Welcome back to my garden update series! We’re in that part of the summer where your plants grow and grow and grow. However, it’s also the part of the summer when you need to start being more regular about watering. Here are some things you should have in place:
- Watering schedule or automatic irrigation. I’m not sure it has rained since my last update.
- Mulch or some form of cover to keep moisture in your soil longer.
- Trellis for any climbing plants.
All of your hot weather plants are about to take off. Tomatoes, beans, watermelon, peppers, and more are about to grow faster than you can keep up with them. I have hops that are growing 6-12 inches per day per vine.
What’s Ready to Harvest
If you have any leafy greens left, those can still be harvested. Some of the less heat tolerant ones are probably done like romaine and iceberg. The more heat resistant ones have a little while longer depending on how much sun they get and how well you water them.
Radishes don’t have long left. If you’re still growing some, give them a little shade and make sure you water them regularly. They can wilt and die quickly in this hot sun. Fortunately, you can plant another crop later in the summer when it starts cooling down.
Peas are still in season! If you are lucky enough to have them growing in your garden, you should have a constant supply of fresh peas. Beans are also about to become in season. They’re a little later than peas.
Your broccoli should be about ready if not already.
If I missed any, comment on this garden update with the fruits and veggies ready to harvest in your garden!
Tomatoes and Peppers
It is finally tomato and pepper season! This is my favorite harvesting season and it is a long one. Tomato and pepper plants will produce fruit all season long now until it gets pretty cold. I had a friend keep her pepper plant alive until December last year!
I already have several bell peppers forming, a couple jalapenos, and quite a few cherry tomatoes.
Fortunately, tomatoes and peppers will let you know when they’re ready. I doubt I need to go into how to tell if a tomato or pepper is ready. They’re ready when they reach the size they are supposed to, and both start to turn red when they’re really done. Tomatoes will redden a little even after you pick them off the plant.
It is almost carrot harvest time for me! If you planted your carrots when you were supposed to, yours might be done by now. My first batch was a little late. My second batch was very late.
Once they are ready to be harvested, I should have a couple hundred of them. You can tell they’re ready for harvest because the top of the orange part of the carrot sticks above the dirt and is about an inch in diameter (in this variety anyway).
In the right conditions, carrots should be ready for harvest in 70-80 days. I planted this batch on March 14. That means we’re right where we’re supposed to be. 70 days was May 23.
My potatoes aren’t quite ready. Potatoes are ready to be harvested shortly after the plant above them dies off. That’s when you dig in and find a good-sized potato. You want to make sure the potatoes have a rough exterior. If they’re squishy, they’re not done. If they’re starting to rot, they’re too far gone. I always try to dig up a test one before digging up the whole crop.
Sweet potatoes are different. They’re not even potatoes in the same family. I covered sweet potatoes last time. They won’t be done until late summer. They’re a warm weather plant unlike the cool weather potatoes.
I have a bunch of summer flowers in my garden like balsam peppermint sticks and sunflowers. They’re all beginning to blossom and open up!
This week I started my first batch of pumpkin seeds. I’ve had several already sprout, and they’ll be ready to plant in about a week. They’re going to go where the broccoli currently is. The thing that hurt my pumpkins last year was pests. Fortunately, I’m trellising this year and also on the lookout for the same pests. If I catch them early, I can get rid of them.
What I Learned this Week’s Garden Update
- My broccoli is not a success. They were planted too close together, got a bug infestation early, and did not handle the early heat wave well. They’ve all bolted or are well on their way to bolting now. I’m just going to remove them all and plant something else in their spot.
- Squirrels dig in your garden for food and for water. If you’re having squirrel problems, make sure they’re not dying of thirst. You really can’t blame a squirrel for trying to survive. I’ve taken to feeding and watering them a ways away from my garden in the hopes we can live in harmony.
- My piccolino basil is flowering and the flowers are too small to remove. Guess it will just flower.
Thanks for following my garden update! See you next time.