Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Gardens

Where did June go? We are already half-way through the month and it feels like April. Within the space of a few days I heard someone's air conditioning running, we lost power to a weird tornado-like storm, and then we almost needed to turn on the heat in the house. Tomorrow the temperature will reach 80 F. This variability is strange even for New England. Unpredictable weather is the new normal.

Despite the rain and wind and cool temperatures the perennials and herbs are lush, the lawn is green, and the peach trees are loaded with small fruits. The coral bells, loved by hummingbirds, are especially beautiful.




The vegetables, however, are struggling a little more. Yet we are harvesting and enjoying arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and cilantro. The sugar snap peas are beginning to flower, the red radishes are nearly ready to pluck. We've caged the expanding tomato plants and planted another crop of green beans. The garden is green and growing, just slowly. One benefit is that the weeds are slow too.


This year we enclosed the garden using chicken fence tacked to 4-foot posts of oak and maple saplings that we thinned from our woods. You may know that hardwood stumps sprout when you cut them. If you stick the logs into the ground they also sprout.



The vegetable garden has two gates, made from more cut saplings and bittersweet vines. The fence and the gates are meant to keep out deer and Kodi, but still allow turtles and other small creatures through. It would be helpful to have a chipmunk-proof fence, but that's impossible.


The backyard houses three raised beds. Usually the backyard is several degrees cooler as it drops off to a wetland and is more shaded. This year those beds are thriving, full of rhubarb, yellow storage onions, and a mix of summer squash, cucumbers, cabbage, and peppers. The wildflower meadow flourishes too, although it is noticeably void of butterflies, bees, and other insects. I think the spring weather has been hard on the pollinators.



Sun today and tomorrow will feel so good for humans and insects and plants.

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