Hands in the Dirt: MLT gardening tips for June 2022

Did you see that we only had five hours above 70 degrees this year before June? My garden believes it. What a wet, cool spring we had in 2022. I for one am ready for summer!

Most garden veggies can be planted now without extra protection. Basil, cucumbers and both summer and winter squash can all still be direct sown until the middle of the month. Given the cool and soggy weather, many of us waited until now and it’s the latest I can remember starting these summer crops.

Seeds need consistent moisture to break their dormancy, so be sure to maintain damp soils where seeds have been direct sown. If you can brave the atmospheric river to plant your seeds, the rain will water them in for you. I popped all of the zucchini, cucumber and the first round of beans in at home this week and have my fingers crossed they sprout quickly while the weather is still damp. Back-ups are in trays in the mini greenhouse just in case the squirrels and birds attack the garden.

Continually picking herbs like thyme, mint and oregano will lead to bushy plants with lots of new growth. We recommend also pinching back cosmos and mums, among others, to get stockier plants with more blooms.

We have started hosting garden work parties again! We finally filled our new raised beds with soil and got the tomatoes and peppers planted. Our next work parties will include weeding the in-ground beds, around the raised beds and spreading wood chips, among other things. Watch our Facebook page for announcements.  Want to help out with regular summer watering and weeding? Send us a message at TheMLTBOG@gmail.com.

The BOG Free Seed Library is still fully stocked. Reach out if you would like access to free vegetable seeds!

Have a question about gardening? Ask it on our Facebook page.

About the BOG

The Ballinger Organic Garden is a volunteer-led effort to develop a community garden at Ballinger Park. The BOG, in partnership with MLT Recreation & Parks and the MLT Senior Center and funded by a grant from the MLT Community Foundation, is currently in “Phase 0” while larger construction activities (creek restoration and trail installation) are completed. Phase 0 includes maintenance of the existing raised beds and a garden plot on the south side of the MLT Senior Center in Ballinger Park. Phase 1 will involve installation of a larger garden with plots available for community members to maintain. Want to volunteer, or have an idea of what you want to see in the future garden? Please let us know.

To stay up to date on what is happening at the BOG, including what’s growing, work parties, and events, follow us on Facebook  or Instagram.

— By Robyn Rice

Robyn Rice grew up in Eastern Washington, pulling weeds and picking up rotten fruit as dreaded chores assigned by her Master Gardener father. Today, Robyn is a fisheries biologist for an environmental consulting firm, and has been gardening in the Seattle area since 2010. Her science background leads to endless research about the “correct” way to do things, but her enthusiasm and sense of adventure leads her to gardenfearlessly because hey, what’s the worst that could happen?



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