The middle of June marks the official start of summer. Sun loving plants have growth spurts and start to produce flowers which later turn into fruit.
I keep thinking the last month was my favourite month in the garden, but then a new month comes around and the garden just keeps getting fuller and more vibrant. Summer is right around the corner and you can definitely tell the plants are enjoying the warmer temperatures. Many of them have had immense growth spurts and the majority has started developing fruit. I feel like a proud parent watching our little (or actually rather tall!) plants grow. We are having a rather successful yield this year and as always I want to share my tips and everything I’ve learned with you!
Let’s take a look at what has happened since last month.
My herb bed has literally exploded with plants growing immensely tall. I keep having to cut back the mint and sage because if I were to let them run wild, they’d take over the whole bed. The chamomile has grown the quickest and is now reaching the same heights as the sage. I cannot wait to dry the chamomile flowers and use them for diy beauty recipes and homemade tea! As you can see, I bought an additional basil plant since one plant alone couldn’t keep up with our consumption. 🙂 Beside the chamomile I have a bush of garden cress. Some people believe you shouldn’t let garden cress grow so tall because it compromises the taste. I honestly do not think that’s true. It hasn’t gotten spicier or different now that it has tripled in size.
Now that summer is almost here, our garden is also home to a large amount of different insects. We have a lot of bees and bumblebees hanging out on the sage flowers. Tip: If you grow vegetables keep in mind to also have a few flowers in your garden to attract bees! Bees prefer open-face flowers (not the ones they have to crawl into) and having open-face flowering plants will automatically attract them.
Oh and here is a photography tip for anyone who likes to take outdoor pics. If you want to take pictures of bees and insects that sting, don’t use a 70mm lens thinking you’ll get close enough. They will not like your presence and they’ll try to sting you. Ask me how I know. 😉
Another plant that has since started to bloom is my chilli plant. This one is an interesting variety because the chillies first turn black before they turn red. (Last year I mistakenly thought that something was wrong with the plant.) Chilli plants prefer a lot of sun so I planted them on the south side of my garden where they get to enjoy sunshine until the late evening hours.
The arugula has been a new addition to the garden in June. I had some space left over in one of the vegetable beds and I decided to give arugula a shot this year. I think I planted a bit too much though! Since arugula is a perennial, we will be enjoying quite a lot of arugula over the next two summers!
The carrots are so close to being done, I have to keep myself from digging one up every time I go into the garden. (Patience is not my strong suit!) Since we ate all of the lettuce I bought new plants again. I am currently trying out different varieties to see which ones we like best. Unfortunately the snails like ALL varieties of lettuce and I’ll sometimes find one sitting all comfy and cozy between the leaves. They are truly annoying insects! The only way I have been able to keep them in check is by scattering organic snail poison between the plants. It makes all the difference!
I also have to protect the radishes against snails which is why the plants are surrounded by blue granules.
Herbs are often not as susceptible to diseases and insects as vegetables are. That is because they usually have very intense smells and aromas which most insects do not like. If you are a beginner gardener, starting off with a few herb plants is a great way to ease yourself into gardening. They tend to grow rather quick but are also incredibly low maintenance. I never give my herbs compost or fertilizer because most of them love a rather meager soil.
Strawberries on the other hand like to be fertilized regularly. I feed them about every 2 weeks with a bit of berry fertilizer. I plant onions between them to keep harmful insects and diseases away.
My blackberry bushes are also growing well with the exception that one of them had a few lice recently. My grandma gave me an incredibly helpful tip: spray the affected plants with soapy water. It doesn’t damage the plants and it is certainly not bad for your health but it gets rid of the lice. It worked really well! Another tip she gave me is to plant a tomato plant in between. Apparently lice do not like the company of tomato plants. Let’s see if this will prevent any lice attacks in the future. I’ll keep you posted!
I couldn’t help myself but to share this picture of Chandler with you guys. He is my gardening buddy and always keeps me company when I am working in the vegetable beds. He looooves being outside and chasing butterflies all day long.
Our turnip cabbage plants have turned out wonderful and each plant yielded one gorgeous large turnip cabbage. We love to peel them and eat them raw or enjoy them breaded and fried as turnip cabbage schnitzel. They are so versatile and yummy!
After 3 months, our broccoli is finally ready for harvest. Since almost all of the 12 plants were ready to be harvested at the same time, we have been eating a ton of broccoli. I also cut up two of them and froze them. Freezing is a great option if your plants yield a lot and you feel overwhelmed with eating it all! 🙂
I have also bought a few more flowers to decorate the garden with. I stuck with rose and pink tones because they compliment the lavender and other flowers we already have. Unknowingly I bought perineals, so I am excited to see if they like it in our garden and will come again next year.
Now let’s take a look at what vegetables and plants you can grow in June. We live in a mild climate zone in Switzerland, so this list is for our climate zone here. (Our winters are mild, seldom any frost and negative temperatures, while the summers can be quite hot with temperatures up to 30C or 86F. We get a lot of rain.)
June Growing and Sowing List
- turnip cabbage
- garden cress
- bell peppers
I’m also growing spinach for the first time this year and while it has a few holes where the snails got to it, it is doing rather well.
This year I am trying two different varieties of zucchini, yellow and striped. I cannot wait to harvest my own zucchini and use them for this delicious lemon zucchini bread. I think that quick bread was the reason I planted zucchini in the first place.
Last month I shared a picture of the things we bought to build a little roof for our tomato plants. This month I get to share the finished project. Unfortunately, I didn’t snap the photo far away enough so the roof is cut off, but I think you still get the picture. The roof has made a huge difference for our tomato plants and despite all the rain we have recently had, they are developing into tall and strong plants.
Can’t wait to harvest these beauties!!
Lastly I want to share the sunflowers I sowed a few weeks ago. They were attacked by snails (I ran out of snail poison and didn’t find the time to buy a new package for a whole week) but recovered well. Sunflowers prefer a lot of sunlight and a rich soil so I make sure to fertilize them regularly. Come by next month and see how they will have developed!
I hope you forgive the extra long post and enjoyed my monthly gardening update. Are you gardening too? If so, how is your garden coming along? Let me know in the comment section down below!