June Garden Greenery

We are back from a wonderful vacation in Ocean City, New Jersey. As much as I wanted to stay longer, gathering shells and soaking in the sun, I knew real life needed my attention back at home. Not to mention a growing garden, and a grumpy cat! So here I am, back to reality, and thankfully, back to gardening. Here is what the garden has been up to.

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The garden enclosure has been busy lately! The shelling peas are giving up their last pods…this was my first year growing peas and I loved it. I will definitely plant these every year. Shelling them is so therapeutic.

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…and right beside them are the bush beans ready to take their place once I clear out the peas. I planted plenty so we should be in great supply for summer and freezing.

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I’ve had mixed luck with my tomatoes from seed this year – some are doing great, some seem stunted. The three tomato plants in my enclosure (Cherry Lizzano, Gardener’s Delight, and Box Car Willie) are thriving, showing nice growth while I was gone. Here’s the Cherry Lizzano earlier this week – he’s even taller now, stretching out over the rungs that are above it in this picture:

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Sadly, the tomatoes I planted in pots on the deck are not thriving as they should (too much rain, maybe? It has been quite wet.) I might have to swing by the garden store and purchase some heirloom tomato plants to replace the Cherokee Purple on the deck. Ironically, The best looking tomato is this guy:

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This heirloom is a volunteer from last year, most likely a Brandywine, having dropped from the deck above. In spite of the partial shade and the less than hospitable ground, he’s doing great. Maybe I should plant all my tomatoes this way.

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Last but not least in the enclosure (I have to come up with a nickname for this structure – enclosure is so boring) are my onions. I have planted these parade onions from seed for three years now, and I just love them.

Moving over to the Grow Camp, I have cucumbers taking hold quite nicely:

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Along with lima beans that are eager to move into their neighbor swiss chard’s territory:

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The eggplant seem to have recovered from their challenges earlier in the season and are growing nicely.

The kale was the first seed to sprout and it’s flourishing as quickly as I harvest it:

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Last but not least in the Grow Camp, my bell peppers are already starting to form. Still waiting on the Jalapenos to take off.

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On the deck in pots this year: Okra. I love okra. But I swore when aphids devoured it my first year gardening that I would not bother with them again. Well, I received several as a gift and could not turn them down. I’m using all the homemade aphid remedies I can think of, and they seem to be helping this year.

 

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How has your garden grown in June? Leave a comment and let me know!

Real Easy Salsa

This is a fresh, easy salsa that requires no cooking, tomato peeling, etc.
Gotta use up the cilantro before it bolts on me!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium, ripe tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (less if you’re not a big fan)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped, seedy core removed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped, veins and seeds removed
  • Juice of 2 small limes
  • salt to taste

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. If you wish, you can pulse this a few times in the food processor, but do not over-process or it will get too watery. You may wish to taste test this first with 1/2 the jalapeno, then add more heat if needed. I did not add garlic to mine, but you can certainly add a minced clove if you wish.