A June Garden
Every month in the growing season brings its own bits of challenges and excitement. This year, so far, June is filling us with some even keel weather, minimal yucky insect activity, an amazing fruit set on our berry bushes and beautiful rich greens in the early growth.
We have however have seen some insect infestations on our artichoke plants this late spring. Aphids took over these garden favorites and then ants came on over to eat the aphid poo (I had no idea that ants enjoyed aphid poo until this year). To keep damage down to a minimum, I've been using the hose every day to spray off the ants and aphids. So far it has kept damage to a minimum, fingers crossed it continues to work.
Each year in June, volunteer plants (volunteers are plants that show up without being intentionally planted. They come from the year’s prior plants that were allowed, or accidentally allowed, to go to seed) begin to show their faces in and around the garden beds-- each one is like a little present. Sometimes I will leave them as they have come to us, but other times I need to pull them out (like a weed) because they will disrupt the growth of other plants.
June is also the time of year when we will treat our baby plants to a healthy dose of nitrogen in the form of fish emulsion. We use fish emulsion this time of year because the soil doesn’t need to be warm for the plants to have access to its nitrogen. It also helps feed the baby organisms that are needed for our soil to be alive and rich. The plants that are a bit more yellow-y will get a wee bit extra of the fish emulsion.
Something else that is going down in June is the ground cover I use (in just about all of our landscaping) is in full bloom and it magical. I use the perennial herb Caraway as a ground cover and it has become one of my favorite landscaping plants. Shes hearty, drought tolerant and has the most amazing purple carpet-look when shes all flowered up. I highly recommend these for any yard.
In our lower yard, we created a living fence last spring using eight different varieties of berries. They have taken off this year and the berry set is just incredible. We anticipate the berries to be ready in July and we also anticipate not needing to feed our kids lunches during this time as well.
A few other tips for late spring gardens:
1. Weed, weed, weed. Getting on top of weeds early in the growing season is so important. Make sure you keep up on it-- your August self will thank you.
2. Water, water, water. Baby plants need a whole lotta water to train their roots south. Roots follow water so make sure you water those babies deep.
3. Watch, watch, watch. If you can make it a daily habit to walk the garden with your morning coffee or tea-- do. Take note of the changes, the insects, the potential for disease. By doing this every day, you begin building an intimacy with your plants and soil-- it truly makes the season more intentional and successful.