Garden Lifestyle

The Gardening Month of June

I love June.

Radish harvesting time! We planted a radish custom mix from The Cook's Garden.

I love June. In June all things are possible in the garden. The radishes are ready to harvest, and I’ve already pulled a couple of tomatoes off the vine. I’m not even close to the point in the summer when I wonder if, once again, I’ve planted too many juicy varieties. No, in June they’re behaving and all upright with little green fruits.

In the growing month of June the potatoes plants are piled high with straw, compost and what ever else I could get my hands on. The tops still rich and soft telling me the harvest isn’t quite there yet (unless I want some lovely new potatoes). New lettuce leaves are pushing out of the soil under the glass of my cold frame; I haven’t grown heat-tolerant lettuce before and I’m anxious.

To protect the new seedlings from the sun, we’ve planted runner beans along the outside edge of the cold frame. The idea is that as they grow they’ll reach for the string we’ve hooked to the fence behind it, shading the entire lettuce bed for the season. “Heatwave” lettuce or not – I’m not fully convinced that there’s any lettuce anywhere that digs the California sunshine like pumpkin vines do.

Speaking of pumpkins – we’ve tried something new with those dudes this year. In the growing month of June we’ve planted them in hay bales left over from October’s Harvest party at the school. We planted “Mini Jack” pumpkins and several heirloom varieties from Edible on the flat of the bales. Tucked into the “L” shape where the bales meet are some dainty sunflowers which I’ve never grown. We always go for the monsters like “Russian Mammoth” or varieties at the opposite spectrum.

In another bed that husband extraordinaire built me this year (and by built, I mean lined up logs and with a quick nod said, “Here’s your bed”) we have onion chives, carrots, more tomato plants, radishes, and a couple of different parsleys because we needed enough to share with the guinea piggy, Blueberry.

This particular part of the yard, I’ve dubbed “The Barnyard” because I have 5 rabbits in residence to which I’m indebted to for their fine compost offerings of totally rad manure. Rabbit manure is nature’s supreme gift to plants and, as it turns out, to my worms.

I love the growing month of June because among the maze of rabbit cages I built, we have three young hens pecking and digging in tight, damp spaces as well as in the open compost bin. I’m grateful that husband extraordinaire isn’t here to catch the little ladies in search of worms among the compost as he’s become attached to the wigglers under the pile.

In the growing month of June, the weeds are still manageable and like every year before this I’m convinced that they won’t be much of a problem this year. This year I have them licked. It’s not hot enough to keep me from the garden, and yet hot enough to listen to hear kids’ shrieks in the pool. Just the sound of the water splashing cools me as I pull up blushing radishes. After I’ve finished, I still have enough time to plant more.
All things are possible in the gardening month of June.

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