A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Monday, June 30, 2014

End of the Month Round Up June 2014

Explosive growth in the vegetable garden this month despite a June 13 frost

Rains were scarce the first two weeks.......but after that--plentiful!  (I bought a hose June 15--a sure cure for a drought and I haven't used it yet at month's end)

June 1-7         .05"  (June 2)  We also did not get our yearly June 4 or so frost.  Yay!
June  8-14      .10 "   (June 11)
June  15-21   1.65"
June  22-28   1.20"
June  29/30     .25"
Total for June---3.25"

Temps for the month were average, but we had TONS of humidity--something we never have.

June 4--Planted the Fushia Dahlias (6) in the vegetable garden.

             First Picking of Lettuce and Spinach--best greens I've ever grown, Just beautiful.....
               and on THAT note:
           First sown rows of all carrots mostly gone now.  STILL cannot find the culprit--but I do
               know he/she/it/they eat A LOT!   Also, ALL cauliflower GONE, most broccoli, and
                 2 rows of kohlrabi.  IT also likes Kale.  WHAT IS IT???? And why can't I find it????
My evil plan to "distract" the culprit by interplanting the cauliflower  with lettuce failed miserably. "It" likes cauliflower better--left all the lettuce.  Well, at least I have plenty of lettuce this year.  

June 5 --Took a "Girls Day" out to go to Birch Run with Crotchety Dolores. She lived up to her name.
              : (
June 6   Sowed Green Beans (bush- Blue Lake 274) and a third row of Mokum carrots
             Planted Ravenna grass and  Fillipendula 'Venusta'    in front of big window.  Hubby won't let me                     have curtains, so this is  my sneaky way of getting the privacy and sun blockage I need while letting                  him think he won.  Ha!

June 7   Planted:   Howden and Small Sugar Pie pumpkins
                           Patty Pan, Acorn, and Butternut squash
                           Melon--Hearts of Gold and Golden Gopher muskmelon
                           Table Princess Acorn squash
                           birdhouse gourds
                           10 Mini Bell Peppers
                           Pumpkin on a Stick
                           lots of parsley, basil, rosemary, chives
                           more petunias, zahara zinnias, and Cosmos Sonata

Jun 8      Andy brought the bees today--hooray!  My bumblebees cannot keep up with all the blueberry
                  bushes in bloom

June 13   Green Beans popping up
               Lettuce and Spinach still abundant
               Corn now starting to "disappear".   Still cannot find the culprit

               And--though I don't believe in superstitions, this Friday the 13th brought bad luck---
               The phone company had to dig a new line. Right through my newly finished section of
                   the west border. What a disaster.  They were good about it--they hand-dug the trench
                    sparing me the mess of their big equipment doing it, but criminey, it's still a disaster.

            AND---  Daytime high ---52 degrees.  They're calling for frost tonight.  Friday. The 13th.  Of June.                                      Sigh.  Covering whatever I can cover and hoping for the best.

June 14 !!!!!  FROST LAST NIGHT   !!!!!!!!!!        Latest "last frost" I've seen since moving here. And I            thought  our regular average of June 4 was bad. ARGH   Lost all squash and pumpkins.  Glad I had a                           few extras in the garage-will replant this week.  A few  potatoes got hit. Tomatoes , peppers                               and beans fine.  How on earth does that happen????????

June 17  Strawerries begin--but did not get more than a handful until the following week when I got my first big panful (June 25).  Even a few Cabots are turning, though they are a "late" berry. The size of them never ceases to amaze me.
Freakishly Large (even for a Cabot!)  Strawberry--that's an apricot on the right for size comparison

June  21  Start of the invasion of the potato beetles, plus Japanese and Cucumber beetles. Ugh.

June 26  Sugar Snap Peas begin

June 29  Planted the rest of the Dahlias---in the vegetable garden.  Deer eating flowers by house. Sigh.

June 29--10:47 a.m.-  Tired of summer.  Heat.  Humidity.  Bugs.  What were the good points again?????

I  finally  got the regular Foxglove to bloom from seed.  I'm so glad I kept trying.....it's gorgeous.

My original yellow Foxglove from seed are blooming nicely as well. 

The salad greens have never been better.

Corn and sunflowers

A view from the blueberries toward the veg garden

Green beans and the pathetic remains of the originally sown carrots

The carrots (Mokum)  in another bed fared better with the slugs

Major Wheeler honeysuckle in full bloom

Onions and potatoes doing very well

New tub planter picked up on our last trip to Dubuque

View of the west side of the house. Deer enjoying this immensely!

View from the back door. Loving that salvia--and so do the bees!


Monday, June 2, 2014

End of the Month Round Up May 2014

The Vegetable Garden June 1, 2014

We had plentiful rains for the first couple of weeks this month.
May 1-3        .60"
May 4-10    1.15"
May 11-17  1.35"  plus a light snow on May 16
May 18-31  NOTHING.   Everything dry as toast.

We did some travelling the first week of May---went antiquing in Ohio  for a few days, and then went to Indiana for a couple of days to see my friend Susan.  She took me to  Linton's  Enchanted Gardens. What a great time--and so many interesting things to see.  I will definately make that an annual destination.
Friend Susan in one of the many little houses at Linton's

May 8--Got busy sowing the "tenders" into coir pots.  Sowed Bottle gourds, Howden and Small Sugar Pie pumpkings, Butternut, Acorn,  and Patty Pan squash,  Golden Gopher and Hearts of Gold canteloupes and also lots of cosmos and zinnias.  They were put under grow lights.

May 9--I sowed Trellis #2  of Sugar Snap peas --and they germinated May 19--10 days.  The first trellis full had just popped up. Those were sowed April 19--it took 21 days to germinate!!  I don't think I need to "rush" to get peas in early. They take forever to come up when sown in April.  Better to wait until May.

Also planted LOTS of carrots. Four separate types--Danvers, Dragon, Mokums, and St. Valery

May 14-- I went "Greenhouse-ing" with friend Carol.   This was the first year I went with her--usually I go with cranky Dolores.  I had so much fun.  I picked up several flats of flowers and I found four new succulents to add to my collection.
New Succulents on the left.  Sweet Potato starts I grew from vine I had in water all winter, and basils on the right.
May 14 also happened to be the only NICE day that whole week.   We had rain 5 out of 7 days.

May 16-- it SNOWED.  Not much, but enough to cover most things and guarantee yet another year of no lilacs.  They had just started to form buds.  What a shame. If only it would kill dandelions like it does other flowers!

May 17-Planted Arcadia and Calabrese broccoli,  100 Copra onions, and Yukon Gold potatoes.

May 19 - Hauled "Donkey Doo" ---7 truckloads.  Used  it all to establish another row of blueberries.
Fresh "Doo" on the left, Last Years Haul on the Right
May 21-Planted second batch of all varieties of  carrots.  Only St. Valery carrots had not yet come up from the first batch I sowed.  It's been cold, so I'm not concerned....yet.

It's looking like a bad garage sale in the garden, but if it's not covered, it's bird food!
May 24  was by far the most gorgeous weather we've had yet and I spent the day planting up some tubs --they can be hauled into the garage when frost is called for.  It's hard to resist the urge to start planting, but 7 years here has taught me well.....we ALWAYS get a frost around June 4 or 5.

May 26  -- Planted corn---2 small blocks .     Also--first bed of Yukons is popping up!

May 26-29   Hell Week---all doctor/dentist/eye doctor appts so no gardening

May 30-- Plant Plant Plant Flowers.   Then Plant some more.  All tubs/barrels/windowboxes  and misc planters, the sidewalk border,  and all the south sides of the raised beds in the vegetable garden.

May 31--Planted tomatoes--Brandywine, Jetstar,  Yellow Pear , and Matt's Wild Cherry
               Also planted :  Cauliflower,  Kohlrabi, Tom Thumb lettuce, Jalapeno Pepper, Kale, and more

Potatoes are ALL coming up--both Yukon and Red Pontiacs.
Onions look really really good
Something eating the heck out of my spinach and several of my broccoli plants.  Can't find the culprit and
I know it's not the birds---these things were all covered.  Frustrating!

Alium and Bleeding Heart are blooming right now

The Lilac Bush is spectacular this year
New Topiary Tree outside the back door with herbs in buckets

Looking from the door to the driveway

Looking from the driveway to the west side of the house