June: What to do in the Garden

Planning Ahead

  • Prepare beds for the garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
  • Check soil moisture. A good consistency should be like a good snowball.
  • Test your sprinklers for coverage and drip irrigation for leakage.
  • Brew compost tea and provide for your garden every 2 weeks.
  • Prepare trellises for your crops that are suitable for the way they like to grow.
  • Train your vining plants along their trellises (Grapes, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, etc).
  • Watch any weeds for flowering and setting seed. If you are trying to prevent these plants from growing in abundance in your garden, you will need to pull them before their flowers mature.
  • Mulch to prevent weeds.
  • Compost and collect organic matter for the compost pile.
  • Plant summer cover crops such as buckwheat, clover, and alfalfa. Watch for slugs and other insect pests on your plants and trees.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.
  • Ensure good airflow around your plants to prevent fungal disease.

 

In The Vegetable Garden

  • Direct sow squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins in the first half of June.
  • Transplant tomatoes, peppers, basil, melons, and eggplants into the garden in the beginning of June.
  • Use willow tea or kelp tea diluted in water 10:1 to prevent your plants from experiencing transplanting shock.
  • Soak your bean seeds in preparation for planting. Coat in legume inoculant to maximize relationships with beneficial nitrogen fixing bacteria before planting.
  • Sow corn. Pre-sprout your seeds by soaking in water before planting. If you live in a wet area, you may want to consider transplants.
  • Sow beans, carrots, beets, and parsnips in succession as needed.
  • Thin seedlings so leaves do not overlap and plants have ample space to grow.
  • Sidedress crops with compost or the appropriate fertilizer

o   Nitrogen for leafy growth (Bloodmeal)

o   Potassium for root growth (Ashes)

o   Phosphorous for flowering or fruiting (Bonemeal)

  • Start seeds of plants in the cabbage family for the winter garden
  • Continue to sow lettuce and radishes in succession as needed, every two weeks.
  • Pick edible flowers. The more you pick, they more you get.
  • Harvest lettuce often to encourage more growth. Ensure ample water for your leafys as the weather gets warm to prevent bolting.
  • Pick your peas frequently to encourage maximum production.
  • Continue to mound up your potatoes and leeks.
  • Cut flowering tops off your onions and garlic
  • Tend to your tomato plants by pruning and trellising as needed.
  • Pinch back your basil plants to encourage bushy vegetative growth.
  • Sow buckwheat or other summer cover crops.

 

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

  • Harvest Strawberries and store surplus for the winter.
  • Cut back Comfrey and other dynamic accumulators for mulch
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife
  • Mulch to maximize water holding capacity of your landscape, especially your blueberries and raspberries
  • Water deeply as needed (ample water encourages good juicy fruit production)
  • Set out any scare tactics to prevent birds from eating your berries
  • Remove water sprouts from fruit trees.
  • Inspect for insect and disease damage.
  • Thin apples, peaches, and pears in mid June to one fruit every 4 inches.
  • Remove any dead raspberry canes.

 

Perennials

  • Cut back flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Cut aerial parts of Lemon Balm and the Mints (Peppermint, Spearmint, Chocolate Mint, etc) and dry for teas in the winter. You can also begin to cut the aerial parts of Feverfew this month.
  • Collect the flowers of Chamomile, Calendula, St. John’s Wort, Arnica, and Roses to dry for tea in the winter or use in making medicinal preparations.
  • All flower seeds can be sown in the garden.
  • Remove the foliage from your bulbs once it withers and turns brown. Plant annual flowers to take up the newly available space.
  • Label the locations of your bulbs for dividing in the fall.
  • Enhance your landscape by adding hanging baskets for color, form, and attracting beneficial insects.
  • Prune woody plants after they are done blooming.

 

Putting up the Harvest

  • To freeze berries, simply place on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, pack into plastic bags. This makes them easier to remove for use and preserves their shape.
  • Extra Broccoli, Kohlrabi, and Peas can be flash steamed for 2 minutes and then frozen. Rhubarb can be frozen in a similar way but you may want to steam it for 5 minutes.
  • Harvest medicinal leaves & flowers and dry for tea. Leaves and flowers are preserved best by drying them at 85 degrees F. Roots and Fruits are best dried at 135 degrees F. Ensure that they are completely dry before storing.
  • Many herbs can be preserved in olive oils or vinegars. If you preserve herbs in oil, make sure you remove the plant material after no longer than 2 weeks to prevent bacterial growth.
  • A good resource on preserving the harvest is the book called Stocking Up.
  • Let me know if you have any recipes you would like to share!

 

May: What to do in the Garden

Planning Ahead

  • Prepare beds for the garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
  • Watch any weeds for flowering and setting seed. If you are trying to prevent these plants from growing in abundance in your garden, you will need to pull them before their flowers mature.
  • Mulch to prevent weeds. Rake back mulch and warm the soil before planting seeds.
  • Compost and collect organic matter for the compost pile.
  • Compost and amend your soil before planting.
  • Plant summer cover crops such as buckwheat, clover, and alfalfa in preparation for the winter garden.
  • Watch for slugs and other insect pests on your plants and trees.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.
  • Ensure good air flow around your plants to prevent fungal disease.
  • Build trellises for vining plants.
  • Dry herbs for tea.
  • Harvest edible flowers.

 

In The Vegetable Garden

  • Wait until after May 15 or so to plant warm season crops
  • Set out tomato plants when the evening temperatures are above 50 degrees.
  • Harden off seedlings by placing them outdoors 5 days – 1 week before planting. Gradually help them adapt to the potency of the sunlight and the wind. For the first couple days, bring them indoors at night. On the third day or so, keep them out all night.
  • Plant eggplant and pepper starts late in the month.
  • Use willow tea or kelp tea diluted in water 10:1 to prevent your plants from experiencing transplanting shock.
  • Direct sow cucumbers, melons, squash (summer & winter), and pumpkins after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Soak your bean seeds in preparation for planting. Coat in legume inoculant before planting.
  • Remember your succession crops of Radishes and Lettuce. Plant about every two weeks.
  • Sow corn in late May. Pre-sprout your seeds by soaking in water before planting. If you live in a wet area, you may want to consider transplants.
  • Direct sow outdoors carrots, caraway, cilantro, dill, parsnip, chives, leeks, green onions, amaranth, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, radishes, oriental greens, beets, orach, spinach, chard, quinoa, lettuce, and beans,
  • If you have starts, transplant arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, oriental greens, kohlrabi, and lettuces in the garden. Consider your shady microclimates for summer salads.
  • By the end of the month, transplant out squashes, cucumbers, pumpkins, basil, and melons.
  • Thin carrots, beets, onions, lettuces, parsnips, leeks, and radishes
  • Harvest leafy greens. Remember, the more often you pick, the more you encourage these plants to produce greens for you. Nitrogen is the crucial nutrient for leafy vegetative growth.
  • Plant your yacon tubers in the garden.

 

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

  • Set out mason bee houses.
  • Check your trees and shrubs for insect or disease problems. If you see disease, spray with compost tea every other week.
  • Spray fruit trees for fungal diseases such as scab and mildew.
  • Mulch your blueberry plants heavily with woodchips to help hold water in the summer.
  • Divide your strawberry plants if they have not flowered yet. Transplant new strawberries into the garden.
  • Divide and transplant raspberries.
  • Control foliar diseases using compost tea on roses, apples, pears, cherry, etc.
  • Watch for currant worms. Ideally, feed the worms to your chickens. Otherwise, crush the worms and compost them.

 

Perennials

  • Plant flowers that attract beneficial insects and repel pests.
  • Top dress your rhubarb plants with compost or manure to encourage more growth.
  • All flower seeds can be sown in the garden.
  • Divide and plant dahlias in the garden.
  • Remove the foliage from your bulbs once it withers and turns brown. Plant annual flowers to take up the newly available space.
  • Move tender perennials outside after there is no danger of frost.
  • Label the locations of your bulbs for dividing in the fall.
  • Transplant any potted plants into larger containers.
  • Prune woody plants after they are done blooming.

 

How to Make Risotto

Risotto is one of my favorite recipes.  It’s gourmet and pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  It is also one of my favorite ways to use Lovage, my favorite perennial vegetable.  At least it’s my favorite one of right now. Things may change as others become ready for harvest.

Ingredients for Risotto:

4 cups stock

1 Leek (or 1 Shallot, 1 Onion, or other appropriate allium)

1-3 Stalks Lovage (I really like Lovage)

1 cup Rice (usually Arborio, but I tend to use short grained brown rice.  You can also use quinoa)

1/4 cup White Wine

1 Bundle Asparagus (or handful of Chard, Kale, Nettles, Sorrel, or Arugula Greens, or your favorite tender vegetable)

1/4 cup Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese

Parsley, Chervil, or Chives for garnish.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Homemade Horseradish is a great garnish for risotto as well.

To prepare:

Put 4 cups of stock in a pot and let simmer.  Do not bring this to a boil.  Simply warm the stock.

In another pot, coat with olive oil and warm on medium heat.  Sautee your leeks, onions, or shallots in a pan for 2 minutes.  Add lovage or other fragrant herbs if you are using them.  Once these vegetables and herbs release their scent, add 1 cup of rice to the pot.  Stir the rice to coat with olive oil.  Once covered in oil and translucent, add 1/4 cup of white wine.  Stir frequently as the white wine is absorbed into the rice, vegetables, and herbs mixture.

Once the wine is absorbed, add in a 1/2 cup of stock and stir frequently as it absorbs into your rice, vegetables, and herbs. Once the stock is absorbed into your mixture, add another 1/2 cup of stock.  Stir frequently and add stock as it becomes absorbed into the rice and vegetables mixture.  When you add the last 1/2 cup of stock, add Asparagus, Chard, Kale, Nettles, Sorrel, or any other tender vegetable.

Grate 1/4 cup of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.  Once all liquid is absorbed, add in the cheese and garnish with Parsley, Chervil, Chives or other delight.

Enjoy!

 

 

March: What to do in the Garden

Planning Ahead

  • Prepare beds for the garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
  • Organize your seed collection and find the seeds that you need for the year.
  • Compost and collect organic matter for the compost pile
  • Turn your compost pile
  • Clean out your mason bee homes
  • Watch the weather.  Check air temperatures and soil temperatures.  Beware of frost.
  • Compost and amend your soil.
  • Add lime to sweeten your soil if needed.
  • Patrol for slugs.
  • Weed while the ground is soft, wet, and warm and the weeds are young.
  • Mulch to prevent weeds.  Rake back mulch and warm the soil before planting seeds.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.

In The Vegetable Garden

  • Monitor your soil temperature to know when to plant your vegetables.
  • Make sure that the soil has dried up enough before you plant.
  • Direct sow cold-tolerant vegetables outdoors, such as arugula, beets, parsnips, carrots, lettuces, radishes, spinach, turnips, and shallots outdoors
  • Soak your pea seeds in preparation for planting.  Just before planting, cover in legume inoculant.
  • Start tomatoes, peppers, leeks, onions, tomatillos, celery, and brassicas indoors.
  • Pre-sprout your potatoes.   Plant around mid-March.
  • Build cloches.
  • Plant asparagus crowns and rhubarb.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

  • Fertilize and prune your berry bushes & strawberries.
  • Protect early blossoms on fruit trees from frost.
  • Divide and transplant strawberries and raspberries.
  • Graft rootstocks. The Home Orchard Society Scion Exchange is on Sunday, March 16, 2014.
  • Plant bareroot trees.

Perennials

  • Divide and transplant perennials.
  • Direct sow hardy annual flowers, such as Calendula, Poppies, Pansies, Alyssum, Johnny Jump-Ups, Bachelor Buttons, Clarkia, Sweet Peas, Love in a Mist, Larkspur, Lupines, Snapdragons, Mallow, etc.
  • Plant summer blooming bulbs or tubers including Gladiolas, Crocosmia, Dahlias, Calla Lilies, etc.
  • Take cuttings of early flowering perennial shrubs and bring indoors for forcing into bloom.

Food Security through Biodiversity – PDC in Belize!

I am so thrilled to be teaching a Permaculture Design Course in Belize this February!  What a great month to get away from the Pacific Northwest and be in the jungle on a permaculture farm that specializes in cacao and vanilla.  The teaching team for this course is one of the best that I have had the opportunity to work with yet!
The cast of teachers -
Christopher Nesbitt (steward of MMRF) is keen on biodiversity and our theme for the course is “Food Security through Biodiversity.”  The site has many examples of appropriate technology and diverse plantings to meet their food needs year round.  Students will be immersed in this ideal environment for learning permaculture design.

Albert Bates will be the lead teacher.  He has written many books, most recently The BioChar Solution:  Carbon Farming & Climate Change.  He has been a resident of The Farm in Tennessee since 1972 and has been key in the Global Ecovillage Movement (GEN).

Nicole Foss was recently in Portland to share about her studies in communities who have reached economic collapse and peak and the ways that they have responded and adapted to the change.

I was at the site 10 years ago on my first trip to Latin America.  Christopher had taken a degraded cattle farm and turned it into a thriving permaculture paradise.  Now, ten years later (and 25 years old), Maya Mountain Research Farm is one of the oldest sites in Latin America.  The farm is in a remote area of Belize that is not reachable by car.  You can either hike in or take a dugout canoe up river to get there.  The river is pristine and perfect for swimming.  The landscape will serve the class well as we deepen into our observation skills and study permaculture design.
I am excited to be a part of this fine teaching team and I look forward to what I will be learning about the research and experience that they all have to contribute.
All instructor bios can be found on the website:  http://www.mmrfbz.org/_9th_Annual_Permaculture_Design_Course.html
It is going to be beautiful and warm in Belize in February.  For every two full paying participants, we give a scholarship to someone from the local community.  Can you please help me spread the word?  The event announcement is below.
Thank you so much!  Wishing everyone a happy solstice and 2014!
Marisha

9th Annual Permaculture Design Course:  Food Security through Biodiversity

February 10 – 22nd, 2014
at Maya Mountain Research Farm,
in San Pedro Columbia, Toledo, Belize.

The course will be held from February 10th through February 22, 2014. This is a certificate course that follows the standard established 72 hour curriculum. This year’s teachers will be Albert Bates, Marisha Auerbach and Christopher Nesbitt. The course costs USD1250, and that covers all food and lodging, field trips (with the exception of fees to National Parks or Archeological sites) and material for the course. You can read bios of the teachers at our web site, http://www.mmrfbz.org/_9th_Annual_Permaculture_Design_Course.html

The venue of Maya Mountain Research Farm is one of Central Americas oldest permaculture farms. It is a former cattle and citrus farm that has been rehabilitated into a lush tropical food forest. Accommodations are simple, but clean, with photovotaic powered lights in every room. It is truly a wonderful place to learn about permaculture, whether you are new to permaculture or have several design courses under your belt. This is a good opportunity to see permaculture principles and practices as MMRF is the result of thought, design work and decades of work.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Christopher Nesbitt at  christopher.nesbitt@mmrfbz.org

, or call Christopher at 001-501-630-4386.–

come to Belize…Travel far south; to the back of beyond; to a remote
valley accessible only by dugout canoe.  Study
permaculture surrounded by a lush, productive
forest of edibles, medicinals and tropical
hardwoods.  Eat organic food, sleep in dorms
powered by renewable energy, bathe in a sparkling
pure river….

ALBERT BATES
NICOLE FOSS
MARISHA AUERBACH
CHRISTOPHER NESBITT

Permaculture Design Certificate Course
Dates Feb 10 to 22, 2014
Place: Maya Mountain Research Farm
San Pedro Columbia, Belize

For Details, or to register, please see http://www.mmrfbz.org or contact Christopher at info@mmrfbz.org.

Ven a Belice…

10 de 22 Feb 2014
Curso de Diseño en Permacultura
Montaña Maya Research Farm

a guided tour of NGO projects in the region immediately precedes for those who can come early.

What to do in the garden in August

Planning Ahead

  • Use your compost so that you have room in your compost area for all of the debris that will die back in the coming months. Ensure that your compost pile stays moist during this dry month.
  • Prepare final beds for the winter garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
  • Check soil moisture.  A good consistency should be like a good snowball.
  • Keep your water features full of water for the birds and beneficial insects
  • Brew compost tea and provide for your garden every 2 weeks.  Compost tea has been shown to prevent blossom end rot, rust, and powdery mildew.
  • You may want to plan your fall plantings around locations that can be covered with a cold frame or cloche.  Try out your designs before it is absolutely necessary to cover.
  • Continue to train your vining plants along their trellises (Grapes, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, etc).  Proper trellising encourages good air flow.  Good air flow prevents diseases from developing.
  • Watch any weeds for flowering and setting seed.  If you are trying to prevent these plants from growing in abundance in your garden, you will need to pull them before their flowers mature.
  • Continue to mulch to prevent weeds.
  • Watch for slugs and other insect pests on your plants and trees.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.
  • Ensure good airflow around your plants to prevent fungal disease.
  • As you clean up your garden in preparation for the fall, don’t get too tidy.  Mulch and woody debris provide the perfect habitat for many beneficial insects to overwinter.

In The Vegetable Garden

  • Early morning is the best time to water.  Water deep and as infrequent as possible.
  • Harvest your vegetables.  Remember to “pick small and pick often” for many of these crops such as zucchini, beans, cucumbers, and your leafys.
  • Harvest leeks before they reach ¾” in diameter.  If you are growing leeks for winter harvest, now is a good time to give them an extra boost with some fertilizer.
  • Continue to sow lettuce and radishes in succession as needed, every two weeks.
  • Start seeds of plants in the cabbage family for the winter garden.  Now is the time for overwintering cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, rutabegas, mustards, bok choi, and kale.   Between now and the middle of August is the best time to plant these crops as they can develop good root growth before fall equinox.
  • Sow fall vegetables including:  beets, carrots, turnips, spinach, snow peas, chard, scallions, and endive.
  • As your summer squashes, beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers become ripe, remember to pick them small and pick them often to maximize yield.
  • Harvest Arugula, Chervil, and Mache seed.
  • Harvest shallots after the leafy tops have turned brown.
  • Blanch escarole and endive by placing flowerpots over the plants 2 – 3 weeks before harvest.
  • Plant out onion sets for overwintering onions.  The goal is to have these plants be as thick as a pencil come spring.
  • Sow cover crops on beds as they become available.  Some of my favorites are Rye, Austria Field Peas, and Red Clover.
  • If you are growing celeriac, encourage it to bulk out by removing any damaged or older leaves.  These plants love water during the dry season and some fertilizer.
  • Direct sow Cilantro, Chervil, Mache, Miner’s Lettuce, and Cress in the garden.
  • Use willow tea or kelp tea diluted in water 10:1 to prevent your plants from experiencing transplanting shock.
  • Thin seedlings so leaves do not overlap and plants have ample space to grow.
  • Side-dress crops with compost or the appropriate fertilizer
    • Nitrogen for leafy growth (Bloodmeal)
    • Potassium for root growth (Ashes)
    • Phosphorous for flowering or fruiting (Bonemeal)
    • Pick edible flowers.  The more you pick, they more you get.
    • Harvest lettuce often to encourage more growth.  Ensure ample water for your leafys as the weather gets warm to prevent bolting.
    • Continue to mound up your potatoes if they have not died back yet.  Pick off the flowers if you do not want to encourage them to set seed. Once the potato vines die back, they are ready to harvest.
    • Inspect for insect and pest damage.  Check under the leaves of your plants in the Cabbage family for eggs and caterpillars of the Cabbage Looper and Cabbage Moth.
    • Watch for powdery mildew!  Compost the leaves that show the damage and try to encourage better air flow.
    • Save seeds!  Of everything and anything that you can.  Ensure that the seeds are dry upon harvest and store them in a location where they are sure to stay dry.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

  • Harvest!  Try to harvest as soon as the fruit begins to fall for the health of your tree. If you have an insect invasion, this prevents worms from getting into your soil.
  • Harvest your berries!  See putting up the harvest for instructions on preservation.
  • Prune old raspberry and blackberry canes to the ground after harvest.
  • Destroy webworms nests (white webbing on branches of apple, walnut, pear, and other deciduous trees).
  • Pick up diseased or spoilt fruit daily from the ground.
  • Give support to heavy branches on your fruit trees.
  • Cut back Comfrey and other dynamic accumulators for mulch.
  • Provide soft mulch under your fruit trees to provide a soft surface for fruit that may fall.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife
  • Mulch to maximize water holding capacity of your landscape, especially your blueberries and raspberries
  • Water deeply as needed (ample water encourages good juicy fruit production)
  • Set out any scare tactics to prevent birds from eating your berries.
  • Inspect for insect and disease damage.
  • Watch for powdery mildew!  Compost the leaves that show the damage and try to encourage better air flow.
  • It’s time for summer bud grafting.

Perennials

  • Plant Saffron Crocus bulbs in the garden.
  • Harvest herbs before the buds open on the flowers.
  • Save seeds!  Of everything and anything that you can.
  • Cut back flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Fertilize your container plants about every other week.
  • Label the locations of your bulbs for dividing in the fall.  You can also divide or move spring flowering bulbs once their foliage has died back.
  • Divide Irises after they have finished blooming.
  • Prune woody plants after they are done blooming.
  • Make tip cuttings from daphne, azaleas, fuchsias, hydrangeas, camellias, and wisteria.

Putting up the Harvest

  • To freeze berries, simply place on a baking sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, pack into plastic bags.  This makes them easier to remove for use and preserves their shape.
  • To freeze apples for apple pie, cut the apples and toss in sugar with cinnamon & nutmeg.  Freeze on a baking sheet first to allow ease with thawing the amount of fruit you need for a pie.  This can be done similarly with other fruit for pies.
  • Freeze your peppers by blanching them first in boiling water.  Transfer the peppers to a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes.  Peel off the skins and pack in freezer bags.
  • Harvest medicinal leaves & flowers and dry for tea.  Leaves and flowers are preserved best by drying them at 85 degrees F.  Roots and Fruits are best dried at 135 degrees F.  Ensure that they are completely dry before storing.
  • If you have an oven that can be set to a low temperature or has a pilot light, you can try using your oven as a dehydrator for fruit and herbs.  The same temperature guidelines would be relevant.
  • Many herbs can be preserved in olive oils or vinegars. If you preserve herbs in oil, make sure you remove the plant material after no longer than 2 weeks to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Summer cabbage can be made into sauerkraut.   Harvest cabbage just before the head splits.
  • Lots of veggies can be fermented as well.
  • You can dry vegetables in your dehydrator or in the oven on a very low temperature for meals in the winter.
  • Fruit can be preserved as jam, cordials, or vinegar.
  • A good resource on preserving the harvest is the book called Stocking Up.
  • Let me know if you have any recipes you would like to share!

What to do in the garden in July

Planning Ahead

  • Prepare beds for the garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
  • Check soil moisture.  A good consistency should be like a good snowball.
  • Test your sprinklers for coverage and drip irrigation for leakage.
  • Brew compost tea and provide for your garden every 2 weeks.  Compost tea has been shown to prevent blossom end rot, rust, and powdery mildew.
  • Prepare trellises for your crops that are suitable for the way they like to grow.
  • Train your vining plants along their trellises (Grapes, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, etc).  Proper trellising encourages good air flow.
  • Watch any weeds for flowering and setting seed.  If you are trying to prevent these plants from growing in abundance in your garden, you will need to pull them before their flowers mature.
  • Mulch to prevent weeds.
  • Compost and collect organic matter for the compost pile.  Keep your compost pile moist during the dry season.
  • Plant summer cover crops such as buckwheat, clover, and alfalfa. Watch for slugs and other insect pests on your plants and trees.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.
  • Ensure good airflow around your plants to prevent fungal disease.

In The Vegetable Garden

  • Early morning is the best time to water.  Water deep and as infrequent as possible.
  • Continue to sow lettuce and radishes in succession as needed, every two weeks.
  • Start seeds of plants in the cabbage family for the winter garden.  Between now and the middle of August is the best time to plant these crops as they can develop good root growth before fall equinox.
  • Sow onions, carrots, turnips, and beets.
  • Sow your heat tolerant salad greens.  The following plants can thrive in the heat of the summer and be planted now:  Amaranth, Lambsquarters, Orach, and Purslane.
  • Use willow tea or kelp tea diluted in water 10:1 to prevent your plants from experiencing transplanting shock.
  • Plant a late crop of beans.  Soak your bean seeds in preparation for planting.  Coat in legume inoculant to maximize relationships with beneficial nitrogen fixing bacteria before planting.
  • Thin seedlings so leaves do not overlap and plants have ample space to grow.
  • Side-dress crops with compost or the appropriate fertilizer
    • Nitrogen for leafy growth (Bloodmeal)
    • Potassium for root growth (Ashes)
    • Phosphorous for flowering or fruiting (Bonemeal)
    • Pick edible flowers.  The more you pick, they more you get.
    • Harvest lettuce often to encourage more growth.  Ensure ample water for your leafys as the weather gets warm to prevent bolting.
    • Pick your peas frequently to encourage maximum production.  Leave some pods on the vine to save for next year’s seed.
    • Continue to mound up your potatoes and leeks.
    • Harvest your garlic when the two leaves have died back.  Prepare garlic braids or dry flat in a warm, sunny space.  Garlic needs 3 – 4 weeks to cure.
    • Inspect for insect and pest damage.  Check under the leaves of your plants in the Cabbage family for eggs and caterpillars of the Cabbage Looper and Cabbage Moth.
    • As your summer squashes, beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers become ripe, remember to pick them small and pick them often to maximize yield.
    • Harvest Arugula, Chervil, and Mache seed.
    • Harvest shallots after the leafy tops have turned brown.
    • Blanch escarole and endive by placing flowerpots over the plants 2 – 3 weeks before harvest.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

  • Harvest Strawberries and store surplus for the winter.
  • Fertilize June-bearing strawberries after harvest.  Remove dead leaves.
  • Cut back Comfrey and other dynamic accumulators for mulch.
  • Provide soft mulch under your fruit trees to provide a soft surface for fruit that may fall.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife
  • Mulch to maximize water holding capacity of your landscape, especially your blueberries and raspberries
  • Water deeply as needed (ample water encourages good juicy fruit production)
  • Set out any scare tactics to prevent birds from eating your berries
  • Remove water sprouts from fruit trees.
  • Inspect for insect and disease damage.

Perennials

  • Cut back flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Fertilize your container plants about every other week.
  • Label the locations of your bulbs for dividing in the fall.  You can also divide or move spring flowering bulbs once their foliage has died back.
  • Divide Irises after they have finished blooming.
  • June – early July is a great time to sow biennial and perennial flowers and herbs. You can create a small nursery bed for these plantings and transplant them out next March and April.
  • Enhance your landscape by adding hanging baskets for color, form, and attracting beneficial insects.
  • Prune woody plants after they are done blooming.

Putting up the Harvest

  • To freeze berries, simply place on a baking sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, pack into plastic bags.  This makes them easier to remove for use and preserves their shape.
  • Extra Broccoli, Kohlrabi, and Peas can be flash steamed for 2 minutes and then frozen.  Rhubarb can be frozen in a similar way but you may want to steam it for 5 minutes.
  • Harvest medicinal leaves & flowers and dry for tea.  Leaves and flowers are preserved best by drying them at 85 degrees F.  Roots and Fruits are best dried at 135 degrees F.  Ensure that they are completely dry before storing.
  • Many herbs can be preserved in olive oils or vinegars. If you preserve herbs in oil, make sure you remove the plant material after no longer than 2 weeks to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Summer cabbage can be made into sauerkraut.   Harvest cabbage just before the head splits.
  • Lots of veggies can be fermented as well.
  • You can dry vegetables in your dehydrator for meals in the winter.
  • Fruit can be preserved as jam, cordials, or vinegar.
  • A good resource on preserving the harvest is the book called Stocking Up.
  • Let me know if you have any recipes you would like to share!