June 2013

Our Three Bed Garden in spring:
Plenty of leafy greens, radishes, carrots, beets, chard and peas, with alyssum to attract pollinators.

Demonstrating a Succession Garden for Long Harvests

Our simple succession garden design for Long Summer/Mild Winter Gardens was created to show what can be done in a small backyard garden in parts of the country where summers are long and winters are mild without deep frost: USDA zones 8-10 and warmer areas of zone 7. Last year we planted and took pictures of this garden to show how productive it can be. Here is our report.

(Note: If you live in an area where winter starts early and the ground freezes hard - USDA zones 3-6, see our Short Summer/ Cold Winter Design.)

Our Three Bed Garden in summer:
An abundance of squash, tomatoes, peppers and beans, along with parsley, basil, and dill ready for harvest.

Tomatoes ready with straw mulch and tomato fence

Fava Bean "Robin Hood"

June in the Trial Garden
by Lindsay Del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager

We’ve got our tomatoes planted in amended soil, the bed covered with a thick straw mulch to keep the moisture in, and have our tomato fence all set up. The Renee's Garden tomato fence method that we came up with a few years ago has proven to be the most effective. The plants get to spread out to get good air circulation and full sun. It also makes harvesting very easy since much of the fruit dangles nicely from the underside of the trellis. If we anticipate a heat spell, we simply drape a single layer of white row cover over the front to protect the fruit from burning, especially if we are growing large heirlooms.

We will be growing English cucumbers using the same method as we do for tomatoes. The fence will be slightly shorter, and should yield great results. Cucumbers also need plenty of air circulation so that they do not get bad diseases like powdery mildew and pests like mites. The fruit will also be kept off of the ground so that it stays clean and grows straight.

We are starting to harvest pods from our trial of dwarf fava bean "Robin Hood." These compact plants stay looking beautiful and tidy in the garden because they don’t fall over - a big plus. The glossy green pods hold many medium sized, tender fava beans. When lightly steamed until just tender, they make a tasty fava bean puree, and are also nutty, rich tasting and delicious in a salad or sautéed with onions and garlic.

Cucumbers ready to be
trellised using the tomato
fence method

Harvested Fava Bean pods

What's On Renee's Blog
Pinching Basil to Promote
 Lush Plants and Long Harvests

Tri-Color Pole Beans

What to Plant in June/July
Don't be overwhelmed by a sense of being too late to plant. Summer producers will grow even more quickly from seed sown in early summer when the soil is well warmed up and teeming with life. You'll be surprised how fast seeds will come up and explode with growth.  Read more...

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Best Wishes, Renee Shepherd

Recipe of the Month

Classic Fresh Pesto Sauce

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