What’s New in June

Pink bush roseson June 8th we reached our first pound for the season. It has been a mix of strawberries (regular and alpine), green onions, garlic scapes, variety lettuce, and catnip. And we’ve enjoyed seeing a few roses along the way.

I got a little caught up on the larger gardening projects over the Memorial Day weekend, but was not aware that our front step container salad bowl was the latest acquisition for the lagomorph banking system. The bunnies in the neighborhood have been making withdrawals, and leaving deposits. I took it in stride, but decided to close the “drive-thru” entrance and park the bowl on the back deck instead. New greens, purples, and reds (we’re diversified) were still coming up and so I’m just letting the deposits gain interest in the soil for a while.

We’re trying a few new things this year.

  • I took the suggestion of Charlotte, a commenter of the blog, to staple chicken wire to a pallet trellis to give the cukes more traction. I remember last year the cukes hanging freely inside the trellis through the slats, but this still may work better if they use more of the trellis area.

chicken fencing stapled on pallet trellis

  • We’re also trying the burlap bag method for growing potatoes, after seeing a post by City Girl, associated with PRI Cold Climate (Permaculture Research Institute) here in Minnesota. She reused burlap coffee bean bags to grow her potatoes, so we got our own free Dunn Bro coffee bean bags last season to try it out. We also have some planted the conventional way in ground, but I am sure these will be easier to get at!

potatoes growing in two burlap coffee bean bags

  • I also bought some floating row cover for the first time to see how that does in preventing vine borers from infesting the squash. Though, once they’re blooming I think I’ll need another strategy. We also got a yellow bowl to put out with water to see if that really will cue us to the presence of the moths.

floating row cover over squash by trellis

  • To keep the Gold Finches from pecking our beet greens, I’m trying netting over the top of a raised bed, tucking the edges under the cap blocks. The bed is not full of soil to the top, so there is enough room for the plants to grow under the net.

Bird netting over raised bed to protect beets

  • And…should the Japanese Beetles make their anticipated appearance, we will be flicking them into a bowl of dish soap exclusively. We didn’t know smashing them released a scent that attracts their friends. I may also experiment with putting strong scented herbs near their favorite hang-outs to see if that makes any difference.

Mutti is making progress in healing and getting around more, for which we’re both thankful! One of these days she’ll be picking pea pods again- hopefully soon.

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