I started work on this year’s family garden at the end of March. It’s now the first week of June, so I wanted to give you an update on how things are, well, growing.
We’ve had highs and lows. The lettuce has been very productive and tasty; we have made five harvests. Using a scissors, handfuls are cut and eaten right away. It grows back in about one week. We try to cut about half of it at a time.
The tomatoes are already starting to produce a few flowers. We are staking some and using old cotton shirts cut into strips as ties. Three plants are getting some sturdy cages from one of our other gardens. We will see which works best over the next few months as we have had quite a problem with heavy winds blowing the entire cage over and crushing the plants.
Sadly, we have an infestation of striped cucumber beetles. Handpicking them brings out the competition as they like to fly. Hopefully the cucumbers, sunflowers, and zucchini will survive. The sunflowers also have a miner insect called a maggot fly. It will pierce the sunflower stem which stresses the plant. We are hand catching them too. The plan is to make two bird houses for wrens and place them in the garden. They should find the insects quite tasty.
Chipmunks have found a way through the fence. These adorable pests ate many of the seedlings we grew over the winter and many of the sunflower seeds we saved from the best plants.
Time will tell if our efforts worked. Fingers crossed!
Sarah O’Farrell grew up in a gardening family. You can read her first story on creating a home garden here.