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SFG : Plant Update (June)

So here in my Square Foot Gardening world, June has come and gone and there is much to update…

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Firstly, I cobbled together a couple of very primitive shades – made from weedblock – as the temperatures started to get overly hot in the area around the raised beds. I finally figured out that in addition to hitting the plants directly, there was a significant amount of reflected light (and heat) bouncing back off the house siding. The shades seemed to help and I had configured them in such a way that I could slide them down over the top of the plants if necessary. The tomatoes, beans, sugar snap peas, ground cherries and wonderberry all seemed to be thriving. The lettuces (Buttercrunch and Lollo Rosso), spinach, chives and onions have not responded so well.
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The sugar snap peas are doing well but I did make one intervention. They are supposed to be a bush variety, therefore not requiring support, but I have observed that they do better when support is provided (I just used sticks and a spare cane).DSC_0007

The beans are in the process of flowering : First, the Dragon Tongue bush variety and second, the Sunset runner.DSC_0013DSC_0011

The A Grappoli D’Inverno tomato resplendent with flowers…DSC_0005

The Ground Cherry with flowers and young fruit…
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The Wonderberry and the magic of pollination…DSC_0010Unfortunately, my pepper seeds did not do so well on my first germination attempt so I was forced to buy two pepper plants to replace the stuffing peppers that hadn’t grown – a ‘Purple Beauty’ and a ‘Yummy Snacking Petit Bell Pepper’. As it turned out three seedlings grew from the second germination attempt and those were planted in a spot in the garden as there was no space available in the raised beds. The Purple Beauty, also in flower…DSC_0009

I have also been struggling with my melon seedlings. They would germinate just fine, then as soon as they were transplanted they would wither and die, probably caused by the dreaded damping off. I took the soil from the SFG into which the melons had been placed and sterilized it with hydrogen peroxide, then put it back in position. Further melon seeds were germinated and once transplanted appeared to be doing fine. They survived the damping off threat and just as they were beginning to thrive a rodent or bird dug up my only Boule D’Or plant and killed it. The only consolation was that I had two Charentais plants such that one could be transplanted in place of the Boule D’Or. I had also taken the precaution of buying an established ‘Early Hanover’ seedling from Comstock Ferre and planted that as well in case none of my seedlings survived again.

 

The sweet potato duly delivered a couple of decent slips and I planted those in a separate square foot garden (1ft x 2ft). I plan on using a ‘volcano’ method with these which entails clipping lower leaves at the stem and burying with soil. Each of these nodes should produce a potato, should ! Every time there are more than three big primary leaves I clip and bury the lower ones.DSC_0002

 

The only other points of note are that the scarecrow is doing a wonderful job of keeping larger animals away from the beds – it also catches me out occasionally when I forget to turn it off before checking out the garden !! You will also notice from the pictures that I have planted Lemongrass in a pot and in the ground close to the beds. I have also purchased a Goji Berry plant (again from Comstock Ferre) and will watch to see if it bears fruit next year. Finally for today, my Sunflowers are all growing well and the mammoth is already over 5 feet tall !!

 
 

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