June has flown right on by and I’ve barely had time to tend to our garden, let alone share any updates on its progress! I got a pretty late start on getting things in the ground this year, compared to the past couple of years, and was so worried that we’d have little-to-no starts to choose from and that what we did plant wouldn’t be able to catch up and be ready to harvest before the first frosts of fall.
Fortunately, we made it to the garden center before all of the best selections were totally scooped from the shelves, and with a whole lot of willpower, I was able to prepare the beds for planting in the course of an evening – which was no easy feat, as we decided to expand our garden by two beds this year!
This is the first year I’ve started about half of the garden from seed. I was way ahead of the game, planting hundreds of seedlings months ago and doing the whole gradual process of introducing them to light, temperature changes, and so on, and was so pleased with my dedication. Then… then we ventured off to New Orleans. Just before we left, I saw some possible light rain in the forecast and decided to leave them ALL outside in a sunny location, thinking they’d get just what they needed. AND THEY DROWNED. Every. Last. One.
I remember all of our friends and family messaging us over the course of that week, “Be glad you’re gone, it’s flooding here!” “It hasn’t stopped raining for a second!” And while I was beyond thankful to be where we were, I was also cringing inside thinking of my poor, innocent little artichoke, celery, Brussels sprout, pepper, and herb starts being left to fend for themselves in the elements. Lesson learned: Don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, or neighbors to tend to your plant babies while you’re away.
Anyway. I went ahead and planted the leftover seeds straight in the ground and they’ve grown much quicker than they did in the pods, so I’m hopeful they’ll catch up.
I’m loving how with each passing year, our strawberries grow stronger, larger, and more flavorful.
Our squash and pumpkin plants are growing the quickest and seemingly healthiest at the moment. I’m not holding my breath just yet, because last year we thought they’d be our most prized produce, but the flowers never transformed.
Our zucchini and cucumber plants always seem to do quite well without a ton of attention, and the same goes for our tomato plants.
The herbs have gone back and forth – looking quite sad and weak to full and healthy, even over the span of a few hours. I added a little mulch into their bed a few days ago and they’ve been MUCH happier.
We’re getting carrot, spinach, and Swiss chard!
Really, really hoping these green beans take off. They’re my favorite.
Sugar snap peas are a new member of our garden family, too.
The eggplant wins the prettiest leaves and vines and flowers award for June.
The cantaloupe and watermelon are flowering!
In years past, I’ve kind of just grabbed whatever starts jump out at me while at the nursery. In some cases, I was planting and tending to produce neither of us actually enjoyed all that much.
This year, I tried to plan ahead and be more mindful, taking into consideration what fruits and veggies we are constantly buying at the store and most quickly running out of.
I’m already bookmarking recipes that call for ingredients we can grab from our backyard. Pizzas, pasta sauces, smoothies, grilled veggie bowls… I can’t wait!
I also went all-out planting flowers this year – because really, what’s better than freshly cut blooms in every room of the house in the summer? Nothing, friends. Nothing.
How are your gardens faring so far and what are some of your favorite ways to enjoy summer produce?
I can’t wait to see what July has in store. I’ll be sure to share the progress in a month or so!