June 2011

Two red varieties have done well in this late spring/early summer period: One named Redina, from Seeds of Change, and another named Dazzle, which I purchased in England last summer. Also the Amish Deer Tongue planted in April is doing great, and the chartreuse green looks awesome with the dark red of the other lettuces.

Fava beans
I bought three varieties of fava beans when in England last summer, and planted them early this spring (February) while we still had the plastic hoop houses up. We’ve pulled most of them out, as it’s getting really hot and they’ve stopped blooming and setting pods. They did surprisingly well this spring – better than the snow and snap peas – so I’ll be planting them again.

I’ve got a nice stand of about 20 okra plants up. That should be plenty for fresh eating, and probably plenty for freezing and pickling, too. The biggest problem with okra around here is that when in production you have to pick it everyday to get the pods when they’re young and tender.

We’ve already gotten two bell peppers and several green chilies off the plants I bought at the farmer’s market (seems early, doesn’t it?). A friend (of Portuguese descent) gave me some Padron pepper seeds, which he recommends as a “roasting” pepper. I think every seed came up – I just direct-seeded them in the garden in early May – so hopefully we’ll have enough to freeze for winter.

Green beans
We’ve had several meals of the Roma bush green beans, and the Kentucky Wonder pole beans are starting to produce too. I also have some Blauhild (burgundy) pole beans blooming. These are a variety I picked up in England, so I’m not sure how well they will fare here in Oklahoma. I’ve only been able to get one Scarlet Runner beans to come up – not sure what the problem is – maybe cutworms are targeting them?

Yesterday Mike dug up our potato bed, and filled two 5-gallon buckets – one with Yukon Gold, the other with Red Pontiac. We had a few last night with green beans from the garden…yummmm! Today I planted summer and winter squash in that bed. We are going to try and be vigilant against the squash vine borer and squash bugs. We’ve read that if you wait until later (like now) to plant your squash you can avoid vine borers. We’ll see…

Well, we had a first this year: basil reseeded and we keep finding new ones in various parts of the garden. I transplanted about 5 today. Apparently the fact that I put off actually planting the basil didn’t hurt me!

We harvested most of the garlic this weekend, a couple of weeks earlier than last year. Still left to harvest are the varieties that Kim sent me at Christmas. We won’t have as much garlic to give away this year (sorry, friends). Actually, we still have usable cloves left from last year in bags in the kitchen.


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