Garden Beds Update: Start of Summer (Cucumber Dip Anyone?)


Hi everyone!! Okay, 3 months in, to the growing season of 2023, so I figure it’s time to give an update on things.

First off if you live in the Northern hemisphere, Happy summer solstice! Yes, that’s today…I looked for a Google Doodle for the occasion, but I didn’t see it. Look it up anyway, it’s on my calendar….

May is usually a hot month (noticeable around the second week, and heat is relentless. I’m not a morning person, but I will become one much more readily in the summertime.

Now onto the beds…

The last bed we put together, which is a little shorter than the others, seems to have dune the best out of all of them. I don’t know if that’s because of better soil or the fact that we planted seedlings we bought in the same day, but we think it’s the soil. We got a steal of a deal on some from Lowes that they were trying to get rif of that had minor flaws like the bag split open in one place – if you’re looking for good deals just be willing to accept things not in totally new condition. Got to find ways to get a leg up in this new era of runaway inflation, am I right??

Bed #4 (Squash, cucumbers, basil, bell peppers)
-the best one so far, seems to have had the best overall looking fruits of our labor. The one basil looks great. I’ll have to start trimming some of it and dehydrating it soon.
The cucumbers have really taken off. They are nice, big and fat. So far I’ve probably gotten about 15-20 in this period. Not too shabby for something we planted early in May (or late April) As it stands, now I’ve got to figure out what to do with my surplus. I’m going to be pickling some of them soon. Last week we made some cucumber dip. It’s really easy, and tastes great! The only other ingredients you need are an 8 oz package of cream cheese, a dash of dill, garlic salt and black pepper. Try it on some flatbread or crackers. Dee-lish!

i made cucumber dip

Bell pepper plants have excellent growth…no fruit yet, but plants overall look healthy and are producing good foliage. Much more than the other beds.

Squash…I see a few juveniles starting, they’re still catching up.

Bed #3 – (Beans, corn, sunflowers, peppers)

Pole beans are getting much taller. They’ve caught up with the apex of the poles now. No pods yet, but it’s coming along.

Corn is about three feet high now.

There’s a couple of chili pepper plants at the end. We’re getting a few chilis. John catches them before i do, usually.

Sunflowers in the middle are showing pretty orange-yellow colors…they are about 2-3 feet in height.

Bed #2 (Potatoes, turnips, end is two tomatoes)

I have big news on the taters….We finally had our first debut dig. I thought we’d need a spade for this, but the first plant came up without any hassle. We were debating back and forth over whether to start now or wait another week, but finally decided to just pinpoint the most “ripened” plant and just go for it. Then one more. between two seed potatoes we got about 14 total. Four or five were teeny tiny like pearl onions but the rest were a normal size. We also determined that due to the rough texture of the outside skin, that our soil is slightly acidic. John admitted one reason he wanted to grow potatoes was to make a determination of the soil’s nutrient amount (he’s not one to buy test kits.)Well I learn something new every day. Besides the potatoes turned out well in the pot. I did have to trim off a few bad spots, but they took less time on the stove.

harvest of potatoes

Next week we’ll probably start to dig up the others, or at least some of them.

The turnips….I don’t think they produced anything I saw green patches for awhile, but as the potatoes grew it dwarfed them and I wonder if they were competing for soil nutrients so the turnips just kind of petered out.

The tomatoes on the end…look healthy, one or two fruits so far.

Bed #1 (Tomatoes, peppers-all kinds – okra, microgreens)

Seems like the first bed is the least productive. Chalk it up to the soil. It’s getting the most sun, however…the fourth bed, which seems to being flourishing the most, is getting exposed to the most shade from my neighbor’s Bradford pear tree. Who knows?

The tomatoes seem to do okay. The cherry ones put out a lot of fruit. More so than the medium-large ones, it’s still a little early, so give those others time, I guess. They look dry in some areas.

Microgreens, I’ve given up on them, either the late frost kind of stunted them, but when I think something will happen, it doesn’t. They put out a white blossom hear and there, but that’s it.

Dwarf okra is still growing, not a lot of growth…, nothing to report there.

We get a few small bell peppers and some bananas, and a few chilis, but the plants all seem relatively small, and I notice they look a little yellow. Kind of ironic since they get the most sun exposure.

Front Yard Bed+++++++++++++++++

Sometime in May we planted another bed in the front yard, we plated okra, tomatoes,, last week butternut squash, and some kana lilies. John had been in a relentless pursuit of those Kana lilies for quite some time now. Apparently they propagate well, I was hoping for something in the front that would look nice,, mainly something like an ornamental. It looks like the cypress vine that died (or at least, I thought it did) is trying to make a comeback.

+++++++++++++Other Notes…+++++++++++++++++

We got another soaker hose and this time it’s able to reach the three beds. It is much more effective than that sprinkler. It does rain periodically, but it seems like it’s always a dry week, then a rainy one. Weird how that goes.

Our laying hens are producing lots of eggs. Some days I will get 3-4 a day. Right now we have a total of 7 hens. Five are Jersey Giants and the other 2 are Cinnamons. We¬† no longer have the Pumpkins as they were a gift to John’s father. We keep them separated as their temperaments are different.

Wishing everyone a great summer! I’ll be sure to keep you posted again. Til then keep on digging in the dirt.


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