A Stroll Through the Garden

Or, more accurately, a frantic scramble through the garden as I try to keep everything alive in the heat wave we’ve been having. So far, it’s been pretty successful. The lettuce I planted last fall overwintered just fine- despite winter temperatures down to the negative teens with only a normal row cover to shield it!- and I got a couple of salads out of it before it bolted last week. The new lettuce has taken over, peas are just about finished, and the warm-weather plants are coming into their own.

Peppers and tomatoes are flowering- I started all of those from seed and managed to keep all but one tomato plant alive, so I’m a little puffed up at that success. Beans and cucumbers are thinking about sprouting- I put those in very late. The whimsical watermelon seems to be thriving. I’ve never grown watermelon before, so I’m not sure how big the plant will get before it flowers. The three surviving ground cherry plants are also getting bigger, but not as fast as the watermelon.

Not a lot of insect problems so far, but something is chewing on my basil- little nibbles around the edges of the leaves. I’m scratching my head on that one; does anyone know of a pest that likes basil?

If I can keep the cat from sitting on top of them-!- the zinnias should do fine and give a little color to the place. She doesn’t appear to be using the garden as a litterbox; I’d be a lot more freaked out of that was the case; she just likes to lie in the cool dirt. I seem to attract absurd animals. Good thing they also tend to be cute.

Only two failures so far: celery and raspberries. The celery was an experiment to begin with, and it’s notoriously hard to grow because of the shallow, delicate root system. But the instructions told me to start it inside and transplant outside, which usually breaks off roots, no matter what plant you’re transplanting. So, none of the little celery sprouts survived the journey from windowsill to garden.

The raspberries were also a bit of an experiment. I bought roots, put them in buckets of dirt, and, six weeks later, I have buckets of dirt. No apparent growth. That’s kind of amazing; I thought raspberries were impossible to kill. The ones we had at my childhood home certainly resisted our attempts to keep them under control.

In the spring, I thought I was planting a pretty normal garden, but now that I see it on paper and in real life, I realize it’s a lot more varied than usual. I don’t typically grow fruit or flowers among the vegetables, but I’m branching out this year.

Your turn! How does your garden grow?

12 comments

    1. Two tomato plants seem to have not grown at all; the asparagus has another year before we can harvest it. TWo of the three trees seem to have died, but they MAY be alive, that’s what happened last year. The strawberries look shocked. The squash survived so far…..

  1. Ballerina rose is just past the peak of first blossoming; deadheaded it pretty hard last week and only got scratched once. Blackberry-in-a-Pot is surviving, and seems to be getting bigger. No flowers, but still about 4-6 weeks out from what previous owner described as normal berrying/harvest season. Found a tip online that you could overwinter most pepper plants in the garage and keep them for multiple years, relayed this to family member with potted peppers who had been treating them as annuals. She seemed pleased.

  2. New digs have a lot of established fruit trees – pipa (loquat) is already over, apricots were amazing, plums are just getting ripe (already tasty but not fully ripe). I’ve also started for the first time to grow some annuals, bought already sprouted, that are doing well (except the scrub jays destroyed a green been), but I’m surprised at how much watering they need (quite a bit daily, unlike the trees or grass).

  3. Was just gone for almost a week. Have watered things deeply this morning. Will water again tonight, and have a better feel tomorrow for what survived 100+ temps and sub-30% humidity with occasional watering by petsitter.

    1. Okay! With two waterings, I report the oregano is still doing well (recovering. It was looking very wilted). The squash is starting to become a tangled mount, and the watermelon is running away with creeping vines in two directions. The tomatoes probably won’t make it. The dill has bolted like a horse that heard the crinkle of a mint wrapper on the other side of the pasture, the fennel is going very strong (sadly, ungraced with hungry hungry caterpillars this year) the basil is hanging in there. The thyme died back but is reviving, the mint is struggling but will survive, and the tarragon is flourishing. Go figure. The rosemary is doing all right, same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. (Please ignore the Talking Heads earworm now trying to rear its head.)

  4. My garden is giving me PEACH TOMATOES!! I have been trying off and on to grow them for five years and this year I have FRUIT! Multiple! On two separate plants! (My previous record was one sad half-a-plum-sized mater on one sad little plant.) They’re very delicate as tomatoes go, but the flavor is something to behold. And I have…tomatoes. And melons. Because I tripped while carrying the seedlings up to be transplanted, and all the survivors lost their tags. So I don’t know what they are and am hoping I’ll find out when they ripen. 🙂

  5. My tomato has just started blooming, ditto the bell pepper. I had one tiny pobalno pepper already. My watermelon isn’t looking happy, and the yams are threatening to take over.

  6. It rained last night! And today too! Despite my not watering yesterday!

    Still needs watering tomorrow, because it was not up to good soil moisture.

  7. This year’s gardening effort has been Interesting, mostly because it’s getting fitted in the gaps between shows for the retail business. First show of the year was right when I should’ve been starting tomatoes and peppers for transplanting, so they ended up late. Snow peas and sugar snap peas were put in later than planned, because the optimal time was right when we were having back-to-back shows. Ditto the beans and squash, and transplanting the tomatoes and peppers.

    We went from early spring straight into oppressive summer heat, and the plants are suffering. Not to mention that I haven’t had time for stuff like watering and weeding when I’m constantly on the busy treadmill with the retail business. I am getting some snow peas and sugar snap peas, and I’m seeing some flowers on the surviving tomato plants, but the pepper plants just aren’t taking off.

    1. I usually have bad luck with peppers, but I’ve found that giving them a little extra nitrogen helps, either in Miracle-Gro form or another commercial fertilizer. Too much will burn the plants, but a little dose just before they flower makes a big difference.

      1. My family member who grows peppers had amazing luck a year or two back with tabasco pepper plants. They required a lot of watering, but I think it’s the only time she ended up with more peppers than the extended family could help her use up.

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