July In The Garden

July was a long month here in the PNW. The first 3 weeks were very, very hot – going into the 90’s almost daily. The 4th week we got a few days again of “normal” weather, where we have cloud cover, that keeps down temperatures later in the day, when it burns off. I will take that. Normally, June is like that for 20 or so days of the month. But June was cloudless and hot as well. As you can see…everything not in the garden is dormant or dead.


But where well fed and watered, it has done well. I’ve learned lessons on soil this year, notes to tuck away till next year.


The boys picking and eating strawberries. A good reason to plant at least half of your berries as ever bearing types, so you get berries even into September and October.


A few months back, after our fiasco with the horrible wooden play set we bought 3 years ago from Costco (and only used one year set up) was settled (they took it back!), we inherited a free set from a neighbor. With a good power washing, it looked like new. Woot! And I love the design. Not your everyday design. We built a frame, and filled it in with rubber playground mulch. Be wary of the wood play sets, they do crack, and sometimes the cracks are so bad it isn’t load bearing anymore – even with proper maintenance. The “warranty” offered was new wood, which we would have had to pay shipping on (hence why we took it back to Costco).


One side effect of the harsh summer has been the fruit. The purple flowering plum trees that most years are ornamental, put on fruit like crazy. I would guess as a reaction, in case the mother tree dies.


Summer is the goat mowing service coming back to the retention ponds locally. Yes, someone was THAT happy….


He might have been helping even….it is a really cool thing our county does. Much better than using Round Up and killing bees….


And while I normally don’t encourage wasps to set up home nearby, this year I decided to turn my cheek to them, since their nest, in a bird house, was so far away from the house. Figured at least someone was living in it…

With so many succulents in my garden this year, I ask myself…why didn’t I grow these before?


The White Soul Strawberry, grown from seed, from Baker Creek. Tiny, creamy texture and a taste you just can’t describe. Worth the coddling it took!


Earlygirl tomatoes hold to their promise – first up to pick:


Green Grape tomatoes – and heirloom one. Tiny, juicy and tasty!


And then….the zucchini start popping up! The hot weather has produced healthy plants for once. So far no powdery mildew on the leaves to kill the plants (which happens in the typical cool/wet summers).


Everyone needs sunflowers, right? These are the biggest in height I think I have ever grown. The short ones are still nearing 6 feet in high. The one on the right, it is at least 8 feet? 4th week of July!


Back in the spring, I had offered up golden raspberry starts on a local homesteader groups. I had one lady who brought me a lily plant as a trade – which while not asked for, was a generous trade. I had no idea what kind it was, nor if it would grow. So I watered it and basically ignored it for months.


Then it opened in the 4th week of July. Oh, how amazing the flowers are. That is my 5 year old’s hand in the photo, holding the tiger lily.


Meanwhile, the Yellow Wonder Strawberries from Baker Creek, that I grew from seed, have grown like weeds. The berries are simply amazing. They are a pale yellow (due to the seed color), creamy in texture, small in size and have a floral taste.


Picking them is delicious and they have been ready almost every day in July.


Little man, Alistaire, isn’t so little anymore.


The semi-dwarf apple trees we planted put on like crazy, and this one tree, which is a multi-graft, is loaded.


Did I mention loaded?


Benning’s Green Tint, one of the more fun squashes to grow.


The olive tree, one of those things I bought over the winter, plodded along all summer. It hasn’t grown much, but suddenly in the last week, a few tiny green olives came on.


Mama’s little helper……


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