The (Busy) Lazy Gardener

  • Posted on: 15 June 2017
  • By: Cathy McGuire

garden 6-15

Wow I can't believe we're already past Solstice and I haven't had a chance to post. Sorry... it's been a crazy Spring and Summer so far, and lots of "do this immediately" type stuff. But finally, after 9pm on a hot June night, I'm gonna try to summarize.

First off, I have to say the weather in Oregon has been unusual. We're in drought, though thankfully not as bad as our southern neighbors... but the last month has be abnormally sunny and dry, and the temps...!! Yesterday it was 95, and today - since it was "only" 86, I did a bunch of canning, because they're predicting mid to high 90's all week. Adjusting to growing plants under these conditions is stressful, and I know this is just practice for the tougher times.

Bad news is that peas went yellow before they produced much and potatoes went from first stems to collapsed stems too fast. I'm also struggling with moles and gophers, both of which create big air holes in roots, and one of which pulls my plants down into those holes!! So I've been busy trying to keep plants alive, and not too much to share with you so far.

Good news is that the hot weather plants are growing like crazy! I've gotten 9 huge cukes from one plant (sitting on the brown tray in the photo)- this in an area where I usually don't get the plants to survive! And peppers have flowers and I've gotten 2 zukes with many more to come. Eggplant slower to flower, but OTOH, I usually can't get them to grow here either.


I will say that because of the dry weather, the straw mulching technique is working much better this year - fewer slugs and it's helping keep the ground moist even with the heat. I'm using old rabbit straw, so there's added fertilizer. (And yes, my garden is circular, which only makes my job harder...silly me)

And I do have some new sturdy tomato cages, thanks to neighboring Green Wizard August Johnson - I hope he writes up his technique for making them! (see below). Definitely something you want to put over the starts early because it's a pain in the patoot to slip them over large droopy plants!!

tomato cage

And August got a tip from another Green Wizard - Risa Bear - and used maple limbs as bean poles - and I've copied that.

asparagus beans

raised bed beans

And grabbing scraps to shade the lettuce during this heatwave:

lettuce shade

Anyway, hope you are all working hard on your gardens this year!