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Happy Summer Solstice

June 20, 2019

Hooray, my melon vines in the big blue pot are flowering. Soon, there will be cantaloupe, honeydew, and galia melons. The red leaved plants in the center of the pot are either amaranth or celosia. I don't know for sure because the plants weren't labelled when I bought them...not that it matters anyway as I just got them for something pretty (which they are). 

 

It has been a stormy June. And until this week, it has been a cool June with 9 of the first 15 days (almost two-thirds) having temperatures below the historical average highs for my zip code.

 

My lettuces have been loving the cooler weather. My husband and I have been eating salad for dinner 5 nights a week and I haven't had to buy lettuce from the grocery store in over 2 months. That's coming to an end now as the higher (normal June) temperatures are causing the plants to produce flower stalks, turning the leaves bitter and inedible.

 

However, the rest of my summer plantings aren't doing so much. Tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash require warmer temperatures to thrive, so they've kinda just been hanging out. I mean, they're still there, but growing slowly. And my okra is just not having it: out of 10 plants, 4 have died. If June 2019 was being graded on growing okra, I would have to give it a D.

 

So I've been pulling out the bolted (flowering) lettuce. In my community garden plot, I've planted French sorrel in its place, a perennial vegetable with a lemony taste that's used as a salad green. Sorrel tolerates some shade, so I planted the it beneath trellises that will be covered with bean and squash vines.

 

The aforementioned French sorrel. In this photo, yardlong beans are planted on the outer left of the trellis and tromboncino squash is planted on the outer right side.

 

 

In my backyard, the empty spaces where the lettuce used to be will provide more room for the tomatoes and peppers to grow. I might sneak in some more basil, as there's never enough basil.

 

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