Jun 01

Early June Garden Report 2017

As the summer months come upon us I take stock of what’s in the garden. The last couple weeks in May were quite rainy, but temperatures have been mild.

Due to my spring traveling I did not attend to turning under the cover crop of winter rye before I went to China. When I returned things were a bit unruly! I did manage to cut back the thick growth and begin tilling in preparation for the planting season.

Here is the list;
Asparagus – is doing well in its fifth year and continues to fill out the plot. I’ve had several servings of fresh asparagus already.

Basil – the pungent herb is so lovely when picked fresh and used in a variety of ways, from salad dressing to egg dishes. When I have an overabundance of the green stuff I make pesto to keep in the freezer.

Beans – green beans are a favorite of mine and I see the first planting sprouting up. I plan to do several more sowings. Green beans a good for storage in the freezer as well.

Blueberries – as I mentioned last year I added a second blueberry bush and transplanted both to a new spot along the back fence. I expect a good crop this year.

Brussels Sprouts – another favorite, four plants will yield a substantial harvest by season’s end. Unlike most vegetable Brussels sprouts do not need to be blanched before freezing.

Cucumbers – I really like fresh cucumbers in salad or just tossed with some fresh tomatoes and piquant dressing.

Eggplant – was a big failure last year, but I’m hoping for better returns this summer.

Leeks – are one of my favorite long season crops. One packet of approximately 100 seeds should make for a good harvest. I will turn most of them into potato and leek soup.

Melons – I planted a packet of cantaloupe seeds, but I only see a couple of their sprouts. Additionally, I planted 4 plants of cantaloupe and 4 water melons that I purchased at the local market. Last years’ melons were absolutely delicious!

Heckman Orchards is the local farm where I buy some plants at the beginning of the growing season. The growing season is short enough here, and some crops like melons, peppers and tomatoes take too long to start from seed.

Okra – last year the okra was a fail and the year before I found that the rabbits had eaten all of the okra. If I get a yield this season I will make a batch of gumbo.

Peas – I did manage to plant some early crop snow peas before my travels last month. They are sprouting and I’ve added some sugar snap peas that have now popped up.

Peppers – green bell peppers, or red bell can be roasted, and served with other roast vegetables. Another favorite way to prepare peppers is to stuff with rice and meat and cheese. Eaten raw they are a good source of vitamin C, and the spicy hot chilies add heat to so many recipes.

Basil, Brussels sprouts and Peppers await planting in the garden.

Scallions – are slow to sprout but the bunching variety I plant provide an abundance of fresh onion flavor in eggs and salads throughout the summer season.

Spinach – this tasty green leafy vegetable is great as a salad green or wilted with onions and bacon for a compliment to dinner. I also like spinach in eggs with ham and cheese. Spinach prefers cooler temperatures for growing, so it’s good to plant later in summer for an autumn harvest.

Squash – zucchini, yellow squash (sometimes called crook-neck), and spaghetti squash make for a good balance of soft summer squash and winter squash for storage in the cellar.

Swiss Chard – another leafy green. My favorite way to prepare it is wilted with shallots and lemon juice.

Tomatoes – small cherry tomatoes are great in salad and the big beefsteak variety are so good when sliced and eaten raw or with some cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil. Cut into wedges they also make delicious accompaniment to any summer meal.


Here’s to a bountiful harvest!

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    • June on June 10, 2017 at 3:47 am
    • Reply

    I like this article because it revealed the image of rural life. I have a yearning for a better life. Hard work is the cost but, a good harvest is the benefit! Happiness mingled with reality.

    1. You are correct about the hard work, June. I enjoy the work Especially in springtime after I have been mostly dormant for several months. It is a wake up call that gardening season is on. Now that the difficult labor is done and all my crops are planted in the ground, I just need to keep the weeds in check and water daily.

    • Judy on June 15, 2017 at 7:25 am
    • Reply

    When I read this article and see the photos of your garden I cannot help but to remember my beautiful hometown. In my heart, green plants everywhere, the singing of the birds and my light-hearted childhood. Thanks for sharing, your beautiful garden. It always brings me joy. I believe, no pains, no gains, you must have a bountiful harvest in Autumn!

    1. Thanks for your wishes of good harvest. If the weather cooperates I should have my usual over-abundance of most veggies.

    • May on June 19, 2017 at 9:46 pm
    • Reply

    If I didn’t miscount your list contains 17 items. Wow, awesome, isn’t?
    Now, an image of harvest comes into mind. I really hope that in Autumn you can post an article of harvest in accordance with this list.
    Your blog always reveals that life is beautiful and colorful, giving a positive symbol and giving the feeling of hope.

    1. You didn’t “miscount” but we should consider there are actually 3 different types of peppers, two types of tomatoes, 2 lettuce varieties, 2 melons, 4 squash….ummm, I think that’s everything. It means there are actually more than 17!
      I will surely post an article at end of summer with plenty of pictures.

      Thanks for your comment, May.

    • David on June 20, 2017 at 11:27 pm
    • Reply

    Your beautiful garden is always my favorite. Each time I read your blog about describing your garden, I always enjoy it very much. From the hard work of preparation, to sowing, germination, growth, flowering and fruiting, and then how to make the harvest fruit into a delicious meal. All of the information is so amazing. Thank you Kevin for your sharing .
    At the same time, thank you very much once again for your giving me guidance on cultivation and planting my own garden.

    1. I’m pleased that you benefit not only from the ESL aspects of the blog, but also the practical knowledge shared within the articles and links.

    • Morning on June 28, 2017 at 4:23 am
    • Reply

    I like this article very much.
    There are many proper word expressions about the step of growth and cooking method.
    Maybe we can do it correctly, but pronouncing them properly in English is another thing!
    No pains,no gains.
    I know you started to have green beans harvest.
    Congratulations! Hope all the stuff can bring bountiful returns.

    1. Happy to know you enjoyed this garden article!
      It is a lot of work preparing the garden for planting each spring, but the return on that investment of time is worth it to me.
      One correction – I have not harvested any beans yet. One of the first crops was peas and they are so delicious when eaten just after picking!

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