(the first poppy blooms)
(tomatoes, pruned and staked)
(lettuce, kale, peas, carrots)
(cucumbers and onions)
(pumpkins and zucchini in front, potatoes in back)
In the garden..... I decided to stake the tomatoes. I always put an ice cream bucket around them when I first set them out to protect them from our strong prairie winds, but there comes a point when they must stand on their own. I stake them so they don't fall over as they grow heavy with tomatoes, and I regularly prune the leaves so most of the energy of the plant goes into producing tomatoes and not leaves. I tried this process last year and it worked very well, plus it conserves space in my raised bed gardens. I planted some carrot seed and lettuce seed around the tomato plants for the first time so we'll see how that works out.
It seems that most of my garden things are a little slow, but it's probably because we've had such cool weather. The peppers really want HOT days and I think the tomatoes do too. The potatoes are really looking good and need another layer of straw mulch. I did a version of the "no dig method," but I did dig in a little bit. NumberOneSon tilled my spot and I pressed the spuds into the soil about 3" before covering them up with a thick layer of straw. The idea is to get more potatoes growing up in the straw and not have to dig them too much. The pumpkins and squash are looking healthy and the herbs are doing well. I planted lots of parsley, basil, cilantro, and thyme by seed, and I'm excited to use them all fresh. I planted sage and rosemary transplants out in the beds too. The dill volunteers all over the garden beds, even in the flowers beds. Did you see Susan Branch's Basil Lemonade recipe? Oh boy, that one is on my summer drink list! And I love fresh basil and garlic with tomatoes over pasta. I can't wait for homegrown tomatoes, but for now, I'll be satisfied with the small sprouts and remain hopeful for a bountiful garden by summer's end.
Happy Birthday to CarpenterSon today! He's 26 years old!
Happy Summer Solstice to you tomorrow!