July 8, 2021 by Jeanette Rueb (Peachy00Keen)
June 2021 Garden Journal — Peachy00Keen
- Location: Mountain West, USA; Southwest/Central Idaho
- Zone: 7a
- Lot Type: Dense Suburban; Back of house faces due east
- Soil Type: Clay/Sand, Amended
Most of my outdoor activities today consisted of foraging, both from my own backyard and the foothills on the edge of town. I picked a bunch of things to dry for tea: Wild roses, mullein leaf, yarrow, mallow, and raspberry leaves. I turned some of the roses into rosewater, but at least half of them were dried for tea. Everything else is hanging in bundles over my sink. I’m curious how long the mullein is going to take to dry out. Most leaves take about a week, sometimes a week and a half, but the mullein is the length of my forearm, so I have no clue what to expect. Other than that, I sowed more valerian. I think I had one tiny patch of about five sprouts come up last time I sowed, but I want more than that, so we’re trying again. It should sprout within about 7-10 days, and we’re entering a heatwave (like, it’s currently 95 degrees F out and it’s 6pm), so it’s kind of now or never, I think. I also got my bees today!! My leafcutter cocoons arrived, along with a couple of other bee-comfort-related goods. My hotel is now stocked with pheromones and cocoons. The little burritos should hopefully hatch in the next 35-45 days, according to the guides I’ve read. Sometime this week, I hope to borrow my father-in-law’s truck (again) to go get gravel for underneath my swing. Considering the heat advisory, though, I might wait until next week, which might be slightly cooler. I suppose I can always trellis the back fence before it gets too hot. My passionflower needs something to crawl up.
Did some weeding and finally trellised the section of back fence behind the passionflower vine. I think next year, once things are better established, I might fill in some areas that aren't doing so hot with more mature plants. In front of the passionflower, I might plant some other low fruit (more strawberries maybe?), And where my herbs were supposed to be growing, I might put in a rosemary bush and some lavender. The herbs I have growing in planters are doing LEAGUES better than the ones in the ground, which isn't terribly surprising considering a) that area floods, and b) my soil is garbage. Live and learn. For the first year of its existence in a non-grass form, my backyard is doing pretty well, I'd say. Once I see definitive signs of the peppers taking off, I'll call it a win. I did it all for them anyway, really. I just hope I didn't put them out too early. I still have two habaneros inside as backup. If everything else did go in too early, I know better for next year. I was a bit impatient.
Friday, part II
I planted some bok choy outside in a few different places to see where it would grow best. I also put out my last two habaneros plants next to the ghost and the reaper. Inside, I sowed spinach, parsley, dill, cilantro, and another bok choy. I also weeded, did the lawn and edging, and all that jazz after six hours of hard labor in the 90+ degree sun at the community garden. I am now thoroughly exhausted and desperately in need of a (cool) shower!
I have a busted sprinkler under the grapes, but I'm too sore to fix it today. I watered everything by hand that needed it in the backyard, and thankfully, it's a cool, cloudy day. I sowed some mixed pacific northwest seeds in the wet side yard to see if they'd take, and I planted a mullein in a pot in the backyard. I'm adding another plant to my indoor experiment: California poppies. I just sowed a packet of them in an empty spinach container. We'll see how it goes!
A couple of days ago, one of my sprinkler heads decided it wanted to be a diva, and it blew a lovely fountain of water everywhere, completely draining the pressure from the zone. I finally got around to fixing it today, only to realize that it and the other two heads I was going to adjust had somehow repaired themselves. I have no idea how, but hey, I'm not going to complain. I checked the rest of the zones and found a sprinkler out front giving the middle finger to the sky. That one, I did have to fix. I'd managed to hit the cap with the weedwhacker at some point, I think. It was a $4 part that took no more than five minutes to install and adjust. I went around and adjusted a few more heads while I was out there, and I also managed to water my carpet because I left a window open. Oops. The carpet is fine. The dog was confused. I felt kinda dumb. We're all over it now. Anyway, I ended my day by mowing my plush AF clover backyard and thoroughly weeding my veggie beds. Things look good back there!
I harvested my first bunch of radishes today. They're a little small, but I'll amend the soil with potting mix before the next sow and see if I get bigger bulbs. The greens look good though!
It’s kind of been a slow month in my garden. I’ve been out weeding on a semi-regular basis, but other than constantly adjusting the peas (which I need to do a better job of trellising next year), I’ve essentially just been watching things grow. The peppers are stunted, and I think they need some compost added on top of their soil and mixed in a bit. I might grab a bag next time I’m out. Something I’m trying for weed mitigation is regularly tilling the topmost layer of soil in my bed that keeps filling up with grass. I pull out the big stuff, but otherwise, I just kind of mix it in. It’s faster than sitting there pulling everything, even if it’s only superficially effective. I finally filled in the sinkhole next to the blackberries, and I sowed snapdragons in the little patch where my ground cherries were supposed to be. They’ll look kind of ridiculous once they grow there, but I didn’t know what else to put in. Rosemary, I suppose. Oops. Too late now, lol. My bok choy is coming up, though, so that’s cool to see. A couple of my gourds are going crazy. One has a tendril that’s like four, maybe five feet long just kind of… going. Everyone, more or less, seems to be growing though, which is good to see. These hot weeks with lots of sun have been excellent for growth. It’s nice to see my flowers getting bigger and my veggies doing their thing. The only thing I’m really waiting on now that’s new are my leafcutter bees. I’m starting to see more honeybees in my yard (no idea where they’re coming from, but I’m glad they found me), which is a nice change from the helpful-but-not-my-first-choice wasps that have been here all spring. The strawberries are sending off runners like they’ve got someplace to be, and even a few of my pineberries are starting to run. For a first-year garden with still-pretty-poor soil, I’m honestly quite pleased with how things are growing so far.
Yet another weekly grass cutting. The clover has really filled in nicely since the last cut. I'm honestly kind of amazed. Out front, the sunflowers are getting tall, and my rosebush got a haircut. It was getting so weighed down with water in the mornings that it was crushing my gladiolus. It looks much rounder now. Back by the hose bib, I sowed a mix of bee balm and lemon balm in an effort to fend off mosquitoes.
Second radish harvest, on the Summer Solstice!! They're very spicy!
I went out and picked a little bit of fruit for my first official fruit harvest of the year! I pulled some weeds while I was out there, checked for bugs, and rearranged some gourd vines. I came in, took a break from the heat for a bit, and then went back out to feed the tomatoes and peppers, weed some more, trim the grapevines, and harvest some grape leaves to pickle for dolmas/dolmades. Exciting times! I also got to see LOTS of leafcutter bees going in and out of my bee hotel today!
The garden, overall, is looking really good so far.
Next: Get gravel for the swing area.