farther away from buildings. So far they have never eaten anything from this garden.
In another bed, these cucumbers will grow up the trellis and shade the lettuce and beets during the heat of the summer.
A win -win for everyone.
The other project I decided to try this year is a Three Sister’s Bed. This is a Native American tradition. You plant corn, and beans which grow up the corn and at their feet you plant squash or pumpkins to keep the moisture in and the weeds down. I have been interested in it for awhile so I decided to give it a try. I added new cardboard and leaves to last year’s pumpkin patch (after digging up all the volunteer plants..pumpkins or gourds..there were TONS of them!)I then made rows and mounds and added grass, compost, poopy straw and more compost. I put straw in the paths.I planted the pumpkin/gourds (no idea yet what they are) in every other mound. I planted corn seeds in the other mounds. When the corn is about 6″ tall you plant bean seeds. Since I am late, I planted Indian Corn for Fall decorations and I will plant Scarlett Runner Beans for color. Hopefully the gourds/pumpkins will do well. It will be a Fall Decorations garden.
Meanwhile the early veggies are all doing well. We had our first salad last night with creamed spinach and pasta.And the peas are growing taller. A few flower have appeared. Soon we will have peas.
The carrots are up and the lettuce and arugula are beautiful. Celery and parsley complete this bed. And the other raised beds, are also doing well. It is hard to believe that just a few months ago there was still snow on the ground and any green shoot was a miracle. Today we are surrounded by abundance.
I have also been busy planting annuals in the flower beds.
Here is the expanded bed under the cherry tree.
And the window boxes are done. But….
…..there is still a bit more to plant.
Which is why I find myself saying, “Is it June? Already?!”