Monday, June 3, 2013

What's happening in the early June garden

Cabbage with head starting to form.  Petunia starting to bloom.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cool season crops are peaking while summer crops are just starting to produce in early June.

Chives in bloom
Herbs are in full swing.  The best time to harvest aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano is in the afternoon when the oils are most concentrated.  Harvest herbs like parsley, cilantro and dill in the cooler part of the day.

Most of the lettuce I planted end of April are now ready to harvest with almost all of my spinach bolting.  Cabbage and broccoli heads are forming so harvest is close for them.  Be sure to keep consistent moisture to them.  Don’t worry about insect damage to the leaves on cabbage and broccoli as long as the heads are forming nicely.  A little insect damage will not affect the quality of the head produced.

Our fava beans are in full flower which means the beans will soon be forming!  Our pole beans are climbing their trellis'.

Potted lettuce and spinach
Now is the time to provide shade for your lettuce and sow bolt resistant varieties like the ones I shared last week (Summer Crisp Magenta, Green Towers and Jericho Romaine, Simpson Elite leaf).  You can move your lettuces if in pots to a shadier part of your patio or porch.  Shade cloths can be used for those in the garden.  You can also plant taller veggies on the south and west side of your lettuces so as they grow, they provide shade to the lettuces.

With the heat coming, it is time to start watering.  Keep consistent moisture to your lettuces to keep taste sweet and your lettuce from bolting.  When your lettuce does bolt, let it go to flower and seed.  The bees and beneficial insects enjoy the flowers and the seeds can easily be saved for fall and next spring planting.

The best time to harvest lettuce is mornings or right after a rain; this is when they are the crunchiest, fullest and sweetest.  Harvest in the morning before you go to work and store in the frig for the day.

Inconsistency in watering will also cause tomatoes to crack.  Fertilize all your fruit bearing veggies when the first flowers appear (right now we have flowers on our cucumber, zucchini, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes).  Provide only spray compost tea or kelp the rest of the season.  Too much nitrogen will cause you to grow huge plants with no fruits.  Nitrogen stimulates green growth.

There are many vegetables and herbs that you can still plant right now.   Any of the summer vegetables love these temperatures and sun.  As a matter of fact, this is the best time to plant cucumbers and zucchini to avoid the vine borer.  See my May 26 post for a complete list of all veggies that can be planted in June.

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