2017 Harvest

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Garden in July

This July is very different from the ones we are used to. This week is the first week in this year that we have temperatures over 30℃. And it won't last long. Weather will change tomorrow and we will have thunderstorms. Also this is the rainiest summer in past 20 years. Every week we have at least one heavy shower. This Thursday we got another one that in 30 minutes brought us 50 liters of rain.

All this rain is affecting our garden so things are looking different this July.

I'm slowly loosing a battle against weeds this summer. We never had so many weeds like this year.
I have divided my garden in two sides. Right side is weed friendly. Here I grow potatoes and beans and I allow weeds to grow without removing them. The reason is that I noticed I damage more plants by pulling out weeds. I always remove bean plants together with weeds and to stop it I just stopped weeding. Also my potatoes are always early variety so I just pull the weeds when I dig my potatoes out.

Left side is my weed free zone. I clean every single weed from this part of the garden. Usually I have few Creeping quackgrass (couch grass) which I remove once a month and my weed free part of the garden is clean.
But this year it's unbearable. I remove weeds every 2 weeks and it's always buckets of weeds.
It took me 3 days this time just to clean up 8 beds and paths. And the amount of weeds and grass is amazing. My compost pit is full. And I cleaned it this spring.

 My potatoes are lost somewhere in weeds. This bed never looked like this. There were weeds but I could always see my potatoes. Potatoes aren't doing well this year. Too much rain and too little heat in spring are giving us very small harvest. Every plant produces only one big potato and a few little ones.

The only clean part of my potato bed is already filled with other vegetable. After pulling out part of my potatoes I planted more beans. They are 14 days old now and growing nicely.

Next to my new beans are my cucumbers. They are waking up now and making first flowers.

 This is strange since our neighbor already harvested most of her cucumbers. This year I was one of many persons that just missed the time for cucumber planting. I was waiting for the middle of May to avoid frost and I got caught in rain trap. End of May was extremely rainy and cold and my cucumbers germinated after sleeping 3 weeks in soil.

Next to my cucumbers is my poor tomato bed.

I've been fighting with blight on this bed for a month now.
It seems that I was able to stop it from destroying my fruits but it's still spreading on leaves. Considering how aggressive late blight is I'm very pleased with this. From what I hear most of tomato plants in other outdoor gardens are already gone. Blight is also devastating greenhouses all over Croatia and my plants are still here. Alive and kicking bights ass.

Next is my pepper surprise bed.

Last year my peppers were fried from the heat so this year I planted my peppers between two tomato beds to protect them.
I have also planted Sorghum(millet) in front of my peppers to give them shade from our strong sun...yeah right this year strong sun sounds like a joke.

I call this surprise bed because this year it's full of surprises. First there are yellow bell peppers that I didn't plant

Then there are green tomato peppers which I also never planted.

The yellow peppers I did plant are not here. But there are some tomato plants growing between peppers that came here who knows how. I suspect some seeds fell in the soil. But  have no idea how since this plants are much smaller from the rest of my tomatoes.

Under my peppers there is a small part of the bed where I planted some beets. They are growing great this year.

Like I said my peppers are between two tomato beds.

 The left tomato bed is exposed to more sun during the spring/summer, so the blight came later on it. It's not as strong as it is on the right bed. Most of my tomatoes are still very much healthy.

Black seaman
3 varieties on this bed don't have blight at all. Marmande, Giant Belgium and Black Seaman are completely healthy for now.

On lower part of the garden I made a corn fence to protect my vegetables and blackberries from strong sun(ha ha!)

Watermellons are directly under this wall and it should have given them enough shade to prevent white burned spots on fruits.

I also planted one Red basket of fire hot pepper here.

I wasted to see how they would like my garden. The result is that this pepper is much smaller then the one I grow in pots. I think I will continue planting them in pots.

Next to my watermelons are my beans. This beans were planted 6 weeks ago after I pulled out my peas.

Next is carrot, parsley and onion bed surrounded with dills.

Carrots are doing great this year. My 4kg harvest will get much bigger this year.
Like always parsley is another story.

I just can't grow parsley on my soil. I'm thinking of giving up and planting full bed of carrots next year.

I have another 6 weeks old bean bed.

And next is my "everything bed"

 I grow here all my vegetables that don't take much space. I had lettuce here which has been harvested and now I left only few ones to collect seeds. Also there is kohlrabi, shallot onions for next year and cabbages.

My half eaten cabbages. Bugs just love to chew on them.

My last and biggest bed is my main bean bed. I grow here 4 varieties of beans.

I already collected 2 varieties and got 5,5 kilos of beans which is great harvest. I'm still waiting for my Trešnjevac and "I don't know it's name" kidney bean.
If they grow as good as  Berggold and Wonder of Piedmont I'll have a big bean harvest this year.

So except for my huge tomato troubles, bad potato harvests and weed problems vegetables in July were pretty much successful. Let's just hope August will bring more sun and less rain and this could be a good year.     


  1. Lovely garden! I love to see so various veggies on your garden. The peppers look so stunning. Hope the weather will more 'calm and wise'

    1. So far it has not got any better. But we still hope.

  2. I'm not specialist, but I want to write, that Your garden made very good impression on me :)

  3. We have to net brassicas. If the caterpillars don't eat them the wood pigeons will.

    1. We don't have pigeons here so I don't use net. But I'm thinking of building a cage/net and planting more brassicas outside of the garden next year.

  4. You really have a huge vegetable garden and due to the rain most of your veggies grow like mad.
    Wish you a lot of sun for the coming weeks and only a bit of rain, then you will have a top year.
    Love your surprise peppers!

    1. I also hope we will get more sun. With this weather all we'll get is diseases.


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