Sunday, June 3, 2012

Early June Garden Efforts

This has been a beautiful weekend for puttering around in my garden. Most plants seem to be thriving, perhaps due to the weather, perhaps due to the top-dressing with compost and mulching with leaves as I mentioned in my previous post. I had a few garlic bulbs tucked in a small flower garden in front of the house. I had nowhere else to plant them last fall, since Don hadn't yet built our raised beds. Yesterday I harvested the bulbs, cut off the tops, cut back the roots to 1/4 inches, and let them rest in a lawn chair on our shady front porch to dry for a couple of days. Then they'll need to cure for a couple of weeks in a dry, dark place to develop full flavor for eating.

Then they won't last long. Don LOVES garlic, and he's developed his own system for peeling the garlic and then roasting it. After that, he eats it fast.

This is too bad, because I like to cook with it, and the flavor of this home-grown garlic is better than anything we can buy in the supermarket. I figure I will order cloves of different types in late August to plant in the fall in our raised beds. I am beginning to think we can't raise too much garlic.

The beer traps I have set out for the slugs have claimed some victims, so that effort has been a success. I've harvested most of my radishes, but I've been spraying what's left with Neem oil because something (caterpillars? I don't see any) have been chewing on them pretty badly. The spinach is looking OK, but something has started to attack it, so I sprayed it, too, just in case.

My Romaine lettuce is the perfect size for picking. We need to be eating some salads this week. I planted more lettuce where I've been pulling up Romaine and where the radishes have been pulled up.

Something, I suspect a rabbit, has eaten all the leaves off my precious young eggplant and a young "healthy pepper" plant. We have three dogs, so I gathered up all the dog hair I could find and spread some around that bed. I've read that rabbits don't like the smell of dog hair. Time will tell.

**Update: we later learned that the eggplant-eating culprit might have been a crayfish or "land lobster," as I called it.  I can't prove it, but the damage to the garden stopped after Don found and killed the crayfish.

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