I am not a very good gardener, the fact that I have been able to plant and raise anything is pretty much dumb luck. This is the third year with my garden and every year so far it has gotten bigger. This year was no exception, I expanded this year not with more raised beds but with large half barrel planters that I have my carrots and butternut squash in. My main bed is filled with mostly green beans which year after year seem to be the only thing I can grow consistently. Except for two plants that a small, big eared creature has eaten down to a nub all of the beans I planted are thriving and I show get my first harvest of beans this week.
In the main bed with the beans are three small purple tomatillo plants that were planted from seed as well. I am really surprised at how well these are doing, I got them in late and wasn't sure I would get any results but they are thriving and this week I can see several small tomatillos starting to form.
I have never had any luck planting tomatoes so I just don't do it. This year however my mother had given me three of her heirloom plants each with a long odd name that I don't remember. I somehow managed to keep them alive and transplanted them so I thought I would go get a few more plants and try tomatoes again. as you can tell from the picture above and below all of my tomato plants took off and next to the beans I think I will have a bumper crop of tomatoes.
Assuming I don't do anything foolish and kill them all off I am really looking forward to making tomato sauce and canning diced tomatoes. I promised my five year old that we would make ketchup with some of them and I have been trying to find a good recipe for ketchup. If anybody has one let me know because I am going to be over run with tomatoes pretty quickly.
I had planted beets and radishes this year but none of the beets came up. All of the radishes did but they have been eaten already and I had an empty box so I bought some sorrel plants at the farmers market and transplanted them. I had never had sorrel before and after tasting it for the first time was amazed at how good it is. My kids are in love with it as well and whenever we are outside playing it is all I can do to keep them from eating all the sorrel leaves right out of the garden. In the rest of the box I thought I would try something I had never done before and planted strawberry popcorn. I have no idea if it will work but the shoot have started popping up and maybe I will bet lucky and be able to make some carmel corn for Halloween.
My wife wanted strawberries so I got june bearing strawberries. We won't be getting any berries this year but hopefully next year and several years after that we will have fresh strawberries to make jam with.
My zucchini and cucumbers are not doing well so far I have gotten one limelight zucchini and my cukes don't appear to be climbing. I have planted both in this box before and have had good results but they aren't doing to well this year. Some kind of white fungus has started on all the leaves and I had read that chamomile tea would help but it didn't really do anything but make my plants smell like tea.
My carrots and butternut squash were planted in these half barrels. The idea was that the squash would grow out of the barrel and then I would be able to train them to grow in the fence and keep the squash up off the ground. So far so good but we will see what happens. I am terrible about thinning out plants that I start from seed and never really culled any of the carrots. I guess I figure as long as they keep growing why interfere. If all goes as planned I will have two types of carrots this fall and all I have to do is dump the barrels out into my beds and pick up the all the carrots.
I have really found my garden to be a relaxing end to my days. when I get home from work I like to go check out the progress and then water everything. It is always amazing to me how much it changes everyday. I just wish I had more time to learn how to do it properly.