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Tea Farm Update June 16, 2019


June dry field San Juan Island Tea Farm

Well it’s official, the dry season is here.  It is very early this year and it looks like we are running at least two weeks ahead of schedule.  We may get lucky and have a couple of good rains before the summer drought sets in. Typically on San Juan Island my mowing season ends around the fourth of July.  This year it looks like it may be earlier in the areas where we traditionally do not irrigate, but this year we are, hence mowing will be a summer long endeavor.

Not a lot of progress since the last update as I was away on family matters for almost a week.  Since returning I have finished the mountain range room’s landscape and begun the initial plantings.  Today I set the boxwood, cypress, mugo pines and a few lavender. 


Mini mountain range tea farm

Entrance to garden

mini mountain range left side

right side mini mountain range

This morning I just about cleaned out the compost pile that has been aging for at least three and maybe more years.  Over the last few weeks I cleared a large portion of it that had been taken over by English blackberries.  This variety is close to a weed on the island and has choked out most of the native blackberries and swallowed large tracks of land elsewhere. 


blackberries cut at San Juan Island Tea Farm

We have, what we call the knoll, that when we purchased the property in 1999 it was enveloped in ten foot tall blackberry plants.  I cleared them and kept mowing and grass eventually took over.  Still every year more of these obnoxious plants show up in the most unlikely places.  In the rows we are aging for the tea bushes I am picking the blackberries out along with thistle and wild roses.

We ordered poles for the deer fencing today which will be here mid July.  The little critters have almost annihilated the holly but so far have not touched anything in the garden (knock on wood).

While on my trip I discovered a small company that etches slate signs and purchased some for the garden. They look great and I think we’ll add quite a few instead of opting for the more traditional options.

San Juan Island Tea Garden sign 

All in all, with the amount of time I have been away it has been rather productive.  Hopefully this coming few weeks will see some significant changes in the garden landscape.

Enjoy the early summer, it always seem to flash by.