Zone 4/5 Recent Weather - Average rainfall and temperatures. Just sprinkled 1/3 recommended amount of all-purpose Osmocote granules second week in June everywhere with exception of vertical garden and deck plants which were planted in a 1/3 fertilized soil mix, as well tomato and pepper which were planted with their own eggshell/potash/phosphate/all purpose/epsom salt mix (5 Part Mix). Additional fertilizer applications noted. Not seeing any bees,been a month, borage just now beginning to bloom.
Not gonna lie, my garden blogging is more for me than for y'all. Although I do hope I answer questions and share pretty pictures that make you smile. Each new season I always wonder what was going on at the same time last year. It helps me set my expectations to a reasonable standard. As you'll see down the road, I'll use this overview to gather info for more specific articles.
Snow peas - Harvesting. First harvest, second week of June. Expand for 2018, still not enough. Thriving. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.
Snap peas - First harvest this weekend, third week of June. Expand for 2018 or use for snow peas. Thriving. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.
Lettuce - Loose leaf is finishing up, head lettuce bitter and dug up. Peak was last week in May. Thriving. Do a better job staggering harvest 2018. Head lettuces go bitter sooner than expected. When growth heads up instead of out, harvest. Change the location of lettuce on the vertical garden for 2018, all on S side. Optimum harvest timeframe 1 month for looseleaf and 1 week for head. Soil is 1/3 Miracle Grow soil.
Spinach - Finishing up. Peak first week in June. Optimum harvest duration - 1 month. Soil is 1/3 Miracle Grow soil.
Strawberries - Peak now. First harvest second week in June. Birds have no interest, likely because they are full of the insects they dig from the yard. Bird experience very very good. No grubs, no slugs, no snails and very few insects. At least ten birds feed off our land. Friggin' awesome! One feeding of liquid MG in early June and some plants have 1/3 Miracle Grow soil.
Carrots - Just starting to thicken, we are at least a month from harvest, all types. Did not come up in main garden til end of May, a month after seeding. Do not seem to interfere with pea harvest. Change and expand location in vertical garden to N side.
Radish - Birds do a better job with bugs than radish. Only area with notable bug problem is green and yellow beans. The radish prevents birds from eating the bugs and crowded out bean plants. Next year, no radish in the beans. Peak radish was first week in June. High heat second week of June sent them to seed right away. Had way more than I could give away. Optimum Harvest duration - 1 week.
Beans - Bugs love more than anything else in garden. Radish was a bust, hurt germination and health. Neem and DE (diatomaceous earth) helpful, once applied at end of May, as well removing radish so birds can eat bugs. Beginning to flower third week in June. Plants are not as tall as should be, all three types. Second planting June 1st doing better than first planting (around May 10). One Miracle Grow feeding early June only fertilizer.
Summer squash/zucchini - The first fruits second week of June died small, assuming lack of pollination, plants extraordinarily healthy. This week started to hand pollinate. First fruit was last weekend, a Gold Bar zucchini. Will have more to harvest tomorrow. Zucchini beating crookneck by a week, the cocozella zucchini still has only male flower blooms and will be the latest of the summer squashes to harvest. I have small supports for them but the plants don't seem to need them. Began to flower first week of June, the first zucchini harvested was ripe but small, took 2 weeks, which is apparently unusual. ? Transplanted with Osmocote granules. Seems to be the right choice of fertilizer for this crop.
Cucumber - Two of three transplants died and only half of the direct seeded came up. Will not likely plant Soyu Long cucumbers next year. The two surviving plants are still small, not flowering yet. Did get one shot of liquid miracle grow in early June.
Broccoli - Hail damage has slowed growth in front garden. All other broccoli fine. One small head of broccoli harvested after hail storm, head was about size of a golf ball. Remainder of plants are between 8" and 2' tall. No other heads yet. No clue why that one broccoli plant produced a head early. It was delicious though. Very little bug damage, DE took care of what little I could see. Less bug damage on plants still in clear plastic cup collars. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.
Brussies - A bit of hail damage for plants in N garden but still good. Other plants fine. Plants about a foot tall. Look very healthy. Very little bug damage, DE took care of what little I saw. Plants with clear cup collars yet have less bug damage. Still months from harvest. One feeding of liquid MG in early June.
Kohlrabi - about 8" tall. Look healthy. Still in cup collars. Almost no bug damage. One feeding of liquid MG in early June. Far from harvest.
Tomato - The potato leaf types almost all had megablossoms. Keeping two, snipped rest. Blossoms started second week of June. As predicted, the second week of June is when plants hit growth spurt and began to blossom. I have baby tomatoes on the yellow pear plant I started and the Tiny Tim cherry tomato plant I bought last week in a BOGO sale at the Co-Op. I should start to see baby tomatoes on the other plants by next week. The Carbon, Royal Hillbilly and Yellow Pear tomato plants were the first to flower. The slowest to flower are the Jazz, Dr. Wyches and Hillbilly type. Most plants are 1-2' tall. Two of my deck tomato plants are weak, Sunrise and Black Vernissage. My strongest plant is the yellow pear, which is in the same sized deck pot in the same soil so I have no idea why those other two mater plants are doing poorly. They are not the maters I am looking forward to the most so honestly not too broken up about it. The Sunrise plant is only about 6" tall, spindly and flowering. *shrug*. All tomato plants were planted with either the 5 Part Mix or the deck plants that were planted with full fertilized soil. The Gold Rush Currant tomato plant is planted in a hanging basket and after a weak start, is now flourishing and flowering. I have approximately 8 mystery plants. Those plants are most likely to be Sunrise, Yellow Pear, Dr. Wyches, Royal Hillbilly or Hillbilly. I have two plants out front that are community plants for anyone to take fruit off of if they wish too. I have 42 plants total. I think I can share two. I ended up also giving away approximately ten plants in mid-May to friends and neighbors. Yes, I am looking forward to canning. I canned tomatoes last year, for the first time, so feel I can do it again this year. I plan to also give away as much as I can, same as last year too. I have a total of 17 varieties. Eighteen if the volunteer in the garden is a Mushroom Basket (from last year) as I think it might be. That plant is only 6" tall.
Peppers - First pepper on my Melrose deck plant as of yesterday. It's my favorite type of pepper so far, so thrilled. Deck pepper planted in 100% fertilized soil. All my pepper plants seem to be a bit shorter than they should be, even the deck plant, at under a foot tall. Most of the pepper plants are budding/flowering, as of the second week in June. The plants planted with the 5 Part Mix look like they are getting too much nitrogen, although I purposely supplemented the mix with potash/phosphate to avoid that, as it was a problem last year. Smaller, thicker, ultra-green leaves. None of the habanada seedlings survived the hardening/transplant process. I left them outside in windy conditions too long during the hardening process. All the other transplants survived my rough handling, only the habanada's died. Bummed, for sure, as this cultivar is not common enough for me to purchased live plants as a backup, anywhere. Next year. The habanada peppers were my strongest pepper plants prior to hardening. Note to everyone, habanada seedlings are FUSSY. The plants in the small NE corner garden were eaten by bugs last May, lost two, three are struggling. They do not seem to be suffering from too much nitrogen, although they were planted with the same mix as the others. None of the plants showed nitrogen overload until the cooler weather hit a few days ago.
Eggplant - I only had one plant make it to transplant. One died and the other I gave away. The one eggplant plant is small, under 6" tall, but finally bushy. It was devoured by bugs until DE applied, now coming back, delayed, yet strong. Planted with 5 Part Mix.
Potato - Bushy and strong. Deck plants are about a foot tall. Plants along N Fence are 4-12" tall. Very healthy. No fertilizer applied.
Cherry - Tree is approx 4 yrs old. Had some baby cherries, maybe 10 in late April, but they all died after a hard freeze. No worries, per tree still quite young.
Apple - Trees are approx 4-5 yrs old. As suspected, the over-abundance of baby apples last year made this young tree biennial. Zero blossoms this year. No worries, last year was very surprised we had any blossoms per tree so young.
Grape - Bought two grape vines last year at an end of season clearance sale. One vine is thriving, the other doing ok, it seems to be dying back although has a ton of new growth at the base. Wasn't sure the grape plants would survive the bunnies chewing them down over the winter but they did. The vines are now protected by hardware cloth. A few applications of liquid Miracle Grow seemed to help. No blossoms yet.
Blueberries - Received four plants as a gift. Two died last year and the two left have a few leaves but clearly not happy. They are protected by hardware cloth but the bunnies also got to them before we protected the plants properly. The soil pH needs to be adjusted. We'll add that to the project list.
Raspberries - Flourishing. A ton of new canes. No buds yet. The fencing keeps the big bunnies out but there is a smaller bunny that lives in that little patch. Ugh. I can't wait til it's too big to fit through the fence. That patch is also overrun with bindweed, but the plants don't seem to mind. No fertilizer.
Garlic - All are looking very strong. The only garlic that did not come up was the garlic that came up and grew too large last fall. Harvested scapes last week from some. Anticipate harvest in a month or two.
Onion/Shallot - Shallots very strong, looking to harvest in about a month or so. Onions scatter about, very small. I don't pay them much attention, so perhaps they need more than I give them.
Flowers - Doing very well, everything I purchased was blooming, the transplants are still a few weeks/months from blooming, depending on type. Hail storm set all my flowers back a bit, most blooming plants lost a significant portion of their flowers as my flower garden is west facing. It looks like my plants have a harder time on the west path, will add compost this fall and next spring. Herb spiral looks good. A bunny is getting to the dill and cosmos.
That is enough for today. Don't forget to take advantage of the end-of-transplanting sales in your area. A ton of Buy One Get One Free sales around here now.