Garden Update, June 2011

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As usual, the month of June in Iowa was wet. For awhile I didn’t think it was ever going to stop raining. A few bad hailstorms did some damage as my lettuce crops tore and fragile root crops were smashed to the ground.

One thing this past month did have me thinking about was how much faith our forefathers had to of had.

As I was praying one day, asking the Lord to let up on the rain I started to think about days past where peoples’ food and livelihood depended on the land.

As much as it rained here and the damage that was inflicted, in the back of my head I always know there is the farmers’ market.

I can’t even fathom to think about all of this work that I do for joy being done out of necessity.

How much faith would that take?  To be so aware of the weather, the climate and natural forces all the while understanding that your source of life is in God’s hand.

Today, for many of us, a rainy day means means being stuck inside the house.  We really do take Him for granted as we’ve made our lives easier, or, set in a way that we no longer labor with our hands by the sweat of our brow.

I’m not saying that I’m not thankful for the easier things in life, but it just had me thinking on faith and what that means.  For me, I want more of it.

With as much rain as we’ve had, I faired better this year with my raised beds.  They helped in draining excess water.  On dry days I would make sure to work the soil to prevent it from compacting.


The raised beds at my parents home are under too much shade.  Every year I try to change things up as I’ve been trying to figure out what works best under these conditions.  I’ve finally concluded that next year I am going to plant an entire bed in peas, one in fava and the other in an assortment of lettuce and greens.  Anything else takes too long to grow.  Now that my husband is putting me in 3 more beds in our own backyard, I’ll see how those do as compared to these.

We have been harvesting lettuce, green onions, and peas.  The radishes went to tops, however, we did use them to make pesto.


zekie_eating_peaPeas and Fava Beans.


Red Bull Beets and Carrots.  Now that we’ve had a drier week, they’ve grown much larger than the images below.


My beds are literally filled with worms.  Even in my composter!  It’s just a shame there’s not enough sunlight in this area as I’ve worked so hard to build the soil up.


The raised beds in my community garden have made a huge difference this year.  My crops drowned the past couple of years and after adding soil and amendments, things are turning for the better.

I still have more amending to do and plan on testing the soil here soon.


Every garden needs a gnome.  Right Stacey.

A surprise gift from sister.

Tomatillos and Peppers.




Eggplant and Zuchinni.  I’ve started spraying the eggplant with neem oil as they’ve had a hard time taking off with so many darn flea beetles.  They’re doing nicely now.


At home I’ve been pretty happy with how everything is growing.  There is enough sunlight and I love having my veggies at home.  It’s so much easier to take care of when I can go out at any time to water, feed or weed.

Tomato plants growing in the front yard.



More tomato plants, chard (with hail damage) and peppers.


Beautiful golden raspberries.  Our favorite.  The reds are turning now.


Brassicas.  We had to put up a fence as the bunnies were enjoying this section of my garden.  I’m anxious for brussels sprouts.


Blooming Perennials.


I just sowed vining beans by my front window.  I’m hoping they do well.

This weekend I’ll be sowing cucumbers, beans and fall vegetables in my backyard.  Parsnips, rutabagas, and tons of carrots, beets and turnips.

It’s been a good season so far and I’m hoping July brings us drier weather for a bountiful summer harvest.

How was your June and what are you harvesting?

14 Responses to "Garden Update, June 2011"
  1. Great garden dear, I always love your gardening posts.

  2. Angela Lux via Facebook says:

    So far herbs, radish, salad greens, asparagus, strawberries have been about it for harvesting, but my cukes, zukes, tomatoes and peppers are looking mighty fine!

  3. Looks like you got some great stuff growing. My June was definitely full of greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula). And I finally got a crop of peas and broccoli.
    Looking forward to July as it looks to be a big month of harvest. Thank goodness the rain has let up.

  4. Annapet says:

    Thanks for sharing and reminding to sow some seeds, too. My garden is delayed this year, but happy to harvest pea shoots yesterday [Simple Lives].

    Good to know your eggplants are recovering. I love neem oil ;-).

  5. Mine too, and I like the cuke/zuke reference! We had a freak terrential downpour Wednesday and it seems everything just sprang to life when that sun came back. Eggplants, Anaheims, Roma/Stripey/Brandywines are poppin out. Wooohooo! Finally. Oh and mustards are sprouting along with my beans. Yeah!

  6. Angela Lux says:

    Jayson – it sounds like we have a LOT of the same things growing in our gardens! I adore Mr. Stripey!!!

  7. IAMSNWFLAKE says:

    Your blog is one of my favorites. As a token of my appreciation, there’s a gift for you at my blog
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. IowaAnne says:

    I think God spoke to you during your prayer and the message was passed on through you to us. Don’t take anything for granted and to have faith. Thanks!

  9. It’s hard to NOT think about things like God and our dependence on nature’s fickle mercy when you begin to grow your own food and see firsthand how interrelated everything is. Somehow nature’s harshness actually strengthens my faith and sense that all is as it should be.

    But I also know I wouldn’t last a month as a real pioneer, lol!

  10. We do golden raspberries too – they are fantastic! Your garden looks great!

  11. Your garden has come so far! If you ever move to the Pacific NW you will be a pro at gardening after the weather curveballs you’ve gotten the last 2 years. I love watching you adapt and figure it out.

    It’s not a shame you have good soil in shady beds – use them to grow things that want to go to seed like parsley, cilantro, lettuce, chinese cabbage, reseeding greens, kale, alpine strawberries, spinach. Perfect – now you don’t have to worry they’ll get too much sun!
    xo, Annette

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