Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kitchen Garden Update

The vegetables in the kitchen garden appear to love enormous amounts of rain. We received twelve inches in June and surely must top that amount this month. While the vegetables look amazing with their large, green foliage, weather-related problems abound: Weeds also love wet weather, slugs create havoc, and not enough sunshine means less blossoms. Daily, I expect to see powdery mildew, but only a few phlox have succumbed. Everything considered, gardeners in other parts of the country are experiencing flooding and worse, so I must not complain. Safe to say, though, I have never experienced a gardening season as wet as this one.

We decided a plain wooden farm bench would be useful and attractive for the kitchen garden, but we haven't yet found one we like. In the meantime, H.H. brought home two green metal chairs he spotted on the side of the road with a "Free" label on them. 

A good place to sit and admire our labor between the showers.

So happy the lettuce hasn't bolted yet even with no protection from the hot sun. I make a lettuce salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette dressing -- delicious.

Lettuce under the cucumber frame.
Two large yellow blossoms on the squash plant promise we'll have zucchinis soon.

I planted two types of beets, 'Detroit Dark Red' and beet 'Chioggia' which looks like a candy cane when sliced. The former I plant every year, but 'Chioggia' is new to me and I am anxious to see how it turns out. I direct-sowed nasturtium at one end of the beets bed, but I forgot to scrape the seeds with a file, so they were slow to germinate. Next year I'll give them a head start indoors. Note the tall milk weed against the fence. The pots are filled with zinnias and marigolds which, hating the weather, haven't started to bloom yet -- probably at least two weeks late.

Beet 'Chioggia' at the top, 'Detroit Dark Red' in the middle, and nasturtium.

Parsnips, always the slowest seeds to germinate, have made an appearance. They require a long growing period, and the root is best harvested after the first frost, so they have plenty of time yet. We always have some for Christmas dinner.

Carrots and parsnips at front. Melons in the top planting box.

I'm amazed how healthy the tomatoes seem in spite of the wet weather. Lots of fruit on 'Big Boy.'

I think this is 'Big Boy.' I'm not going out in the rain to check (yes, it's pouring again.)

The peppers really don't like cloudy days but have begun to flower, so I'm hoping for success.

Bell Pepper

Japanese beetles, that arrived earlier this week, busily devour everything. I handpick as many as I can, dropping them into soapy water, but it's something of a losing battle. They love the pole beans.

Pole beans with borage in the planter behind them.

I grow several perennial and annual flowers in the kitchen garden to encourage pollinators. My first phlox to bloom has powdery mildew. I sprayed with an organic fungicide, but the continual rain just washes it off.

Phlox with lungwort at its feet. Both have powdery mildew.

As a testament to the crazy weather, pansies just began blooming in front of the mirror in the side border of the kitchen garden.  I placed the pea tunnel there, and planted morning glory on both sides. The seeds were very slow to germinate, although I soaked them first. I think maybe I soaked them for too long then the rain delayed them more. The ones started early indoors are in full bloom and climbing arbors.

Pansies in front of mirror.

I grow chocolate mint and a few herbs in the kitchen garden. Feverfew and lemon balm are companions there.

Feverfew and lemon balm.

I have a bigger variety of herbs in the patio garden -- which is filling out nicely. Some of the herbs have yellowing leaves at the bottom because they don't like so much water. I am pleased, however, that the planter seems to be draining well considering the circumstances.

I decided I prefer the term 'patio garden' to trug or planter.
Double feverfew that my friend, Bill, started from seed.

I planted Bill's feverfew here, and placed a tub of it in the kitchen garden, too.

Feverfew Double White

Cherry tomatoes in the patio garden.

If you would like to see my 2015 Kitchen Garden Plan you can read about it here. I'm linking with the Virtual Garden Club -- go to Dee's blog and check out what other gardeners are growing in their veggie gardens.

The rescheduled Monroe County Garden Club tour takes place on Sunday. The weatherman promises a better day than the original, washed-out one. I love showing people my garden and hope for lots of visitors this time!

Enjoy your weekend, dear friends.
Pamela x

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I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Your kitchen garden looks wonderful. I am so envious.

  2. We are still expecting snow, so hope that YOU get the fine weather.

  3. I'm so glad to hear that your garden tour has been rescheduled, good luck! This crazy rainy summer is both bane and boon to my garden. It's been nice not having to drag the hose everywhere, and boy is it green out there. But there isn't enough sun for heavy flowering, and the weeds are prolific!

  4. Wow, so interesting, I love your garden full of edible things. The raised beds look do so well. Happy gardening!

  5. I wish I had a kitchen garden filled with vegetables because I so like to cook. Herbs allow for creativity in the kitchen, so I make sure to grow them. I love your gardens, they are so well organized and arranged. The chairs while handy and a nice addition, I bet you are so busy you will not be using them much. So wet? We have been rather dry. My zinnia and marigolds are happy campers. I like your milkweed too. You have a butterfly heaven there with all the herbs too.

  6. It's the opposite here, a dry spring so some plants are really struggling. One thing about plenty of rain is that everything is looking so lush, the plants look lovely and healthy.

  7. You may say you have little color but I love the lushness of the vegetable beds and the bright green grass... it's so fresh for this time of year! Drought has seemed to be the standard for the past few summers so this is a nice change (even though I lost a few plants to rot).
    Hope the garden tour went well!

    1. The garden tour went very well, thank you, Frank. Great weather -- so glad they rescheduled it.

  8. Pam, this is Diane from My Cottage Garden. I have started a new blog that is going to be more just photographs. There will still be photos of my garden, plus other kinds of photography. I hope you will follow me there. I'll be explaining in a Cottage Garden post soon.

  9. Good luck with the beetles! Everything looks so beautiful and lush.

  10. Pam, a kitchen garden to be proud of, in spite of the rain. Just the sort of weather I expected when we moved to Cheshire. To be honest it hasn't been as bad as I expected, seems like I am forever out with the hose, neighbours must think I am totally off my head although they seem to appreciate our efforts in the front garden, never seem to get neighbours who share in our gardening passion.

  11. Even your kitchen garden looks beautiful! How do you edge the grass around the beds? With a string trimmer? I love your 'patio garden', too - so cute! And boy, your tomatoes look great!

  12. Yes, we use a string trimmer, Indie. Thanks for the nice comments. P. x

  13. I am so far behind reading blogs so just getting here is all I can say as your kitchen garden is amazing. We have not had much rain this month and none now for over a week and expected no ran for the rest of this week into next. But the veg garden is growing. My beets are done and pulled. I have to plant more for the fall. I also planted a striped variety of beet and I loved the foliage and the beet.