June 2023 garden update – what’s growing?

June finally ushers in the gardening season here in Northern Ontario. The weather is now warm enough at night to safely plant everything outside. This month certainly had its struggles, especially when it came to the weather. After an unusually hot May, we cooled down again and many nights we were dipping to near freezing. It delayed planting a bit, as many plants needed to continue to be brought in at night. On top of this, it was incredibly dry all month long. In fact, we didn’t get any rain until the end of the month, which really slowed down the growth of the garden. Even so, I am happy with how all of the plants are doing and with luck, we will have a good harvest in a few months. This June 2023 garden update shows how the garden has done this month and goes over the varieties planted.

June 2023 garden update

The main garden

The main garden has been here for many years and in the in-ground section, I have been growing beans for quite a few years. However, I decided it was time to do some crop rotation, as last year the beans struggled a bit. Since I went a bit crazy planting tomato seedlings, it made sense that this garden space would be dedicated to tomatoes. I also interplanted plenty of parsley and basil, along with a handful of marigolds within them for companion plants. Along the border, I planted two varieties of sunflowers.

In the beds, I continued to plant tomatoes because I absolutely went crazy with tomatoes. Four of the seven beds ended up with tomatoes. The rest of the beds are a mix of zucchini, corn, potatoes, and a few flowers. I am not certain what type of potatoes I have planted, as my sister gave me a few sprouted potatoes and she didn’t tell me which ones they were. We will find out when harvest time comes. The corn is an experiment. I did try to grow corn a few years ago but it was a complete failure as only 1 seed from an entire packet sprouted. This year, I decided to go with two varieties and so far they are doing well. I look forward to seeing if they actually fully grow and produce by the end of the growing season.

In the back area, we used to have wild strawberries. However, last year the weeds absolutely took it over – I blame the super hot weather that kept me from doing much garden work. We decided it was best to simply pull up everything and use the area to hold containers of overflow plants. Most of these pots have peppers in them, but there are a few flowers along with a tomato plant mixed in.

Finally, on the fence along this area, I hung up several small containers to grow greens in. These have lettuce, Swiss Chard, and spinach in them, plus one container of radishes.

Varieties planted:

  • Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
  • Tiny Tim Tomatoes
  • Pink Ponderosa Tomatoes
  • VF Roma Tomatoes
  • Sweet Basil
  • Curly Parsley
  • Italian Parsley
  • Velvet Sun Flowers
  • Sunspot Dwarf Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • Green Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Jewel Mixed Nasturtiums
  • Purple Beauty Peppers
  • Cherry Bell Radishes
  • Grand Rapids Lettuce
  • Red Salad BowlLettuce
  • Bright Lights Swiss Chard
  • King of Denmark Spinach
  • Golden Bantam Heirloom Corn
  • Canadian Early Supersweet Hybrid Corn
  • Chives
  • Dwarf Green Kale

Plague’s Patch

This was last year’s new garden space. It is known as Plagu’e Patch since most of what I grew last year was things my rabbit, Plague, could eat. While what is growing in this spot is different this year, I will still refer to it as Plague’s Patch.

Initially, I wasn’t sure what I would plant in this area. It gets plenty of morning sun but is in the shade in the afternoon. After a lot of thought, I decided to plant my beans and peas out here. Actually, I didn’t intend to plant peas this year, but when you plant while groggy, mistakes are made. I ended up planting 2 rows of peas before realizing what I was doing.

Along with those, I tossed in a few zucchini and herbs in the smaller section of this bed. What made me really happy was to see all the Shasta Daisies come back after a long cold winter. I wasn’t expecting them to survive but they did and they are now flourishing and should start flowering soon.

Varieties planted:

  • Contender Green Beans
  • Golden Wax Beans
  • Green Arrow Peas
  • Green Zucchini
  • Dill
  • Zebrina Malva
  • Marigolds
  • Shasta Daisies

New garden beds

I once again expanded the garden this year. Let’s face it – you can never have enough garden space. Using a bunch of scrap wood, plus a few newly purchased boards, I was able to build 4 new raised beds.

In these new double beds, I planted all my brassica along with some greens. I also threw in a couple of flowers. Because these are new beds, I expect them to not produce as well as more established areas. However, anything I get out of them will be great.

I always try to grow a few new plants as an experiment each year. This year, I decided to give watermelons a try. I don’t know how they will do in our colder climate but it’s worth a try. So far, the plants look great and I look forward to seeing them sprawl out across the ground.

Lastly, with scraps from the watermelon bed, I made a mini bed to plant lettuce in. I figured there was no reason to let the wood go to waste and it ended up being the perfect size for the lettuce seedlings I had started.

Varieties planted:

  • Green Sprouting Broccoli
  • Romanesco Broccoli
  • Red Express Cabbage
  • Bright Lights Swiss Chard
  • King of Denmark Spinach
  • Malva
  • Sugar Baby Watermelons

The front garden

This is the area I have completely neglected this year. However, with the price of flower seedlings, I have decided to skip growing anything in this small space. The chocolate mint is the only thing growing here and I am happy to let it grow as much as it wants.

I hope you enjoyed my June 2023 garden update. What are you growing this year?

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