July Garden Update

Hello readers! I am happy to provide an update on our zone 3 homestead garden! July was kind of a weird weather month. We experienced heat, humidity, heavy rain but also had some cold nights. We didn't have frost at our home like some did in northern Minnesota, but we did have a couple of chilly nights. 

Between the mosquitos, deer flies, sun, heat, rain and humidity, it was kind of a bitch to get out to weed. Weeding is done early morning or late evening and I only could weed as much as I could stand the mosquitos or deer flies. It always seems to be just 1 deer fly that buzzes around your head non-stop until you finally give up and go inside, even while wearing a wide brim hat. I finally found a bug bite balm that works wonders on mosquito bites! I use this and the itch is almost instantly gone! (No, I am not affiliated, just want to share a product that works for me!)

All our plants are growing like crazy! We have peppers and tomatoes coming out of our ears! This past week, I had to prop up some of the pepper plants with dowels after the heavy rains really knocked them down. The tomatoes are a jungle! I used really long pallets that we had leftover from building our steel shop as tomato supports. They are working great but I think that next year, I will add fencing to the wood pallets so they are taller for the plants to grow up even higher. All my tomato plant seeds were purchased from MI Gardener. I just might purchase all future seeds from MI Gardener as everything from them is growing so well! 

There are 4 types of beans growing in the garden; Borlotto Di Vigevano Nano, Black TurtleDragon Tongue and Blue Lake pole green beans. The borlotto and black beans were purchased from Baker Creek in the spring of 2020. I planted them in our garden, but they did not grow very well and the yield was very minimal. So I dried the beans, kept them in a plastic baggie over the winter and planted those beans this spring. This year they are growing great and producing lots of pods. The dragon tongue is growing great as well. The green bean seeds are who knows how old and who knows where purchased. I found them in my seed box and just thought to plant them along our wooden fence. They are growing terrible. I'll have to purchase some fresh seeds from MI Gardener next spring!

Cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are getting huge! I am really excited to make sauerkraut for the first time this fall! Sauerkraut is something that we eat daily - just bites right out of the jar. We believe this fermented food really helps keep a healthy digestive system. I image that making your own will be even better for this. 

Next spring, I would really like to try using landscaping fabric to help reduce weeding. I do enjoy weeding, I find it therapeutic, but it's not therapeutic when  you are constantly smacking mosquitos and swatting at flies. I think the area in the garden that will benefit the most from landscaping fabric is the onion area. I just cannot keep up with weeding around the onions. 

I get jealous of seeing so many people posting online in warmer areas that they are already picking their veggies! I know ours are producing and it won't be long when I am overwhelmed with picking veggies and getting them preserved as soon as possible!