I haven’t updated you on the garden in a while, so I figured I’d give you a look at what’s been growing. It was a tough start with all that rain–I thought for sure the fungus gnats would get everything–but I decided to step back and stop worrying so much, and nature is taking its course.
The pickling cucumbers are growing like weeds! I definitely put too many in the pot (the vine in the back of the pot finally withered during the last week and fell off), but we’re not hurting for it. Now if only I could get enough of them ripe at the same time so I could actually make some pickles! Yes, they are now growing over our old baby gate. I’d like to say I was being super eco-conscious, but it was entirely by accident that it ended up that way. Still, it’s working well for us.
The cherry tomatoes are taller than I am! I’m running out of things to stake them with. If you haven’t grown them before, this is happening because they’re not getting full-day sun (6 hours plus of full-on, direct sunlight). There isn’t anywhere I can do that other than the driveway. So the plants get a bit leggy while they try to reach high for the sky. I don’t mind so much–just afraid the branches will break off under the weight of the fruit eventually. We’ve picked a few cherry tomatoes and three Early Girl tomatoes so far, but no big harvests yet.
The jalapenos are starting to get big and plentiful. I only grew them to make salsa so until the tomatoes catch up, not sure what to do with them. Still no cayenne peppers, though the pepperoncini are thriving. Only one sweet pepper so far on the four plants that I have: an orange variety that I’m still waiting for it to change color–not so patiently.
A very pleasant surprise has been the Fairy Tale Eggplants. I did not plan on eggplant initially, as The Big Guy is not a fan. But my mom dropped off a hearty seedling last month so I figured, “why not?” In the last week or so, a bunch of the pretty, purple flowers transformed into tiny eggplants. So adorable!
I almost lost the yellow zucchini early on. Some sort of orange fungus invaded the surface of the soil in the pots. I dug out as much of it as I could and hoped for the best. It stopped flowering and just sat idle for a bit, then suddenly, sprung to life and quickly grew into the big plants I have so far. Only one flower so far–but this is the first one not to fall off. Is there any hope at all that it was somehow, miraculously, fertilized? We will have to wait to see…
The blueberries are randomly darkening, here and there a sapphire jewel on the bush. I hope they will be more plentiful next year, as there are nowhere near enough of them to make anything significant this year. But that is to be expected.
It has not been a good year for the strawberries. Most of them rotted before they even ripened. Those that did not rot often suffered injury from the jaws of an unknown critter–that I’m pretty sure is the resident chipmunk, though I have not caught him in the act. Still, after taking a break for a couple weeks, they seem to be recovering. These are ever-bearing strawberries, so there should be more to come throughout the summer.
I do not have high hopes for the watermelon my daughter planted. They’re cute, and as you can see on their foliage, they have the signature splotches that give them their name–Moon and Stars–but they’re also a bit big to be confined to a pot and were started very late in the season. If we get even one watermelon off these vines, it’ll be a miracle.
A big thank you to the garden spiders! They have helped tremendously with natural pest control! Other than some fly tape, they are the only things consistently controlling the bad bugs in the garden. I’m learning a whole new appreciation for spiders this year.
We’re in the part of the summer where it gets harder for me to hold on to the success we’ve had. The hot days wilt plants quickly, if you do not keep on top of their water needs. This becomes a problem rapidly with potted plants. Still, it seems having the garden right outside our door has aided my forgetfulness in this department. Let’s hope the garden continues to thrive!