End of June Garden Update


End of June Garden
It’s the end of Juny and the garden is in overdrive. I’m pulling 10-15lbs of zuchinni a week out, tomatoes are turning daily, peppers ripening and new growth coming in.  My Mr. Stripey, Pink Brandywine, Solar Fire and Cherokee Purple tomato plants are being hesitant on producing fruit, but nothing to worry as of yet. I did a rather aggressive pruning last week and cut off almost all the suckers to the canopy.  We also got a nice hot streak which could have inhibited pollination directly after the pruning.  I’m sure more fruit will be popping out this week, but we’ll have to wait and see.

A Ripe Pink Brandywine Tomato

Pink Brandywine tomato plant is finally spitting out fruit.

I began the season with nine Black Beauty Zuchinni plants which was way too many.  I’m now at a decision point to pull one hill of zuchinnis up and replant with another variety of summer squash or to let it be.   With the plants putting out a few pounds every couple days I’m really having a hard time putting all the zuchinni to use.   Here coming up I’m  going to try some zuchinni pickles as a way to preserve in bulk.

Black Beauty Zuchinnis

Black Beauty Zuchinnis

With the weather warming up for the onslaught of summer here my pepper plants are really beginning to take off.  This year I have a pair of Poblanos, Fooled You, Red and Green Bell Peppers growing.  The Fooled You is a variety of Jalapeno with almost all of the heat removed.  It’s now a perennial plant as of this year, it somehow survived the winter of my neglect and assault of cat piss and shit.  I had a Fresno chili last year also, but it was defeated by the kittens indoors during the winter.  Ppblanos are awesome peppers in every way, green they are an awesome base for chili verde and salda verdes, while red they’re dried and known as ancho or raw and used in salsas.

Fooled You Peppers

Fooled You Peppers, the not spicy Jalapeno!

June brought the death of my Snow Peas and the beginnings of my pole beans and swiss chard.  As the temperatures began to rise in June the Snow Peas started taking a hurting.  I attempted to relieve them by providing overhead watering to keep the vegetation cool.  From the beginning I knew this was a bad move and sure enough mildew set in.  I pulled the remaining pods off the peas and yanked them out of the ground.  Cleared the plot of all debris and tilled it under.  I let the tilled plot sit for two weeks unwatered to hopefully chase off the moisture loving fungi and bacteria.   I kept my original bamboo trelice from the peas and planted pole beans on one side of the row and swiss chard on the other.

New Pole Beans Coming In

New pole beans coming in where peas once were.

The corn I planted along my fence has now began to pop it’s little head out of the ground.  Sadly my Black-Seeded Simpson and Parris Island lettuce plots will soon be bolting.  Fortunately I planted some red, purple, and green lettuce blends.  Those are sprouted from the ground and growing nicely.  As June ends and July begins it’s time to start planning  my “second summer” garden.  The tomatoes, peppers, pole beans and zuchinni will stay where they are as of now.  However, my bush beans, corn and lettuce will soon be coming out and will have room for more veggies.

A New Friend Arrived - Sierran Treefrog

Found this little guy rolled up in a zuchinni leaf, a Sierran Treefrog I believe.

The biggest surprise was finding the little guy above rolled up in a zuchinni leaf in mortal combat with a moth.  I’ve often heard frogs at night coming from neighbors yards so I’m going to assume this little guy came to my garden from there yards.  By Googling and narrowing down based off of identifying features I believe this frog is a Sierran Treefrog. Anything that’s going to help eat pests is a friend of mine.

This next month is going to be exceptionally busy in the garden.  Stay tuned for more updates, recipes and knowledge tidbits!

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  1. Great looking garden…… your knowledge of all your produce is something else……
    Matt, you amaze me….. proud of you

  2. Great stuff, and definitely inspiring. I’ve been pulling ridiculous amounts of zucchini from my beds, and I came back from a weekend away to find my perfect Lemon squash had been snapped in half by a gopher (which also took down one of my blackberry bushes last week) so I’m thinking of doing a reshuffle soon, pulling some squash and replanting afresh for the rest of the year.

    Would you mind doing a post on lettuce growing in SoCal? I’ve figured out as much as “I need to plant after October”, but have no real idea where to go after that.

    • I’m still experimenting with the lettuce growing business myself. However I’ve had some good luck with Black-Seeded Simpson and I have a rainbow variety pack of seeds I just sowed two weeks ago when temps were in the 90′s. It germinated without problems even in 100F weather. I’ll find out what kind of lettuce is in the variety pack that is doing well in high heat.

      What I do know from growing lettuce out here in the summer is lettuce is almost a full shade plant. When doing the lettuce you want to keep it as cool as possible and you also want to harvest it as much as possible. I use the natural shade on the south edge of my garden from the fence/ornamental tree. I also use a very loose soil mix, I’d say it borders at 80% fine wood chips/20% soil. This allows me to water my lettuce daily to keep the soil cool and moisture in place without flooding.

      I’ll make a nice informative post here in the near future.

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