Iiiiiit's Summer! Austin is warming up, school is out (Hurrah or Aaah? I can't decide) and pool season is here. Or is it? As a surprise to us all it's been an unusually cool spring, and can you believe this rain? Well we haven't been out hand watering that's for sure. Take advantage of the momentary delay of the blistering heat, it's a great time to get out into your garden and plant in something new.
So my friends, June is a "hot season" month. Though it has been cooler than normal (thank you!) don't be tempted to sneak in some earlier season veggies such as tomatoes. They may seem happy now, but it's unlikely they would mature enough to fruit before the heat really does them a number. It's always best to wait until late July or August to consider a fall planting of those guys, and stick to the "hot season" rock-stars for the next few months.
Remember to notice that for the latter half of June the list shortens a bit. There are a few weeks of the hot season where few but the very toughest seedlings will thrive. (Given the irrigation they need of course!)
1st -15th Black Eye Peas, Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Eggplant, Honey Dew Melon, Malabar Spinach, New Zealand Spinach, Okra, Peppers, Pumpkin, Southern Peas, Watermelon, Winter Squash
15th - 31st Black Eye Peas, Cantaloupe, Eggplant, Okra, Pumpkin, Southern Peas, Watermelon, Winter Squash
1st - 15th Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Malabar Spinach, New Zealand Spinach, Okra, Peppers, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Slips, Watermelon, Winter Squash
15th - 31st Okra, Peppers , Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Slips, Watermelon, Winter Squash
Basil, Bay Laurel, Catnip, Cumin, Lamb's Ear, Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
Zinnias, petunias, marigolds, sunflowers, vinca cora, gomphrena, gaillardia...
This is when the really rewarding and downright fun part of gardening revs up. Harvesting home grown produce from your kitchen garden! As June rolls in we're picking from our gardens daily. If you're only seeing starts here and there then watch out, it will sneak up on you. My kids found our first cucumber and it was a monster. Start harvesting regularly to encourage your plants to produce continuously, remain healthy, and to bring in the most tender young fruits and veggies you can. Right now on our tables we're seeing...
Cucumbers, summer squash/zucchini, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, (a few lucky folks have peppers), lots of beans, and arm loads of wonderful swiss chard. Yum!
We've polished off our first batch of garden fresh pickled cukes, and we're loving it. What are your favorite ways to use your garden veggies?
Watering deeply is just as important as watering regularly.
Fertilize! Many gardeners neglect this step (ahem...I'm reformed now, ok?) but kitchen crops are heavy feeders. MicroLife is an excellent organic choice. Feed those tomatoes!
Walk through your garden first thing in the morning to hunt out any pests, pruning needs or adjustments to watering. Irrigation timers make gardening fun all summer!
Harvest any and all veggies you can find! Crops are best enjoyed when picked in the early morning, before a plant is stressed from the heat. Get them before the birds do, and remember that most tomatoes can ripen on the counter even if mostly green.
Take a stroll though the garden, see where you have some space, or where the soil could use some cover, and add in a few more plants to your beds.
We coach and practice our selves what is called intensive planting, which promotes healthier soils and heavier yields when well fertilized and cared for. If you would enjoy more in-depth coaching about intensive planting and Texas seasons, follow the link below and we'll have you growing in no time.
Keep checking back, we have new veggie spotlights in the line-ups, and more tips for tending your gorgeous summer gardens.
Happy Summer, and keep singing in the rain!
Gardening is a craft, it takes practice and knowledge...but it can be hard to get started! We adore our mission of bringing a kitchen garden to everyone's home. We offer consultations, 1-on-1 coaching, and full turnkey garden installations, building foundations for truly wonderful garden spaces. CLICK HERE TO GROW WITH US, and we'll be happy to help you take the first step, and the next, and the next.