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Garden Update ~ July Progress Report

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It’s the middle of summer already and I thought I’d take a few minutes to show you the pluses and minuses in my garden so far this year! I’ve grown some really awesome food already, but I’ve also had a few things happen that have made me pretty sad.

july progress report simplifylivelove gardens

Here is my July Progress Report!

First, here are some veggies I am proud of:

purple kohlrabi

I’ve got a nice looking row of purple kohlrabi! Some are even ready to pick. I love eating kohlrabi raw, but it’s also good sauteed!


Carrots are coming along… This one’s looking pretty good!

flowering garlicMy garlic is starting to flower. If you’ve been reading my gardening posts, you probably know this is the first year I’ve grown garlic. I can’t wait to dig it up and see what I’ve got down there.

red onionsI have a really nice stand of onions this year! I planted 100 red onions and 100 yellow onions, and most of them are doing great.

tomatoesI planted Riesen Traube Tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes that I started myself from seeds. This is the first year I have started tomatoes from seeds and successfully transplanted them! They are setting on some delicious looking tomatoes.

cabbageCabbage! I’ve already picked one and made delicious no-mayo cole slaw. I’m picking this one later today and throwing it in the slow cooker with some of my homegrown potatoes, carrots, and sausage from Costco. Can’t wait to eat that later tonight. You can see everything we’re eating this week at my weekly menu plan.
broccoliMy broccoli has done quite well, too. I’ve harvested 4 big heads already and lots of side-shoots. This is my last big head to pick and then I will only have the side-shoots left. They are still yummy though!
green beansGreen beans! They are coming in nicely and taste delicious.
sunflowersSunflowers!  I.Love.Them. I have sunflowers almost all the way around my garden and I love them. Did I already say that??? I love my sunflowers! 😉 They are all volunteers from last year. My 7 year old and I moved a bunch and it looks like I have a sunflower wall around my garden. It’s so pretty!

And, now, the sad things in my garden… 🙁

japanese beetles on fruit trees

Japanese Beetles are devouring my baby fruit trees. I’ve been picking them off and drowning them, and after doing that for several days and making little headway, I finally did break down and spray Sevin on the two worst trees. I know, I know. It’s not organic and it’s a terrible pesticide. The two trees I sprayed are so young though, and were so covered with the nasty beetles, that I wanted to give them a fighting chance. I also also bought a 25 yards of netting at JoAnn’s and am working to cover all of my fruit trees to keep them off so I don’t have to spray again. I’m not sure one tree will make it. They devoured at least 85% of the leaves.

dead pumpkin plant

Although the Diatomaceous Earth is keeping the Cucumber Beetles at bay, it is not working on the squash bugs. So far, the squash bugs have killed one zucchini, one squash, and one pumpkin. I am picking them off and drowning them every morning and evening, and I’m also drowning the eggs. But the blasted bugs are still winning.

drowned squash bugs

Today, I drowned the whole plant as I don’t want the eggs to hatch. I do not know if I will be able to save my watermelon and cucumbers from the squash bugs, but I am still trying.

Other sites I don’t really like: my cauliflower and Brussel sprouts are not producing anything. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but no heads are forming on either of those plants so I intend to start researching a bit to see if I can find out why. Any ideas?

organic garden haul

So far, I’ve dug up a few potatoes, harvested lots of broccoli, peas, onions, green beans and cucumbers. Friends have given me their extra zucchini so I’m still able to enjoy some of that, and I got lots of yellow squash before my plant was murdered. I’m looking forward to tomatoes, peppers and okra!

And that’s what’s going on in my garden! How’s your garden growing?

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankmichelle says

    Sorry to hear about your bug problem. Our problem is affeds ( I probably spelled that wrong ) I am growing red cabbage this year for the first time. How big should I let the heads get?

    • blankMichelle Marine says

      Aphids! Ugh. You need ladybugs. They eat the aphids. Also plant marigolds and other flowers to encourage good bugs. 🙂 The cabbages should look tight and feel kind of hard. You want to pick them before they rot. I need to go pick mine…They’ll keep for a long time in the fridge.

  2. blankTaylor-Made Ranch says

    I was pretty successful against the squash bugs this year, although it was a battle (as it always is) Early spring I inspected the plants Every. Single. Day. I tore off the part of the leaf that had those coppery eggs & placed the leaf parts in a clear plastic tub I kept in the garden to solarize the eggs gone. It kept the hatch way down & I got lots of squash. But something is now killing the plants one by one & I can’t figure it out – maybe something digging from below? Love your sunflowers – they’re near & dear to my heart as well & I plant a row of mammoth sunflowers each spring.

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

    • blankMichelle Marine says

      I have been hunting squash bugs and drowning them like crazy too. It is definitely helping, and destroying the eggs is a wonderful thing, but I guess I’m just not very effective at finding them all, because they are still killing my plants. 🙁 I think I planted this year’s cucurbits too close to last year’s crop. You don’t have black and yellow looking “ladybugs” do you? They are cucumber beetles and cause bacterial wilt. They are awful and have destroyed my crop in years past BEFORE the squash bugs even arrived. Here’s a bit about those nasty bugs: https://simplifylivelove.com/2013/06/garden-update-how-to-kill-cucumber-beetles.html Could also be vine borer??

  3. blankKristiM says

    So sorry about your fruit trees. 🙁 I’ve been wondering about the brussel sprouts too. I’m growing them for the first time this year, and didn’t do a lot of research about them (mostly just threw the seeds in the ground..). Anyway, I thought maybe it was just too early for the heads to be forming yet? I had a feeling there was a problem though. :/ I’m also thinking it could be that I’ve got them too close together…

  4. blankmjskit says

    Except for the Japanese beetles, your garden is amazing! I want those green beans! 🙂 BTW – I’m now following you on Bloglovin, therefore, I have unsubscribed to emails. Trying to clean up my mailbox. LOL

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