June 27, 2021

The Garden at the End of June

It's hard to believe that June is almost behind us.  The fall and winter garden is finishing, and my summer garden is growing well. Challenges have been typically seasonal, with long hot stretches of no rain which means I've been focusing on mulching and watering if needed.

Winter & Early Spring Garden Remnants

Most of my multiplier onions have been harvested.

Celery flowers on the surviving celery base I rooted and planted.

My heat resistant Jericho lettuce is finally bolting, except for the little bit in the keyhole garden.

The romaine lettuce on the right is Jericho. The
others are bolting. All grown from saved seed.


I've tried to steer clear of planting perennials in my veggie garden, but these raspberries picked this spot so I've accommodated them! 

Cattle panel raspberry trellis

I've tried for years to grow raspberries, but have had poor success. When they showed up at the end of one of my garden beds, I said 'okay!'

It hasn't been a bumper crop, but I've gotten
some to enjoy on my morning granola!

This shot was taken earlier this month, before I cut the lettuce
for salads. Also in the strawberry bed are violets and an olla.

Little pots for rooting strawberry runners.

For diligent watering, I'm rewarded with
another handful of berries here and there.

Summer Garden

Where should I start? How about tomatoes?

I've had Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes volunteer
everywhere. They've been the first to ripen.

My standard varieties are still green. Here they
are with Swiss chard in the foreground.

On the other side of the row is a volunteer squash. I have no idea
what kind. The only flowers so far are male, so bah humbug.

This one is another volunteer on the other side of the garden.
It's probably cushaw, which has always done well for me.

Sweet potato squash is a new variety for me. So far,
so good, except it attracts the most squash beetles.

I was able to obtain some landrace winter squash, so I planted it too.

It started off well, but one of the plants seemed to suffer during our
hot dry spell. I composted and watered it, and new leaves are greener.

I planted melon in one of the hoop house beds. First I tried
Green Nutmeg which didn't show. Then Hale's Best, which did.

In the same bed, I planted something new to me, Malabar
red-stemmed spinach. It's a vining summer type of spinach.

Sweet potato bed with olla and volunteer tomato.

Cherokee flour corn, an heirloom from Virginia, with more volunteer
cherry toms. The sweet potato squash is at the far end of the right bed.

I planted cornfield pole beans in the front porch trellis bed. The cornfield variety don't mind some shade, so they were a good choice for a spot that only gets afternoon sun.

Also in the picture are more volunteer Matt's
wild cherry toms, yarrow, 4 o'clocks, and olla.


Lambs quarter has been beautiful and abundant this year.

It's a favorite green, and I've canned more than a dozen pints.

Landrace Experiment

I read Joseph Lofthouse's Landrace Gardening a little too late for most things, so this year, I'm just focusing on landrace cucumbers.

Two varieties of cucumber. You can also see bolting
Jericho lettuce, dried oats, and a volunteer turnip.

Step two in creating landrace vegetables (see all the steps hereis to "plant two or three varieties close together to encourage cross-pollination. Can be heirloom, open-pollinated, or F1 hybrid seed." I had seed from three varieties of cucumber that have done well for me in past years, so I planted them all in the same row: Dar, Straight Eight, and Boston Pickling. Next year, we'll see what we get.

Lots of photos! Hopefully, I didn't go over-board. How about you? How does your garden grow at the end of June?


daisy g said...

Wow! Your garden is bursting at the seams! Looks like you'll have plenty to eat in the next year. I hope you like the Malabar spinach, because once it's planted, it will keep coming up. I didn't care for the texture, but it might be good to add to smoothies. Enjoy your beautiful garden!

Leigh said...

Daisy, I hope it means plenty to eat! My germination rate seems to be just enough to keep us mostly in fresh eating, but I hope the landrace experiments remedy that. I found the Malabar spinach to be a little mucilaginous in a salad, but Dan really liked it. It might be a good additive for thickening soups. Glad to hear it keeps coming back! That's the kind of veggie I like!

Mama Pea said...

No, no, no, never too many garden photos to go with a post! Everything looks very green and lush which I know can be a challenge for you in your heat. I tried Malabar spinach once years ago with no luck. You've brought it to my mind again so maybe I should give it another go. I've often used Lamb's Quarter greens tossed into a quiche and we love it. Hubby tends to pull and munch on it as he finds it in a walk through the garden. Gotta be good for you!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I'm always on the lookout for things advertised as doing well in hot weather. Drought resistance is an added plus!

This is the first year I've had a good lamb's quarter harvest. I let it go to seed every year, and finally this year it took off in two places! I hope it's the same next year too.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

All this green makes my heart happy Leigh! My tomatoes have done as well as they ever have this year; I have no idea why except (perhaps) for the larger amount of rain we have had this year.

Goatldi said...


Nancy In Boise said...

Looks great! We're behind in our garden, between projects and weather. We're planted as of today, got 3 tomato's 1/2 price, heritage so will plant to day. I've never heard of a vining summer type of spinach? What's the flavor like? Are the vines long?

Debby Riddle said...

looks like it is feeding you well!

Colin McGee said...

Lovely, thank you! Would you mind sharing your recipe for canning Lamb's Quarters?

Leigh said...

TB, it seems to me that real rain makes everything happy. So much better than irrigating.

Leigh said...


Leigh said...

Nancy, this is my first time with this spinach. The flavor is good, but it has kind of a slippery texture in salads. Haven't tried it cooked yet. And I'm not sure how long the vines will ultimately get. They say to trellis it!

Leigh said...

Debby, except I'm impatient on our tomatoes. :)

Leigh said...

Colin, welcome! The recipe I use for canning lamb's quarters is the one for greens in Ball Blue Book. They have to be hot packed, so I bring water to a boil, add the greens long enough to wilt them, and then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the jars. You can steam the greens if you prefer. Jars are filled with boiling water leaving 1-inch headspace. You can use fresh boiling water in the jars, or I just use the water I heated them in. Salt if desired, 1/2 tsp per pint or 1 tsp per quart. Pressure can for your altitude, 1 hour 10 minutes for pints, and 1 hour 30 minutes for quarts. Then it's just heat and serve.

I had one jar that didn't seal so I used it in a recipe for spinach lasagna. Delicious!

Alissa said...

My malabar spinach vines are 8-10 feet, easy. I planted it once a few years ago, now I find little volunteers everywhere in my yard and garden beds each summer in mid to late June. They're easy to transplant to wherever I want them, the rest I just feed to the chickens! We don't like them much in salads but they're good in smoothies and I've had success dehydrating it like I do kale and using it in winter soups/stews.

Colin McGee said...


Ed said...

It's been a struggle for us. The straw we bought for mulch was full of oat seed and every time it rains, more of it germinates. We've been through the garden several times and after this last rain, it still looks more like an oat field than garden. But we've harvested new potatoes, kohlrabi, peas and one lone tomatillo. Everything but our bean crop seems to be growing well so we should have more if we can get all the volunteer oats out.

Ulvmor said...

I've had Malabra spinach few summers. It doesn't do well outdoors around here, an in greenhouse it wasn't doing much better either. I'm a bit dissapointed, but such is gardener's life up here in north. But I really really need to pick some lamb's quarters, as it grows in abundance in my veg plot.
Our summer has been the most odd one, constant warm weather with occasional rain. First time ever!

Leigh said...

Alissa, thank you for that information. That's an amazing length! Good to know it transplants easily. Also, that chickens like it!

Leigh said...

Ed, I had the same problem with oat straw a number of years ago. It was frustrating! Nice to hear you're managing to stay ahead of it and your garden is doing well.

Leigh said...

Ulvmor, it's amazing how different locations make such a difference in how well things grow. Sounds like it like heat (which is good for me!) Do you eat your lamb's quarters? It's our favorite green.

Seeking Serenity said...

hello dear friend, your pictures look delicious! i commented back, my sister is against all vac. i edited trying to clear things up but am terrible at communicating :P

Mark said...

Looks great, Leigh! Your summer garden is a bit ahead of ours! Lambsquarter has been in abundance in our garden too. Do you treat it as a weed or a forage? Thus far we treat it as a weed along with the nettles and purslane that we should also probably be foraging.

Leigh said...

Serenity, thank you!

Leigh said...

Mark, lambs quarter is definitely forage here. In fact, I let it go to seed to the next year's supply. I don't have nettles, but I understand it is another excellent green. Purslane too. Just think of it all as free food!

wyomingheart said...

Curious about what the bulbits look like on the onions, and what do you do with them? Some of my onions are getting white flowers , and I was wondering if that is what you are talking about. Your treasures are very nice, and it is wonderful when plants volunteer! I have four volunteer tomatoes, but have no idea what they are...bonus! Have a great week!

Just Me said...

How do you use the canned lamb's quarter? I've only had it as an addition to a fresh lettuce salad.

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, actually, I was thinking garlic! It's garlic that makes the bulbils. Onions make seed! Sorry! (I'd better change it in my post!).

Leigh said...

Just Me, I heat it and we eat it like spinach. I think it tastes better than spinach! (Now I'll have to add some fresh to a salad!)

Leigh said...

I forgot to mention that it's delicious is spinach lasagna (instead of spinach). We also really like it in creamed greens soup.