Since it’s the end of summer I thought I’d finally post an update on how my garden has grown… the good, the bad and the what-were-you-again?
My tomatoes, especially the (big) cherries my friend started from seed and gave to me, rocked. They were delicious, awesome to eat right out of the garden or in a salad. I had 6 plants, three of which were prolific. I envisioned hundreds of tomatoes like my dad gets; I didn’t quite realize that I didn’t plant as many plants as he does… I also envisioned making my own sauce (with home grown carrots and celery, more on those bad boys later) but the sauce-making tomatoes didn’t grow enough and to be honest, they weren’t my favorite. They’re more meaty and less juicy so next year I won’t be putting them in again.
The kale was the shining star in this year’s garden. It grew from April until October, and as long as I kept picking it kept growing. I ate kale till it was coming out my ears, and then I smoothied it and ate that too. Deeelicious. I put in 6 (3 per square foot) and will do so again next year.
The lettuce grew mainly in late spring, early summer, but that was delish! A bit of a pain to keep buying new plants and replanting but I’d do it again.
The other things I got a lot of use out of were the herbs. They’re mostly easy to grow, with the exception of the basil that the beetles ate! I never did make it over to the fabric store to buy some tulle to cover it (my dad’s suggestion). Next year. The rosemary, chives, parsley and thyme all rocked the house. Next year I will be sure to pick more frequently since that increases the plants’ productions.
The Not So Good
I planted two of the following and each plant yielded one vegetable:
- bell pepper
- watermelon (which fell off the stem when it was the size of a tennis ball, boohoo!)
- eggplant (just one, and it’s still growing… lol)
- snap peas (they did pretty good despite that damn woodchuck)
Oh yeah, that’d be the celery, the carrots, the beets, the onions, the garlic, the broccoli and the leeks. Sheesh!!!
The onions all died half way through the summer but to my surprise I found a few shoots earlier this week. I pulled one up for the funs of it; I assume the tan-colored smudge at the end of the shoot could one day inanotheruniverse become an onion. Ho hum! The beets‘ leaves are pretty and about 5″ long but they’re only a slightly bigger smudge than the onions.
The celery is too thin, the leeks are pretty sad (although I knew this was a shot in the dark), the broccoli is very cool but pretty much just a stem.
The jury’s still out on the garlic… their shoots died, too, but are coming back strong and green. I thought I’d be harvesting next spring so who the heck knows, but I’ll keep an eye on them. :)
The carrots, well… see for yourself:
The verdict? Would I do it again next year? You bet! I really got a kick out of going out to the garden every day to see what was growing, what was dying and what was eating my stuff!I had a blast planning the garden in the cold snowy winter and going to the nurseries in the spring to gather my plants.
I think one of the troubles my garden had was the sunshine: spring and late summer it got pretty good sun but in the dead of summer all the trees were in full leaf and blocking all my sunshine. Gah! Even my fun branch-snipper-gadget couldn’t keep up with them. But short of putting the garden in the center of the yard, I don’t think I can change that. I’ll probably do more herbs and more tomatoes next year, maybe some cut flowers if I have room… maybe I’ll even try some potatoes!
Pip also got very good at yelling at the squirrels (:shame:) and to my surprise, she would eat anything that came out of that garden. She particularly enjoyed the tomatoes (probably because there were a good amount of them lol!). She would pull it right off the vine and chow down. Bring it inside and give to her in her high chair and she’d throw it on the floor, which just further proves that the garden is a magical place!