Garden 2022: First Update of July – July 7, 2022

Things are really moving into high gear as summer kicks in. It’s almost as if the plants know that the good warm weather lasts only for a while and it’s time to grow. Today’s post will highlight some of the more significant changes that occurred over the past couple weeks.

The strawberry bed began producing mid-June, and hasn’t quit. We’ve been eating strawberries pretty much daily for probably too long, sharing some of the yield with neighbors and beginning to stock the freezer. There’s almost a gallon of frozen berries in there thus far, and we’ve had some delicious strawberry & chicken salads along with the obligatory strawberry shortcake desserts. Our plants are everbearing, so they should continue producing until September or so.

Our method for freezing the berries is simple. Once the berries are washed and the leaves and stems plucked off, they’re spread upon a wax-paper lined baking sheet and placed in the freezer. 8-12 hours later they’re transferred into the freezer bag, individually frozen.

Committing to do a better job of succession planting lettuce and radishes is paying off. No shortages of either so far this year. There may actually be too much lettuce, but that’s a better problem to have than the reverse.

Radishes are performing better than usual this year, too. The seed is Champion Radish, which I’ve used for several years now. Fewer of the radishes are splitting this year compared to last. Unsure of why this is- perhaps because they’re being thinned and harvested more aggressively?

The tomato plants have done very nicely over the past two weeks. They’re grown significantly and are flowering. I’m guessing that the grape tomatoes will be along by month’s end, with the larger ones not long afterwards.

The cauliflower has still been suffering, but not nearly as badly as the broccoli did earlier. There are only four broccoli plants left. A couple more white cauliflower plants wilted, leaving me no choice but to harvest the baseball-sized heads and pull the plants out of the bed. The remaining cauliflower all have developing heads, and if the tracking sheet calculations are correct should be done at the end of July. The DePurple plants have held steady at five, and should reach their harvest date a week or so after the white Snow Crown plants.

There’s been great growth and development of the Gaudi eggplants and Gentry summer squash plants over the past two weeks. Very remarkable in the case of the squash. All three plants have flowers and are at the very beginning stage of developing fruit. The tracking calculations shows a harvest date of July 9th for them, so it will be close! The eggplants have begun sprouting their purple flowers. Soon their fruits will grow.

Here’s a short slideshow rounding out the progress of some of the other plantings. Everything is more or less where it should be for the first week in July. Overall, very encouraging.

Finally, here’s what the seedlings representing the fall brassica crops look like today. My target is to get these into the ground sometime near the middle of August.

I hope you’re finding these posts interesting and enjoyable. The next Garden 2022 should be sometime late next week. Thanks for stopping by!

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