June Garden Update


I find it very helpful to be able to refer back to the blog to compare how we're doing now with how things had been going.  So, here, for my own reference, are some garden notes.  The chickens are in the portable "tractor."  One of the hen house windows is propped open.  The Mimulus is in full bloom. The Saint Catherine's Lace is about to explode.  The Phacelia needs to be dead-headed, and is sprawling all over the place. The purple Russian Kale is still producing after being brutally cut back.  Lettuce seedlings are doing nothing.  Chard is finally starting to grow.  Strawberries are sulking.

Dyer's Weld is about eight feet tall.  I realize that I don't know how to harvest any of my dyeplants. The chickory-like greens are gigantic, and the chickens finally decided that they are delicious.  Good thing, because they're too bitter for us.  The California Poppy is sprawling across the garden.  French Tarragon is doing fine.  Perennial Arugula is booming.  Chives are lovely, but we're not eating them.  Parsley has bolted, as have beets.  We really only ate the beet greens, and I suspect the roots are going to be terribly woody.  We harvested the fava greens, and then never used them.  This happens far too often, and brings a lot of unhappiness into my life.  Why bother tending a garden, if the produce is not going to be eaten.  I suck.

The hops are doing well.  We still haven't figured out how to store them once we harvest. I never even tasted the beer made with last year's hops, because Robb declared it "too insipid."

California natives Coffeeberry and Ribes are thriving near the World's Ugliest Fence.  I need to tie up the Ribes because they tend to flop.

Our Persimmon is setting fruit.  I've been pruning it, and I think we'll have another great harvest.

The lemon tree has every pest known to mankind living on it.  Tiny white winged insects cover the blackened leaves.  I haven't found the energy to wipe off every single leaf on this tree.  I wonder how long the lemons will last this year?  Our lemon verbena is over ten feet tall.

Robb rigged up a shade cloth over our sitting area, and we're pondering a version of this that is not so obviously made of an old bedsheet, bamboo and clothespins.

Most of our fig trees are still babies, but the one our neighbors gave us has a few wee fruits.

The pluot we bought two years ago has a few fruits. I think we ate two pluots last year.

Our elderly plum promises a gigantic crop.  The ladybug larvae are doing a great job with the aphids.  My efforts at grafting onto the "volunteer" plum tree seems mostly successful.  I doubt I'll get any fruit from the grafts for a couple of years.


Your garden is looking awesome! Lucky you...our persimmon set nothing this year, nada! :(

We grew hops for years, and made beer (haven't had time to do that for a while). We're growing some again, and I hope it does something this year, as it's year two in the ground for it. We simply harvest the hops in late summer, and freeze them. They kept great in the freezer until we were ready to use them, and it stops them drying out and turning brown, and losing all their flavor.
Anonymous said…
Chickens are the best guilt relievers in the garden. Too woody, chickens get it. Too bitter, chickens. Bug ridden, three cheers for chickens. On a bug garden clean up day I leave them in their coop run and cover the bottom of their run with all the garden rejects. My chickens think this is a great idea!

~Traveling Garden Gnome
I have citrus trees, too, and my home remedy for all the white fly and scale we found, plus some other unyielding bug, was water, rubbing alcohol and a small amount of dish detergent, sprayed on from a spritz bottle for however long it took to get rid of the crud. You can also take cotton balls with straight alcohol and wipe them off.

You could give it a try. It saved my Myer's lemon and one of the limes.
Nancy Lewis said…
Oh, you sing those those Woody Beet Blues..which--yes ma'am--shall pass!
knitica said…
I agree with Curbstone Valley Farms. Dry your hops for about a week in a brown paper bag somewhere dark and dry and then freeze them in ziplock bags. I freeze in 1oz portions so that they're easy to measure out for a recipe. In fact, I still have some from last year that I need to use before this year's harvest!
Anonymous said…
Eric dries, and then freezes his hops. or he takes a couple handfuls of the whole fresh hops, throws them in a french press and pours beer over it. He will let it steep until it has become tongue-blisteringly bitter and drink. Repeat with same hops until all the flavor is gone or there is no longer beer in the house.
Karen Anne said…
Try turning the hose on the lemon tree periodically, with a fairly string spray. It's not going to clean the leaves, but it may discourage the pests enough to keep them down.

I had a lemon tree in Palo Alto, and it was fine with no care. I suspect you might be missing some critter in your garden that eats the pests.

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