Garden update June 2019 – Planting time finally

Garden update June 2019 – Planting time finally

The garden season has finally arrived up here in the North! This has been a long time coming and after such a long and cold winter, I am so excited. Finally, I can get my hands in the dirt and start growing things. Of course, the weather played its tricks on us. The first half of the month was unusually cold – even for up here. And then it turned abnormally warm. On top of this, we had almost no rain this month. Needless to say, thanks to that, the garden was planted a bit late.  This garden update June 2019 covers all that I have planted this year and breaks down the cost of the garden.

Garden Update June 2019

Let’s start with my pride and joy, the backyard vegetable garden.

What I planted

I tend to grow mostly the same things every year. The reason being is that over the 12 years we have lived here, I have found what grows well and what doesn’t. I don’t like to waste an inch of my garden so I grow what does well. The exceptions being small pots of experimental plants.

Beans

These are an absolute must every year. It’s one of the main reasons the garden got a big expansion a couple of years ago. I needed more good to grow beans. The entire in-ground garden is planted with beans. I grow 7 varieties of beans. Yellow wax beans, Stringless green pod beans, Greencrop beans, Contender Green, Tenderpod Green, Tendergreen beans, and Velour Dwarf French beans. When planting, I mix the seeds together so every row has a bit of each variety. This makes them fun to pick and mixes up the colors a bit.

Cabbage

This is one of those hit or miss crops. I’ve had more misses than hits, but we enjoy eating cabbage so we figured we’d give it another shot. There were some healthy seedlings in town, so hopefully, that will make the difference. We got the Red and Early Green varieties.

Broccoli & Cauliflower

These are two things I have grown previously but not every year. Broccoli had done pretty well before. However, I have yet to get cauliflower to actually produce a head. Perhaps this will be the year. Due to the late planting, I went with seedlings this year. However, I have had great success when starting them from seed. We planted 8 seedlings each. The variety of broccoli we planted is Castle Dome. I’m not sure what type of cauliflower we ended up with.

Brussel Sprouts

This was last years experiment plant. Considering we bought 4 half-dead seedlings then, we didn’t expect much. However, not only did the survive but they produced one dinner worth of sprouts. Not bad for investing $0.10 in the plants. So, this year we decided to grow them again, but this time with healthy seedlings to start. We ended up planting 8 seedlings in the raised beds and look forward to seeing how they do compared to last year. This year we are growing the Jade Cross variety.

A raised bed with cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and chives.

Pak Choy

About 3 years ago I grew Pak Choy for the first time. It did so well! Yet the irony of it is that we never got a chance to harvest it. It was almost ready, then we went on vacation for a week and came back to find it had bolted – gone to seed. So while the plant itself was a write-off, we were able to collect tons of seeds. I figured it was time to grow it again, so I tossed a generous handful of seeds into one of the raised beds.

Lettuce, Spinach & Swiss Chard

Though I’m not a huge fan of salads, I do enjoy growing these. Garden grown lettuce is packed full of flavor and it does mean I do eat a few salads over the course of the summer. Generally speaking though, I put most of it on sandwiches. Though I normally don’t grow swiss chard, I had a few seeds leftover from other years. So, I figured it could hurt to toss them in and see what happens. The two varieties of lettuce I planted are Early Curled Simpson and Grand Rapids. Spinach is King of Denmark andDouble Choice Hybrid, and the Swiss Chard type is Discovery.

Carrots

Much like beans, carrots are an absolute much in the garden each year. The flavor of homegrown carrots is vastly superior to what you buy at the grocery store. Two raised beds always get planted full of carrots. They do pretty well up here considering our short and cool growing season. We tend to average about 25 pounds of carrots a year, which is pretty good. This year I planted Scalet Nantes, which seem to do the best up here of the varieties I have tried over the years.

Onions

I have never been a fan of onions, so it may sound weird that I grow them. However, garden grown onions I don’t mine. They have a mild flavor and less burn than store-bought onions. If it’s a good year, I can grow a year’s worth of onions in just two raised beds. This year I had enough onion sets for one and a half beds. Our go-to variety is yellow onions, which is what we are growing this year.

Radishes

By far the easiest thing to grow. Drop some seeds and a couple of weeks later they are ready to harvest. My husband is the only one in the family who eats radishes, so we only grow one row worth in the raised bed. However, because they grow so quickly, we can usually get 2-3 planting over the summer. We grow Cherry Belle radishes.

Herbs

Growing herbs is a more recent addition to the garden. I always used to think I didn’t have room for them, but now I shove them in any space I can. This year we planted Oregano, Dill, Italian and Moss Curled Parsley, Basil. These herbs are divided between pots and raised beds.

Garden update June 2019: Herbs growing in pots.

Marigolds

The only non-edible that grows in the vegetable garden. Though there are edible varieties out there. Marigolds are great at keeping non-beneficial insects out of the garden while attracting the pollinators. I grow these around the edge of the in-ground garden and put a few throughout the raised beds as well.

Recurring plants

We have a few perennials in the garden, which help to reduce the amount of planting that needs to get done.

Chives

These were here when we moved in, are by far the more prolific of all. I have lost track of how many times I have split them and they still grow huge each year. Some years they get almost 4 feet tall. It’s crazy! We have two large garlic chive plants.

Peppermint

Another plant that was here when we moved in. This used to grow throughout our backyard. It took us years to stop it from growing everywhere. Now we have it contained to a pot and it does pretty well.

Strawberries

These were already growing when we moved in. They are not your typical big strawberries found in the grocery stores. The berries are very small but have a ton of flavor to them. They have already begun to flower, so we should be able to start harvesting them in a few weeks.

Garden update June 2019: Strawberries, starting to flower

Horseradish

This was added a couple of years ago. A friend of my husbands grows it on his farm, and he was nice enough to give me a small piece of root. The plant grows big and lush. However, I have yet to actually harvest any of it. Hopefully, this will be the year it happens.

What I didn’t plant

Between trying to use up what seeds I had and such a late start to the season, there were two things that didn’t get planted this year. One of these may be planted later if I can find the seeds.

Potatoes

I’ve been growing potatoes for a number of years now. We absolutely love the taste of homegrown potatoes. Our two favorite varieties are Yukon Gold and Russet. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any seed potatoes in town. I don’t know if the stores didn’t get any in or they sold quicker than normal this year. However, in the end, it means no potatoes for us. The beds that were supposed to be planted with potatoes were planted with other things.

Peas

Every year I grow two varieties of peas. Shelling peas and snap peas. The shelling peas go into the in-ground garden and the snap peas grow up the garden fence. I could have sworn that I had some pea seeds left over, but when it came time to plant there were none. The stores were also sold out of most seeds. I may be able to pick some up if we go to the city in the next few weeks. Since peas grow fairly quickly, planting them a few weeks late should be fine.

2019 garden experiment

Almost every year, I like to experiment with a new vegetable or herb in the garden. Some years are a success, like last year with the Brussel Sprouts. Other years are a failure – we will never grow parsnips again, so gross! Because I am in a cooler climate, it means I am somewhat restricted on what I can grow. However, that doesn’t stop me from trying new things. Occasionally, I will find a plant that shouldn’t really do well up here and yet it excels. Thus my yearly experiment.

This year is no different. Initially, I wasn’t sure what new plant I would try. However, the other day my husband and I went plant shopping and an experiment plant kind of fell into our laps. Hubby found some celery and wanted to give it a try. I had previously grown celery indoor with minor success, so figured I’d give it a shot outside this year. Well, once I got to planting, I realized it wasn’t actually celery but celeriac root. They are from the same plant family but are different. So, now we have 4 celeriac root plants in pots and I am excited to see how they do.

Garden update June 2019: Our experimental plant - Celeriac root.

Vegetable garden cost

Initially, I didn’t plan to buy any seedlings this year. However, plans change and a few of these slipped in. I blame the late planting. There was also some compost, peat moss, and soil that we had to get to amend the raised beds.

  • Seedlings (32): $12.50
  • Herbs (3): $7.02
  • Onion Sets: $2.79
  • Compost & Soil: $51.17
  • Total cost for June: $73.48

As you can see, most of the cost went into amending the soil. We were lucky to find most of the seedlings on sale, so it made buying them more worthwhile.

Garden update June 2019: The overall garden. Not much to see yet as most had just been seeded.

Front flower garden

While I love my vegetable garden, the one area I’m not into when it comes to gardening is flower gardens. I know they have their benefits, especially when it comes to bringing in pollinators, but honestly, they aren’t my thing. I don’t care to grow things that I can’t eat. So needless to say, the front flower garden has always been fairly neglected. Oh, I plant it every year. But I certainly don’t give it the time or attention that the backyard garden gets. This year, I decided to put a bit more effort into it. After all, we are hoping to move this year, so having a pretty flower garden at the front is kind of a must.

Garden update June 2019: The front garden planted with various flowers and decorative rocks.

What I planted

I know next to nothing about flowers, so finding the right things to plant can be difficult. However, spending a bit of time in the greenhouses looking at plants allowed us to find what we needed. In the end, we picked three different flowers to grow.

Snapdragons

I’ve grown snapdragons in the past and enjoy these flowers quite a bit. A total of 8 snapdragon plants went into the garden. The variety we got was Snapshot Burgandy Bicolor and they have these neat white and burgundy striped flowers.

Cosmos

I know nothing about this flower except that it likes the amount of sunlight that the front garden gets. We got he Sonata White variety. We’ll see how it looks as it grows.

Ageratum

Another flower that I know nothing about. I only got this one because it had purple flowers and I love purple. The variety we bought is called Blue Hawaii.

Chocolate mint

For years I have wanted to grow chocolate mint. I have previously grown regular peppermint, but it was time to play around with something different. Luck was on my side when I spotted a lone chocolate mint plant at the grocery store. It smells divine and I can’t wait to see how it grows.

The rest of the space was filled in with a variety of rocks, a small driftwood log, and a few decorations that we already had on hand. This helped to add some height and color throughout without investing a lot of money into the project.

Flower garden cost

Flower seedlings are expensive! It’s no wonder I have ignored this garden most years.

  • Flower seedlings: $22.86
  • Chocolate mint plant: $2.69
  • Total cost: $25.55

Not too bad cost wise, however, we didn’t go crazy with plants for this garden. Just enough to say that it’s planted.

How is your garden going? Plant anything special this year?

18 Comments

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thank you! Pak choy is also known as bok choy – a Chinese cabbage.

  1. Avatar

    Wow! Looks like you have lots of goodies growing in your garden this year. I also have wild strawberries growing around my home, but the wild rabbits get to them before I can.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Yes, there are quite a few things this year. Can’t wait to see how everything grows. Oh man, that’s a bummer about the rabbits getting your wild strawberries. I’m lucky that our fence keeps the rabbits out.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I wish I could have planted even more, but perhaps another year I will. It’s a fun plant to grow.

  2. Avatar

    Peppermint always grows like weeds for us. I swear you cannot kill it if you tried. Basil, on the other hand, is something that we manage to kill every single year. Not sure what our problem is. It’s funny that you planted Brussel sprouts since my hubs and I were just talking about these. He can’t stand them, but I want to try to make them. Maybe he has grown out of that phase. lol. Loving your garden!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Peppermint is pretty darn hard to kill, which is why it took us so long to get it out of our backyard. Now that it’s contained in a pot it grows but certainly not as well as when it had the run of the place. From my experience, basil is one of the more finicky herbs and mine usually struggles all season long whereas all my other herbs grow like crazy. Garden grown Brussel sprouts will taste so much different than the ones you get in the store, so it would be worth growing them and seeing if he likes them. Thank you, it’s my happy place in the summer.

  3. Avatar

    Wow, you have planted so much, it must be so satisfying to see all your vegetables and plants grow! 🙂 I love that you experiment with new vegetables and herbs each year, sounds exciting! Thanks for sharing your update, I don’t know much about gardening so really interesting to read <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I try to grow a nice variety of things but honestly compared to some years this garden seems a little lacking variety wise. The experiments are fun because you never know how well something will grow or even if you will enjoy eating it.

  4. Avatar

    Truly looks amazing. I can’t wait until I have my own land — until then the balcony and community garden plot will have to suffice!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thank you! Even a small balcony garden is great. You can grow a surprising amount of stuff in very small places like that. Love community gardens. I used to have a plot as well, but after we expanded our backyard garden a coupel years I ago I gave that up.

  5. Avatar

    Quite the garden! Basil works well for me indoors, but I haven’t yet tried it outdoors. I had to look up celeriac root – had never heard of this before. Looking forward to an update!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I have yet to try to grow basil indoors. Of course, I keep saying I need to have a windowsill herb garden in the kitchen and have yet to follow through with it – one of these years. Haha, yeah I had to look up celeriac root as well once I found out it wasn’t celery we got. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I’ll definitely keep you in the loop on how it works out. You’ll have to share some of those recipes with me when I’m ready to harvest it. I know a few recipes but can’t hurt to have plenty of options.

  6. Avatar

    Wow, you have been busy! This is really inspiring and I think it would be better if we all grew more of our own food and became more self-sufficient. Thank you for sharing your tips 🙂 x

    1. Avatar
      Author

      It has been pretty busy. I agree it would be amazing if everyone had gardens and were able to grow at least some of their own food.

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