• The bonus with garlic is that it produces seed scapes. The rule is you need to pick off the scapes so the energy the plant has will go into making a nice head of garlic and not waste energy on the seed head. (Photo courtesy of Dan Draves)

Why did it take so long to plant up the vegetable garden this spring? We got the perennial flower beds taken care of in a timely fashion. We got the tomato container garden planted right on schedule. We had all of the sets and plants up and growing like always. So … why do we still have things to get in the ground? I’ll try to explain. The weather turned hot and dry. We planted some things like cabbages and tomatoes. With the dry conditions, a lot of our time was spent watering to keep the new transplants alive. That’s all you can do when you have hot and dry. You can keep the plants alive but they will not thrive. It seems to take real rain water to make the plants jump. So when you spend most of the day watering containers and new transplants, that doesn’t leave a lot of time and energy for completing many other garden tasks. And when your day starts later than it used to and ends earlier than it used to (because we’ve never been this old) therein lies the problem of getting things done in a timely fashion.

We really don’t have that much left to plant this season. I would like to get some turnips, rutabagas, Swiss chard, kohlrabi and some more carrots and beets in the ground. Tomorrow is the summer solstice (June 21) so it is time to plant the vegetables that we will be counting on to be our late summer/early fall crops: plants like…