This year, June has been a bit more variable than usual – mainly in that we had beautiful weather until mid-month, which allowed us to enjoy a lot of plants that start suffering in the heat, but also warm enough so that sun-loving plants would thrive.
One of my all-time favorite flowers is Lobelia. It won’t last forever in the heat, but it is so gorgeous, that I always try to add some, and keep it going.
My brother and sister-in-law told me about a gardening method – the Mittleider Method – that was really developed to increase food production for people around the world. From his site Growfood.com:
“Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider, world-renowned international agricultural consultant, developed this method of gardening while conducting family garden-size agricultural training and program development in 27 different countries. The Mittleider Method is based on 55 years of study and gardening experience.
After 20 years of growing flowers and vegetables commercially, Dr. Mittleider embarked on a program of sharing his expertise with gardeners and would-be gardeners around the world. In 1964 he was asked by Loma Linda University in California to take an extended trip to study the diets of the people in developing countries. He traveled through the Middle East, Africa, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific.
He found that the diseases, insects, and nutritional deficiencies were similar in all countries visited and that the agricultural problems closely resembled those in the United States. He concluded that the solution to their food problems simply required carrying out the recommendations of experts in plant nutrition and following scientific agricultural practices.
Thus he developed the Mittleider Method of gardening—an easy-to-use method that allows gardeners to raise an abundance of vegetables and other crops on almost any soil, in practically any season, in almost any climate, and virtually at any elevation.”
I’ve been using his fertilizer in the garden – though not as consistently as I should. I found myself running out, so was even able to order the formula online. A little more manageable for me, but it’s certainly possible to mix your own. There are specific micronutrients to put into the mixture – as far as I know they have to be purchased on line – though certainly not sure.
Even with intermittent use, the results are spectacular!
Once the heat started, the herbs finally took off – the basil is amazing! The tomatoes took off too – the plants are now 6’tall. And we have our first tomatoes and peppers of the season!
Looking forward to a summer filled with yummy items from the garden. I am planning on making some grilled shrimp & cheese stuffed guero peppers, and maybe a little salsa or tomato salad to go with (or we might just eat them out of hand – I’m surprised they lasted long enough for a picture – we eat the tomatoes by the handful all summer!). The Thai chiles and Thai basil I have growing will make for some great dishes too. I might just make some spicy Thai basil jelly again this year…
The flowers started out beautifully – we might be in a bit of a slump – we had seriously HOT weather last week (110s). It takes a toll. Not as many flowers at the moment, but they will mainly come back, and others will start coming to the forefront.
Hope your gardens are doing well – and check out Dr. Mittleider’s website. Certainly interesting information, and terrific particularly for small kitchen gardens.