Sunday, August 2, 2015

Garden Share Collective - August 2015

Beds 1 to 3

We are in the depths of summer. July has seen a transition from spring crops to the summer crops. The fall crops have just been seeded as you can see in Bed 1 where the carrots are about 2" tall. In Beds 2 and 3 I have my two sisters beds and the squash is really trying to take over the world. It is hard to walk down my narrow and now almost nonexistent paths. Every day I have to go down them and tuck the squash back in their beds under the corn. The corn has just started to produce, and the butternuts, but not the Upper Ground Sweet Potato squash or the Thai Rai Kaw Tok, have set their first fruits. I do see little female buds on the UGSPS so those ought to set soon. And they had better give me a lot of fruit as that plant is a real pain in my behind. The leaves are shading the corn way too much and they can climb up the stalks with ease. Keeping it under control is impossible. The other two are pretty vigorous vines, but as not bad.

Beds 3 to 8

The rest of the garden is growing well, but it is the typical fight with the aphids on the brassicas. If I spray them with soap every week they stay under control, but you have to coat every single surface for that to work. And there are a lot of leaves on the broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The wilt has started in cucumbers, but hopefully it won't be too fast of a spread. There aren't a lot of cucumber beetles this year so I might get lucky. Powdery mildew has been spotted in the neighborhood, so it is only a matter of time before it hits the garden. And the flea beetles are keeping my turnips from growing well. I'm going to try again where the onions were. I'm thinking I might have to buy some yellow sticky traps, which I've never used before.

Circle Garden

The hot part of the garden is the circle garden. I plant my melons and sweet potatoes there. They seem to be doing well. I was worried about the melons as the slugs took a lot of them down early on and I had to resow in mid June. They have recovered from the late start. I see multiple little melons on the ones that didn't get eaten. Hopefully the others will start to set soon. I'm hoping for melons and corn when my mother and MIL visit on August 24th. So far it is looking good.

Behind the circle garden is my compost area. I've got the earlier of my storage onions and shallots curing there under the tarp. They will be done soon and more room will be available for the later storage onions.

July Completed

  • Watered the garden three times
  • July 4th planted lettuce
  • July 7th pruned gooseberries
  • July 8th planted fresh eating carrots 8E, planted turnips 4W, pruned raspberries
  • July 10th planted storage carrots 1E
  • July 11th pruned currants
  • July 13th sprayed Brussels sprouts
  • July 14th planted fall brassicas and turnips 4E
  • July 26th reseeded bare spots in carrot bed, sowed lettuce outside in nursery bed
  • July 27th sprayed broccoli
  • July 29th sprayed Brussels sprouts
  • Almost everyday - keep the squash, melons, and sweet potatoes in their beds
  • Often enough - weed


I harvested the following in July: sweet onions, bunching onions, garlic, beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, celery, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, turnips, zucchini. Of note were the carrots, of which I harvested about 20 pounds. They have taken over one vegetable drawer in my fridge and will keep me in carrots until the fall carrots start to produce. Also the yearly garlic harvest was picked at the beginning of July and cured and is now stored in the basement. It is a long storage variety (German Extra Hardy) and will stay good and last until next year's harvest is ready.

Herbs that were picked in July: basil, chives, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, majoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, and sage. Some of these were larger harvests to dry for the winter.

All in all the harvests went from greens in early July to the cucurbits at the end of July. The lettuce has petered out and is mostly bolting, though I keep planting more. I'm on my last cabbage and will really miss it when it is gone. I eat cucumbers and zucchini every day. The cucumbers are almost always made into a cucumber salad which I love. I've used some to try to ferment pickles, but so far no luck. As long as I get an excess of cucumbers I'll keep trying, but the daily eating comes first.


Some varied preserving was done in July. I froze more kale when the plants were ripped up. I also made some gooseberry jam and some plum sauce. The jam was made from my gooseberries, but though I have two plum trees in the yard, neither of them are old enough to produce anything. So I buy them from the farmers market to make it. I cured my garlic and it is now stored in the basement. And I dried some herbs.

Tally of what is in storage from the garden:


  • Brococli - 13.5 cups
  • Chard - 14 cups
  • Mizuna - 23 cups
  • Kale - 36 cups
  • Spinach - 60 cups
  • Chinese cabbage - 4 cups
  • Turnips - 5 cups


  • Gooseberry jam 6 cups
  • Plum Sauce 6 cups


  • Garlic - 7.5 pounds

August To Do

  • Control the squash
  • Plant fall turnips
  • Keep seeding lettuce
  • Spray brassicas every week for aphids
  • Weed
  • Harvest and cure remaining onions
  • Transplant kale

This post is part of the Garden Share Collective hosted by Lizzie at Strayed From the Table.


  1. Gosh, put that way, gardening sounds like a full-time job! The Squashes sound like real tear-aways....

  2. everything looks so lush, and then I read about the beetles and aphids and wilt and - ! there is so much to keep on top of to keep a crop healthy and productive when it is in full swing.

  3. Your circle garden is always so lush and your warm weather crops grow so well there - it's got me thinking that I may want to build a bed out of something like cement block or bricks that will absorb the heat. Yet another project to add to my list.

  4. Cucumber beetle? I have never heard of such a thing. I have often had trouble with aphids in the garden, spraying them over and over again. Like you said you must get every surface for it to work and that can be rather time consuming when your plants have vigorous foliage.

  5. Your garden is a credit to you. It looks so organised! You have so much happening and I thought I was busy in my garden. I'm jealous thinking of your harvest - and preserving. Wonderful. And I love your reference to the 2 sisters garden - just missing those beans :D

  6. Your garden is looking lush and productive Daphne. With all the problems we face growing our own fruit and vegetables, I'm amazed we end up with anything at all.

  7. Your garden looks amazing! So productive and lush :) How do you manage to only water three times in a month? We have to water three times a day here in the height of summer.

    1. I water the plants every 5 days during average temperatures (which in July is supposed to be 82F (28C)). If we are in a hot spell like we are now, then it is every 4 days. But it rains here. On average we get 3-4" (7.5-10cm) a month over the summer, but the reality is that it doesn't come evenly. In July we got about 2" (5cm) of rain. We also have a lot of humidity here so the plants don't lose water as quickly as in drier places.

    2. I just checked the average temps for July this year. Our average high was 86F (30C). Our average low was 65F (18C) I didn't think our old averages really held anymore. Things have been hotter. But our highest temperature in July was 95F (35C), so we don't get broiling hot here, even in our hottest month.

  8. I love dropping by your garden each month Daphne. It is looking fabulous as always despite the battle with the bugs. Enjoy the warmth I am looking forward to the end of Winter and getting some soon.

  9. I really enjoy all of your posts and seeing your garden you are a great inspiration!

  10. I'm sorry to hear you've had such a battle with bugs. Even still, your garden looks amazing. What varieties of plums are you growing?

    1. I have a weeping santa rosa, and a two in one which is redheart and shiro.