Thursday, July 12, 2012

Garden Update - Fruits Of My (non)Labor

I noticed it had been exactly a month since my last garden update and enough has happened that I figured I'd go ahead and fill you all in on what's changed since June.

First off, a note: I'm a mother nature sort of gardener. I do my best to let the garden go as it naturally would. That means I don't water (unless we haven't gotten rain in a few weeks), I don't use pesticides, and I don't do a bunch of soil testing/amendments. Basically, if it's meant to be there, it grows well and I'm rewarded.

The eggplant still seems to be going well. Each plant has a big purple bulb starting. It's been exciting to watch the progression!

Blooming - June 18th Bulbous start - June 27th Getting bigger - July 11th

I might have messed up the onions. I'll know more in a few weeks. A few days ago, I was out staking the various plants that needed staking and thought the carrots and onions should be done by now so I pull them. The onions were still tiny and since I dug them out, they still had their roots intact. I checked online and they aren't supposed to be harvested until mid-September. Oops! Hindsight 20/20, I should have checked online beforedigging them up. I decided I had nothing to lose by replanting them so that's what I did. They didn't look happy at all the next day so I might have killed them but I figure I'll wait until they turn brown before I pull them out for good.

The carrots weren't very well developed, as I had anticipated. I was still looking forward to eating the little baby roots but Max beat me to it. The good news is, the next round of carrot seeds can be started in mid-July so I think I'll put those in soon.
We've taken clippings from the basil a few times already. None of them are very big but it's been in excess of 100 degrees for the last few weeks so that's to be expected. Luckily, they're shaded by the tomato plants so they didn't burn and die.

I really have no idea which way the cucumber is going. One day it will look all wilted and ready to die. Then when I come home in the evening, it will look perky and strong. Upon inspection the other day, it does look like it's getting infected by something. Some of the vine is yellowing and some of the blooms have webbing around them. When I planted it in a pot, I knew I wouldn't be watering often so I used a moisture-retaining soil. I think that might not have been a good idea. It would have worked well for the lettuce, but I don't think cucumber likes to be soggy. The soil doesn't ever really dry out until about 10 days after watering. So the sadness in the plant might also be due to the sogginess.

Sweetie roasted the first of our harvested garlic the other night and said it was tasty. I wasn't feeling well so I didn't try any. Still plenty of opportunities though, as there are 6 other bulbs waiting.

Picking the first flowers off the tomato plants definitely gave them a boost in growth! Some are almost 5 feet tall! The cherry tomato plants are fruiting wonderfully. We have a good handful every day. Unfortunately, all of the other tomato plants have blossom end rot. I'm not surprised since our area's been in drought conditions and I only water on Sundays (if we didn't get any rain throughout the week).

There is only one pepper on one of the 6 pepper plants. Again, it's not surprising. They love the sun but not the high temps. I don't even have any blossoms. This week has maintained below 100 degrees so I'm hoping they'll get blooms going soon.

The lettuce is officially done. I pulled it and plan to plant the next round of carrot, radish, and beet seeds in one of the pots in addition to the garden. The next round of lettuce seed doesn't start until mid-August, and I'm thinking it will share with the cucumber pot given the soggy soil in there.

That's it for now! Hopefully next month I'll have tons of bountiful harvest pictures to show off ;-)


  1. I have never tried to grow eggplant but the progression you show is so exciting. I am thinking next year!
    So dry here. Plus we averaged 105 for a week. So all my plants are resting (aka struggling to stay alive!).

    1. This is my first try at eggplant. I did "cheat" and started with a seedling I purchased from the nursery, but I'm glad they seem to be working out!
      It sounds like you're in the same boat as we are with the heat. We had a few days last week with 105-107 temps (not the heat index!). We're in drought conditions and 8 inches of rain short of our average for the year.

  2. Congratulations! I want to try to grow some fruits and vegetables next summer in some raised garden beds as my back won't be happy about bending over. For now, though, it's fun to watch other people's progress.

    1. Thanks Kandice! I would LOVE to try a dwarf fruit tree or plum tree sometime, but I think I should get better at what I have for now :)

      I don't do a lot of "bending over" - that would mean I weed, which if you've read my other post about Oopsies, you'll notice that I *ahem* don't. Not really anyway. I'll pull the weeds that I notice while I'm picking veggies or snipping basil. That's about it.

      This is the first year I haven't put a mulch down and it's noticeable. Mulch keeps the weeds at bay nicely.