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.
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.
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