North Florida Gardening: June To-Do List

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I love to see progress in the garden! There has been much growth since last month and it is exciting to harvest new crops.

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The shed bed is growing nicely. Blueberry bushes to the left are adjusting nicely, and the tomatoes hopefully will produce well. I thinned the okra and mulched it with compost. I’m hoping to make lots of my No Slime Okra as a side dish this summer. Patch of bush beans coming along too. Hopefully will be able to harvest bundles of basil again; I love it as homemade pesto. Might try making my own dried Italian spice mix too.

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This garden is loving the sunshine. I have a cucumber vine almost to the top of the privacy fence.

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Harvested the first tomatoes of the season on May 28, many more behind them.

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These Roma tomatoes have a date with spaghetti later. 🙂

corn with zinnia

I love how the zinnias look around the corn. Knee high by the fourth of July? Ha! I hope to be harvesting by then. Yay for Florida gardening!

My goals for this month:

  1. Keep up with the weeding. Last year I wrote about why I mulch, and one of the main reasons is to reduce weeding.
  2. Mulch the weeded areas so I don’t have to weed there again!
  3. Plant Fordhook lima beans.
  4. Make some amazing refrigerator pickles!!!!! YAY!! The cucumbers are producing and it is time for pickles!!

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Are you ready for a pop quiz?

Which of these zucchini flowers is the boy and which one is the girl? For a hint, you can reference my post on why squash may wrinkle and shrivel up instead of actually producing a squash.

The squash vine borers have shown up already, but I hope I will still get more squash.

Happy gardening!

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11 responses »

    • What a bummer! I almost had more success with a single zucchini plant last fall than I did with all my zucchini plants the previous spring! I’m thinking of surrounding my plants with some potted mint and such to see if that helps. Definitely trying again in the fall.

      • I’ve heard that planting summer squash around Aug/Sept is better than in the Spring here in FL. I guess you can cover the plants with floating row covers until they start to blossom, and by then (hopefully) the pests will have gone away with the cooler weather. I’m also thinking about planting some tromboncino squash. I guess it loves the warm weather and can stand up to vine borers pretty well. Have you ever planted tromboncino before?

      • I haven’t, but if they can survive the borers I should try them. If you try them, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you! I’ll be looking for seeds now. 🙂

    • Stephanie,
      I love yellow squash, but the borers are terrible in my garden also. I don’t know why it took me so long to try this method, instead of constantly spraying liquid Sevin, but last year I rolled out a long run of wide/heavy duty aluminum foil, keeping the really shiny side up, cut about 6″ diameter holes in it, and planted my straight-necks smack in the middle of it, then I pinned it down with some little wooden stakes to keep the wind from moving it.
      Wow! I was amazed at the difference that foil made. I never saw the first sign of borers and the plants were jungle-green and grew profusely. I think this reflective mulch not only deterred the borers, but the additional sunlight being reflected onto the underside of the leaves helped the photosynthesis process.

      P.S. I also made a fantastic discovery last year concerning those #@%/* root-knot nematodes that had (yes….HAD) been destroying another of my favorite veggies, okra, for years. If any of y’all have nematode problems, holler at me and I’ll tell you what I did.

      BillyJack

      • Neat idea! Ok, you’ve got me curious, what did you do to get rid of the nematodes? I don’t have a big problem with them, but you never know what next season will bring…

      • Hi Sarah,

        I’ve been plagued with nematodes for 25 years. I’ve tried everything known, including solar sterilization….no luck.
        Last year, out of desperation, I broke up a new plot about 200′ from my original garden plot hoping to get away from them, and planted that nematode magnet, (and my favorite veggie) okra. Ha! This new plot had more critters than could be believed. They killed the okra before it could even bloom.
        I read an article on line soon afterward on “bio fumigants” suggesting that mustard greens was a powerful deterrent, sorta like french marigolds, etc. I thought this was total BS, but what the heck, if it doesn’t work, I thought, I can always eat them.
        So….late summer I broadcast (liberally) some Florida Broadleaf Mustard Greens, fertilized and watered them well, and made a beautiful crop of mustard. In fact, they looked sooo good I picked and ate 3 big messes before I exercised some self-control and let the rest of them grow to full maturity.
        Then in mid December I roto-tilled all of them under, making 3 passes to assure that all of them got chopped and buried.
        This March, late, I planted okra again in the exact same rows as I did last year, so I could once and for all determine if this “bio fumigant” business was for real.
        I’ve been in shock this year. My okra is jungle green, lush, growing like wild-fire,and so productive. I’ve already cut it 6-7 times and not one lower leaf has yellowed, nor has one root galled, and swelled up.
        I’m elated.
        I know we had a pretty harsh last winter, which may….may…..have helped my nematode infestation, but to the extent that the cold eliminated the nematodes? Nah. I’m certain it was the Mustard Greens.

        billyjack

      • Very interesting! Mustard greens are pretty easy to grow too. I hope I never have nematodes like you did, but now I know what to do. Thanks for sharing!!

  1. It’s so exciting to get things in the garden going isn’t it? Our little garden is coming along nicely too. We had fresh zucchini and yellow squash for dinner last night. So looking forward to the tomatoes! My husband is the one who’s been nurturing the garden for the most part. As soon as I finish my current sewing project I’m going to get out there too.

  2. I’ve had trouble with squash vine borers for two years now! Both years I lost entire squash and zucchini crops to them. 😦 What’s your best advice for preventing them and keeping your squash plants alive?

  3. Pingback: My Little Corn Harvest | Coffee to Compost

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