June 2023: The Future of Your Garden (and Life!!)

Hello, potatoes!!!!! Happy summer!!!!!!!!!! ☀️

We shall now conclude our gardening theme with what you’ll need to do for the future of your garden (and life! 😁).

Here are some things to do in June:

  • Plant later-growing plant seedlings like squash, gourds, & pumpkins in May — take a look at this planting calendar for ideas!
  • Continue watering, composting, learning, and all the other great things you’ve been doing!
  • Start harvesting early plants like greens and radishes (see below!)
  • Put up stakes/trellises/etc. for the plants who need them
  • Find out your plants’ ongoing needs (for instance, zucchini leaves should be trimmed if they produce too many, so the zucchini gets enough sun)
  • Be a potato! 🌤️

And now, harvesting! Most harvesting will come later, around September, but it depends on the plants. Some, like lettuce, taste better earlier in the season before they ripen much, and berries are often ready in early summer; tomatoes and herbs tend to be harvestable throughout the summer. Squashes usually come later, and root vegetables are often harvested at the end of the summer. For each plant, look up how to harvest, and keep in mind how to do so respectfully — not taking too much, taking only what you’ll use, and not harming the plants.

There is usually an expectation to harvest every edible thing you find in your garden, but taking only what you’ll use allows you to share the gardening joy! For one thing, what you harvest will always be fresh and won’t spoil. Home-grown food makes an excellent (and zero-waste!) gift, and when you let the seeds scatter, they can regrow the next year!!!!!!!!!! (You can also harvest seeds and plant them in the spring.) Also, we share this glorious world with many other creatures, and you will likely encounter contention for the fruits of your garden; we encourage you to share some with your nonhuman neighbors. If you do still want to deter them lest they consume everything, read our tips below.

Here are the things you’ll want to do as time goes on:

  • Some plants have a second growing season in late summer, so you can plant more seeds in later months — take a look at this website for additional information on succession planting!
  • Some plants need stakes (like tomatoes) or trellises (like peas); if your plants are falling over, push a stick into the ground and tie or twist-tie the plant’s stem to it
  • Care for your plants! Make sure to cut off infected leaves so the infection doesn’t spread, and you can also sprinkle cinnamon on fresh cuts or breaks to prevent infection. If a healthy stem partially breaks, you can push it back in place and tie a bandage around it, and it may be able to mend. This website gives you a comprehensive list of natural pest and disease remedies, while this gives you natural tips and tricks to make your garden healthier!
  • Winterizing your garden means preparing it for the upcoming cold season so that it’s snug and safe. Remove dead plants and debris, protect plants who’ll keep growing during the winter (you can find covers and coats for them!), and if you have raised beds, put leaves, straw, or mulch on them to protect the soil
  • Learn about the plants and fungi who happen to pop up! Even if you didn’t plant them, they could turn out to be good neighbors for your plants and could possibly be edible — many “weeds” are! We encourage you to learn about the plants and fungi you find rather than automatically removing them. After all, what is a weed but a plant who has been rejected by society??
  • If you need to deter other animals, you can use wire nets to keep them away, or surround your garden with plants they dislike (or plants they like and will be distracted by!)
  • Some plants, like chives and mint, grow back every year, and some naturally scatter seeds that grow the following spring, but you’ll need to plant new seeds and seedlings for many species. It’s also useful to consider crop rotation, which keeps the nutrients in the soil balanced and makes crops less susceptible to pests, though it’s mostly important in monoculture so that the soil does not get degraded
  • At the beginning of each spring, we recommend turning the soil (wherever plants are not growing) with a shovel and adding a new layer before planting
  • Be a potato and embrace the future of your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course, one of the best parts of growing wonderful foods in your garden is getting to eat them! Having your own garden is a great opportunity to explore new recipes and ways to incorporate the things you grow into the food you make. Scallions, tomatoes, black pepper and sprouts are easy to grow and commonly used in the food you eat regularly. Also, this website lists 28 plants you can grow at home and eat! We’d love to hear about any great recipes you try. 🥔🍲

Gardens are a great way to connect with and understand the land around you. They are also sustainable food sources, and can be sustainable indefinitely. You can reduce emissions by eating the local, organic (and bonus-ly especially delicious) food they provide! Gardens are great learning tools, and they help us (literally and figuratively) grow our future. 

Learning how to cultivate life in your environment is an important skill in living harmoniously, and we hope you try putting your hands in the dirt. 🤎 Become one with the plants! Revel in the dirt! Enter the beautiful future of your life!!!!!

Happy gardening!!! 💚🌱

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