July is coming to an end, which brings us further into the gardening season. This year has been quite different from previous years. Though the gardening season was a bit late due to cool weather, now we have the opposite problem. Most of July was unseasonably warm and dry, which really stunted the growth of a lot of things. It also meant a lot more watering to keep the garden going in the initial crucial growth period. This garden update July 2019 covers what has been happening in the garden over the last month.
Garden update July 2019
What’s growing well
Of all the things in the garden, the beans are doing the best. The plants are still on the small size, but with the dry weather, we have been having it’s no surprise. A couple of good rains at the end of the month led to a growth spurt, so I think they will be fine. Usually around this time is when they start to grow like crazy and put out flowers, so I feel like in the next couple of weeks we will see that, but who knows.
The herbs are another thing that has been doing really well. The chives, parsley, and basil have been growing like weeds and it has been great to grab some fresh herbs for dinner now and then.
No surprise that the radishes are doing well. I don’t think we have ever had a bad radish year.
Then there is the horseradish. The plants are huge this year, which is good. However, I can’t say for certain whether the roots will be big enough this year to harvest or not. Either way, these are probably the strongest plants in the garden.
What’s doing okay
The carrots are doing alright. Well, at least one of the beds is. The other bed has been invaded by horseradish. I’ve been doing my best to pull the horseradish every time it appears above the ground but I can tell it’s inhibiting the carrots from growing as well as the other bed. The cabbage is doing well enough. Some leaves have some bug damage but I can see they are already starting to form heads. If I can keep the bugs to a minimum we may have a good-sized harvest.
I can’t say for sure, because it’s a root crop, but I would say our celeriac root seems to be doing well. The plants have grown significantly since planting. However, because it’s a root crop, what’s shown above the ground doesn’t always equal what’s underneath. So this one I can’t say for sure if it’s growing well or not.
The cauliflower plants have grown quite a bit. However, I see no signs of heads yet. I don’t know if it’s because of the warm weather or they just aren’t ready yet. But I am still hopeful that they will produce something at some point.
What is struggling
Thanks to unseasonably warm and dry weather over the last month, the garden hasn’t been performing as well as in previous years. After all, I focus a lot of cool weather crops. Which means these warmer days aren’t ideal. This means that the bok choy has already bolted even though the planted never got teller than a couple of inches. It’s a shame that didn’t even come close to reaching their potential. However, I’m hoping to get a second planting in if the weather returns to our normal cool summer soon. The onions are also pretty hit and miss this year. They started out looking good, nice healthy plants. Now, they suddenly are drooping and drying. I’m hoping they will recover at some point.
The herbs I planted from seed haven’t been doing all that well either. Only a few seeds sprouted and the seedlings are still quite small. The same goes for the lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard. Very few seeds sprouted and they have struggled in the heat. I think the makeshift shade cloth I put over their bed has prevented them from bolting, so I’m hoping with time they will keep growing and eventually be harvestable.
What have we harvested
This early in the gardening season there isn’t much to harvest. However, there have been a few things along the way. The herbs have been the most harvested thing so far. Our two chives plants, while not as prolific as previous years, have been growing like crazy. One I completely cut back a couple of weeks ago and now you would never know it. Our parsley has been producing like crazy and I already have been drying some of it for future use. Same with the basil. In fact, I am working on propagating the basil to grow a second plant that will grow in our kitchen over the winter.
On top of this, the radishes have been harvested over the last few days. Thanks to their quick growth, they were the first thing, beyond the herbs, to be harvested. I will be planting another row soon. The broccoli had been doing fairly well, even with the heat, but as it was showing signs of bolting I decided to harvest them. The heads were small but it was enough for dinner.
Finally, we have harvested the strawberries. There weren’t are many as in previous years but their flavor was still phenomenal. I think the warm weather got to them too, but hey, at least we got a handful.
Front flower garden
As far as the flower garden goes, there isn’t much to report here. The plants have grown quite a bit over the last month. It even got a bit trampled when an overly enthusiastic dog ran through it. However, the plants recovered quickly enough and now are growing happily. The chocolate mint plant has nearly tripled in size and I absolutely love smelling it every time I go outside. I might have to harvest some of it soon and dry the leaves for future use.