july garden update – surprise sunflowers!


Guess what – our strange cucumber plants – they are not cucumbers. We had been having doubts for a little while and as the plants continued to grow taller and taller we started to look into it, and we have Russian Mammoth sunflowers. These giant beasts can grow to be 12 feet tall and have huge stalks. They have evidently grown from seeds left behind from the people who had the plot last and we have kept one, the tallest one and pulled out the others to help the other plants grow. The root balls of these plants are so huge already and at the end of the summer we will be experimenting with harvesting the seeds from the flower (after enjoying it of course!).

This has also been a great month for starting to get some harvests from our plants. We managed to get a good handful of beets as well as radishes that were enjoyed in a few dinners (mixed in with more vegetables from our CSA) and our salvaged strawberry plants gave us a few berries and we hope that the plants will be more established and give us more fruit next year.

We just these week were able to pick the first of our green beans, one of my favourite vegetables. We have 8 feet of beans so I know the next few weeks will be filled with lots of these green delights as they grow.

Coming soon will be our first harvest of carrots. In the past I have only ever produced small spindly carrots, but these are looking much already and hope to harvest those by the end of the month. Our brussells sprouts, cucumber, butternut squash, and parsnips are also growing well, but won’t be ready for a while. The cool and rainy weather is still sticking around on the west coast so things are growing a bit slower than normal.

The backyard garden is growing slowly. Most pots have a few sprouts sticking out and we will see if we can get anything there in the next month.

I am starting to really think about my plants for next year already. Both some winter crops I would like to plant such as garlic, onions, and potatoes that will need to be figured out soon, as well as taking a look at the other garden and seeing what else I would like to plant next spring such as snap peas, tomatoes, peppers, and more.

It is exciting to actually have warmer weather showing up and I feel like this will help some of these crops to grow a bit faster, but it is so relaxing to just have a place to go every few days to weed, water, and just be alone for a bit.

Do you have a garden? How is it going? Have you ever planted some winter crops and do you have any tips for me?

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