I dug my garlic last night. It's a bit earlier than usual, and it never did fall over like it usually does when it's getting ready to harvest. It just dried up, still standing in place. But the bulbs are nice, big ones and are now out on a rack in the shade drying out a bit. The cloves on some of the driest ones started to separate, and some even have little bulblets growing inside the stem just above the main bulb (never seen that before). Those won't store well, and can't be braided so they'll get used first. But I think after a day or two, the rest can still be cleaned and braided to finish curing. I do so like the look of a garlic braid in my pantry.
The whole month of June was cooler and wetter than normal here. Most of the salad greens are still doing great (the arugula, spinach, and a red leaf lettuce have bolted, starting to flower). I'm harvesting whole lettuce plants every other day - for me, for friends and neighbors, and some for the chickens too. The snap and snow peas are starting to produce, and the English peas should be ready soon, if they can withstand the July heat. The corn, beans, and squashes are up and just starting to grow; the fruiting bed is slow getting going.
I'll be spending the holiday weekend pretty close to home - I've got lots to do to keep me busy. Here's my yard & garden to-do list:
Get the netting over the Reliance grape - soon! if I want grapes, and raisins, this year.
Pick, pit, and process more pie cherries - I've got a bowlful dehydrating on screens in the sun, but the ones on the inside branches are almost ripe.
Pick raspberries - these are new plants I got from a friend last summer, so they haven't set much of a crop, but there are a few red ones down low on the branches that grew last year.
Cut and dry oregano and marjoram. I made that the subject of today's post, just written and posted, over on the SGF Co-op blog - which is why I'm still inside on the computer.
Pack more straw around potato plants, and fill in bare spots in the row with the last of the ones from last year sprouting in the cellar.
Thin fruit, head back overlong branches, and remove suckers on the fruit trees. I did the Freedom apple a couple of days ago - it hadn't been pruned for a couple of years. The Gravenstein should be thinned, and then the Liberty and Macintosh. The Asian pears and plums need it too. There are dead branches (borer damage) on the nectarine and peach trees that need to be removed - those trees aren't looking too good (they're about 20 years old), so it's time to start thinking about replacements.
Get the extra tomato and pepper plants off the deck table. I need to either call the neighbors that said they wanted them, plant them outside my fence as u-pick freebies, or put them out of their misery.
Weeding, weeding, and more weeding - I got around the brassicas and the early bed looks good. I just wear my Ipod set on Shuffle, sit cross-legged on a foam weeding pad, scoot it along the row, and hand-weed around each plant. It's easiest after the soaker hose has run the night before, and I have to admit, I do enjoy the satisfying crunch/pop when you pull a weed out by the roots.
But I can hardly see the beets and carrots (they need thinning too, as does the strawberry patch). The fruiting bed really needs it next, especially inside the Wall-o-Waters (the nice little micro-climate inside is also very conducive to weed growth). It will be easier if I get the WoW's off first and then just do it all at once. The corn could use a quick going-over with the hula hoe before I hill-up the plants, and I should run it around the squashes before they really take off. I can't believe some people actually grow purslane intentionally! Sure, it's tasty, but here it grows like the weed it is!
Oh! and one other little interesting item: urban chickens are now legal in Carson City! My birds have always been legal, since our lot is larger than an acre. I've been interviewed a couple of times regarding urban chickens though, and always helped push for changing the ordinance. Our City Supervisors did just that yesterday - allowing up to four hens or ducks (no roosters), or two pot-bellied pigs up to 150 pounds each (the mayor has one - he abstained from the vote) anywhere in the city. It's now safe for some chickens I know of to come out of hiding!