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Planting for a Four Season Harvest, Part 8

Harvesting in June Before Summer Has Begun

Garden at the beginning of JulyBy the calendar, summer has not yet begun.  What am I harvesting in June?  Not many things, but plenty of each kind.  Asparagus still, peas every day, also lettuce, radishes, beet and turnip greens, scallions, baby carrots.  One may tire of stored canned peas every day or store-bought asparagus, but garden-fresh vegetables keep the appetite from getting jaded.  In winter, I look forward to the June harvest --- which includes strawberries --- as the finest of the year.

In July, the harvest gets bountiful and varied.  The first bush beans --- immediately I sow more.  The first summer squash --- usually I sow a few more hills.  When the latter mature, I pull up first plants since vines are more likely to be insect-ridden.  The corn ripens.  I may plant more, but not always.  I fill the space left vacant by pulled-up pea vines by putting out Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, fennel, and leeks.

Other July crops ready to be harvested include peas and carrots, and chard wich can be cut again and again.  The first tomatoes, onions, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, all-spring-planted, have matured.

In any one summer day, there should be 6 to 8 vegetables ready to eat.  That doesn't mean that every vegetable is at the peak of perfection on that day, as a non-gardener is likely to expect.  Succession planting could provide ripe corn and beans continuously through summer and fall, but it would take too much space if you wanted other crops, and there'd be waste, even with canning or freezing.  Many vegetables can be used at various stages --- don't have to be mature.  So long as there is plenty of variety, a garden is effective.

To be continued....

Tirrell, R.  1966, February.  Planting for a 4-Season Harvest.  Organic Gardening and Farming.

Reprinted by permission of Organic Gardening magazine.  Copyright Rodale, Inc., U.S.A.  All rights reserved.

This post is part of our Planting for a Four Season Harvest lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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