Garden Update: It’s Summer, Baby
Well, sort of anyway. More or less it’s summer, at least in terms of the calendar year.
June is historically the wettest month in my neck of the woods, and this year has been no exception. In fact, over the past few weeks we’ve broken historical records in terms of rainfall. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – we aren’t flooding, there’s nothing overly drastic, it’s just a lot of rain, which has delayed the growth of the peppers and tomatoes somewhat. I suppose if that’s the worst I have to say about June, I’m flying pretty high.
Just for my own personal edification I brought up a picture taken around the same weekend of the last few years and compared it visually with where all the plants are at right now. From a quick glance, we look to be about 2 weeks behind in terms of growth. While that doesn’t seem drastic, it can be for a season as short as mine (if we’re lucky, we won’t get a killing frost until the 3rd week of September).
But, on the flip side, I haven’t had to water the garden in weeks, so there’s that.
As we push into July we’re probably looking at things drying up quite a bit, so I’ll be back on my watering schedule.
What I can say is the potatoes, beans, and squash love this wetter weather, with my Tatume now starting to grow visibly every day. This is my first year growing Tatume in such a short season so it’ll be interesting to see how it does. After transplant for a few weeks it showed little growth and I was getting nervous, but as the rainfall increased so did the growth, and it’s now firmly established and becoming a group of monster plants that will be sure to try to take over the whole garden.
My Melon ‘Oka’ I can’t say much for – there’s been little to no growth since transplant over a month ago, so there’s no way I’ll be getting any fruit at this point. The seed was very old, although it germinated well, so the plants themselves just aren’t very healthy. Next year I’ll continue on my hunt for an excellent short season melon.
My winning tomatoes so far this year – in terms of speed of growth and fruiting – is ‘Russian Saskatchewan’ and ‘Sasha’s Altai’. Both are excellent growers for short season climates and they are not disappointing. Almost every tomato is in various states of bloom or setting fruit at this point (mostly blooming), with ‘Orange King’ and ‘Brazilian Beauty’ bringing up the rear.
Tomatillos are setting fruit, as are peppers. Garlic is forming scapes (although I won’t be harvesting those – I’ll be letting them grow so I can harvest the bubils). Potatoes are getting hilled. Cucumbers are growing slightly more slower than I like, but that’s due to the slightly cooler temps and moisture – they should pick up once the full sun and heat come back.
July is looking promising so far, and I look forward to updating you in a few weeks with all the latest news from the garden.
In other news, in my previous post I talked about garden tracking and the website MyFolia.com. Unfortunately since that time, MyFolia has announced they are shutting down as of August 1st. If you read that post you will know I’m not particularly surprised, although I’m still sad at the news. I’ve been on that site for over a decade, and it’s really influenced how I garden and the tracking I do.
I can say that my new system, set up in OneNote, is proving very useful (if not quite as pretty), so in the very least I have that. I’ve grabbed (so far) data back to 2017, and I’m waiting to hear from them if they’ll get a system set up so that I can easily download all my other data as well.
Without trying to be too dramatic, it feels a bit like the end of an era. It certainly is for me, and while it won’t actually affect how I’m out there, doing my gardening, it does affect my documentation of it, which – for me and this seed bank – is a huge aspect of my gardening.
But, although I’ll miss MyFolia, it did push me to get a system that isn’t reliant on somebody else’s server so I can be sure to keep that information where and how I want. If you’re a big note-taker like me and you rely on a 3rd party side, or the cloud, I’d highly recommend taking a second to look at some options so you can be sure to preserve your data.