The Garden: June

Well, here we are about a month into my garden and my little plants are (mostly) still standing. I transplanted around Mother’s Day which is typical for the area. This worked well for about three days until our area had an unseasonable cold snap and the nights dropped right above freezing. Cucumbers and beans do not care for such a cool environment so my little cucumber plants died off and the beans never popped up. I allowed the weather to warm up a bit and resowed some cucumbers and beans. The cucumbers have started to sprout but the beans are still MIA so I may be without beans this year.

Currently, my raised bed contains six tomato plants, two basil plants, three cucumbers, four lettuce and three bell peppers. From my garden last year, I have volunteer cilantro, green onion and chives that began to pop up once the days got a bit warmer. Outside of my bed I have one cabbage that my son brought home from school that is growing well in a nice sunny spot off to the side of the garden.

I’m out in the garden most days watering and weeding to ensure that my little plants get at all that good nutrition and not the weeds! Usually this works well until about mid-July when the heat, humidity and bugs move in and sap my motivation to keep my garden alive. At that point, I venture out infrequently to harvest fast and hope my plants can survive the weeds! This year I really want to make sure this does not happen and thanks to Mother Nature giving me all the heat and bugs I can handle very early I get to figure out how to combat this now. Giving up on my garden at this point would doom it for sure as there is nothing to dash out and harvest.

The answer to my problem has been quite simple but a big adjustment. I’m giving up my summer habit of sleeping in just a little bit and waking around 6:30 every morning to tend to the garden before the summer sun and bugs kick in full swing. I went into this thinking it would be miserable since I was giving up the one time of year I don’t have to use an alarm clock to rouse my crew to bust weeds. I was pleasantly surprised at how peaceful it is to start my day with my hands in the dirt. The air is still and fresh, the heat of the day is not quite there yet, and while there are bugs, many are still sleeping in waiting until late morning for fresh prey. I work for about a half hour each morning depending on how I am feeling and how hot it is. My garden gets the love it needs and I start my day in a positive space and able to check something off the to-do list! I do wander out late day to pluck a few weeds at times or give the garden a late day water (we have not had rain in a few weeks so this has been a necessity!) but I know if I don’t get out to pull a few weeds, I will get up the next day and can spend a few more minutes caring for my plants. Eventually all this work will pay off when I’m serving fresh from the vine tomatoes as a summer meal or adding frozen diced tomatoes to a winter dish. I’m saving money and giving my family some darn good food in the process. That, to me is definitely worth setting my alarm for.

So how about you? How’s your garden shaping up? Is it thumbs up or down or sideways. Drop me a line or share a pic of your little slice of garden heaven.