June- What's in Steve's Garden?



In My Garden (Zone 9-10)

Steve Asbell
Steve Asbell is an illustrator, the author of Plant by Numbers and blogger of The Rainforest Garden.


I’ve finished closing the gap between all of my garden beds on the right side of my backyard, and have replaced the weeds with a layer of topsoil and gracefully grassy plants like sedges, sweet flag, mondo grass and liriope. Not only will these create a calming effect when they fill in, they’ll also help slow the flow of runoff and absorb much of it before it exits through the storm drain.

 The bed to the left of my lawn has been planted with arrowroot, lemongrass, turmeric, bananas, a Meyer lemon, heliconia and a few flowering shrubs to add a bit of color and fine texture.  Though most of the bulbs haven’t yet emerged, the low hedge of boxwood provides a sense of formality and repetition.

Meanwhile, the front yard garden is really picking up speed. I’ve planted annuals and perennials between my dyckia plants to create a living mulch of daylily and portulaca blooms. The other side of the driveway, where I had planted a veggie garden last year, is in a state of disarray since I’m ripping out the edibles and moving them to the new side yard garden where they can be easily accessed via sidewalk.

That side yard garden is also looking pretty messy right now, but at least I’m making progress. The lone thyme division that I planted when we moved in one and a half years ago has since multiplied to such a degree that I can now use it as a formal edging along the whole sidewalk. Unlike some herbs, thyme stays looking nice for me through freezes and blazing hot summer days. I was also able to move a few other plants from the front yard veggie garden, including my Mexican tarragon (mint marigold), oregano, strawberries, kumquat and rosemary. I’ve planted cherry tomato seeds, but until those get large enough to transplant I’ve already found volunteer seedlings from last year’s crop that were immediately dug up and planted against a trellis in the new bed. In addition to those survivors, I’ve also planted hot peppers, pineapple sage, Japanese eggplant, a few basil varieties, and mizuna greens.  






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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • To maintain maximum the flavor and nutrition of fresh produce, harvest early in the morning when sugar content is highest and store them properly. For asparagus, parsley, basil, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peas, and green beans, rinse and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Keep peppers in the hydrator section of the fridge but don’t place them in a plastic bag. Store winter squash and onions in a dry, cool basement or garage. Eggplants and tomatoes are best stored at room temperature.