Planting, protecting, harvesting, celebrating, rethinking, relaxing and keeping a blog topic focused could all happen this month. Some of them have.
The blueberries are ripening earlier than ever this year. The protective bird netting is in place. I do enjoy seeing the robins, blue jays, cardinals, mockingbirds, thrushes and more in the yard. They will still be around. Without the net, the blueberries I planted, watered, and mulched would be their blueberries.
What I just harvested is garlic. The hot dry month of May resulted in the smallest garlic bulbs I’ve ever grown. I had been saving nice sized cloves form what I grew for the past five years. But I won’t be replanting this year’s crop. I like saving seeds, but not when it is going to seriously affect yield. This fall I’ll be buying garlic to plant for the first time in years.
Where I dug the garlic, I planted okra. Planting the first week of June will not result in the earliest okra in the area. But by mid-September, I will likely have all the okra I care for. Okra is probably the easiest vegetable to grow here. One planting will keep producing until frost.
The cilantro that is just coming up in this pot is not at all like okra. To keep a usable supply in hot weather, it needs to be planted every 2-3 weeks. In our summer weather it has two brief life stages: gone to seed, and about to go to seed.
And in the basement, this is the fruit cap on a batch of wine I’m starting. Yeast bubbles are visible just left of center. My sister-in-law from north Alabama is also a blueberry grower. She had about 15 pounds of last year’s berries in the freezer. I decided to put them together with my Cayuga grapes that I had frozen. This batch should be ready for the year end holidays. Usually my backyard fruit to wine efforts result in a decent Sangria. Neither the Loire nor Napa valley wineries need to worry about competition from the Tennessee Valley.