Mid-Season Garden Report Card
by Sandy Swegel
Here’s the report card for my garden. June had record high temperatures and little rainfall. Lots of extra watering helped, but plants don’t grow as well without natural rainfall.
Lettuces and Spinach. The heat made them bolt early and they are all bitter or simply scorched and gone to seed. Time to pull them out and replant.
Chards and Kales. The chards started to bolt but some judicious removal of seed stalks and they are still growing and yummy. The kales look great. I didn’t know they were so tough under stressful situations.
Peas. Pod peas were done early…they went to seed almost instantly. Sugar peas actually were not too bad. Not as tender as usual, but salvageable….although the season was very short. Like other crops in this heat wave, things just grew really fast and went to seed.
Cilantro. Long since gone to seed.
Dill and Leeks. Leeks have gone to seed but they are beautiful. Dill has started to seed but still usable.
Beans. My beans are OK, but neighbors have had failures from pests. There’s still time to replant and have beans this year.
Peppers. The superheroes in our heat. Lots of irrigation combined with heat have made them flourish. Tomatillos too.
Tomatoes. The verdict is still out. They are growing and strong. Not as many diseases as I feared in a stressful year. But not so many tomatoes either. They quit flowering in extreme conditions. The plants themselves are shorter than other years at this time, but I’m hoping a week of cooler temperatures will inspire them to start cranking out tomatoes.
Broccoli. Little heads early this year, but they are still producing side shoots.
Bugs. Our warm winter enabled too many pests to survive the winter, so there is an abundance of flea beetles and slugs. The greens are ugly and holey….but perfectly good to eat. Aphids and ladybugs balanced out. There appear to be lots of young grasshoppers but I’m pretending not to think about them.
So how is your garden faring? Just like in school, mid-term grades are just an indicator of how things are going…not the final grade. So get out there and yank out the struggling plants and reseed and replant in their places. There’s still plenty of time for producing lots of food