Monthly review: June in my garden

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After a very cold spring with vast amounts of rain, June brought us much milder weather, with the first summer heat wave—something the garden really needed.

Sahara dust in the air

Moody weather

The biggest issue with the weather in this part of Croatia is the drastic changes we experience on a weekly base. May and June are usually the stormiest months. The daily temperatures are already very high, but the influence of the Alps brings us strong and violent weather changes. This June was no exception.

Although this region was quite lucky and we didn’t get any hailstorms, the strong winds did some damage to our tall garden plants. With occasional showers, we managed to get 85mm of rain this month, which is around the average. Still, the soil is pretty dry due to the strong winds that blew for almost half of the month, drying out the soil.

Quick anti-hail netting placement before storm

We got our first heat wave in June, with temperatures reaching up to 36.5°C(97.7°F), but the wave lasted only a couple of days and we got a strong weather change. This is becoming a new “normal” pattern this year. We get 3 or 4 warm days followed by a strong weather change. At least our plants don’t suffer from heat stress for too long.

Finally growing

The truth is my garden really needed heat, and even temperatures above 30°C are quite welcome. Some of the vegetables, like cucumbers, are still very small. Most plants still haven’t started growing vines and are stuck at the first 4 leaves. Hopefully, the warmth will wake them up.

Bed with cucumbers, corn, poppies and sunflowers

The one vegetable that hates heat is peas, and of course, the heat came at the worst time. While the spring was too wet, causing the plants to rot, the summer heat is killing the plants quickly. In just a couple of days, the lower parts of the plants started drying out and it seems I won’t have a lot of peas again. I managed to harvest some last week, but the amount is very slow.

Peas, bans and carrots

The only variety that is still growing and flowering is sugar peas, but soon they will start drying too. Next year I’m certain I won’t grow any peas in the main garden.


Due to the rainy period in the first two weeks of June, we focused more on other projects and the garden was on hold. This time was used to install a new wood stove which will heat us next winter. Although we usually use our AC for heating and cooling, we decided to add another option, just to be on the safe side during the windy and very cold days.

Wind usually damages electric cables, which in Croatia are on the poles, so we have periods without electricity. Of course, during this period AC heating doesn’t work. Also, all of my appliances are electric so I can’t even cook something while the power is off.

This is why we opted for a small wood stove. We’ll use it only during very cold days and periods without power, but still, we had to prepare the living room. So, my hubby covered one of the walls with tiles(leftover from bathroom renovation), made a new chimney, and made a protective raised floor around the stove, just to be on the safe side since the floor is wood. Now, we just need to store some wood and were ready for winter.

More steps

Another bigger project this June was the new steps in the orchard. Living on the hill means having a lot of steps, and our number is increasing every year. Usually, we used a natural sloped path to get in the orchard, but we needed a second garden entrance so hubby made us a new gate in the middle of the garden.

Building a new entrance also means that we won’t be using the natural slope, which is on the other side as much as we were before. This is why 12 new steps were added to the garden to make the transition between the garden and the orchard easier.

With these steps, my garden now has over 80 steps in different spots just to make the transitions in height easier and still, it’s not enough. There are still problematic places, which will need to be fixed, I’m just not sure if my knees will like the new “steps everywhere” life.

First harvests

Even with my vegetables being late due to the cold. I still got my first June harvests. A harvest of kale leaves, some peas, chard, lettuce, and seasoning leaves are pretty much all that is harvest-ready in the garden right now, but I’m happy even with those. The vegetables had only around 30 days to actually grow and they have used this period very well.

1st harvest
2nd harvest
3rd harvest

One thing I should have harvested, but didn’t get a lot are my red currants and raspberries. The bushes were full of fruits, but the birds actually beat me and ate all of the berries. I don’t blame them, there’s not a lot of fruits in the nature right now. Cherries and strawberries are rotting due to the excessive water, most of the tree blossoms froze in March and April, and the grass is growing so quickly that most of the plants are already dry.

Missing red currants

My berries are actually the first berries available in this area and birds decided to enjoy them first. As long as they stay away from the blackberries and apples we’ll be fine.

June was a bit difficult month, but things are now improving quickly. If we continue having periods of rain and heat, we could have a good garden year.

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