Looks like it may finally be summer around here. We'd spent most of May and early June being cold and rainy - unseasonably so. Now it's crazy stormy weather (migraine inducing weather) and hot. The vegetable garden is finally producing
straightneck yellow squash and zucchini.
It seems that I pop out there every other day or so (in between torrential downpours) and check in on the current growth of the plants and weeds. So far, the plants are winning, but the weeds are giving it a real go. (Just don't ask me about my flower gardens, because I just don't have the time/energy for them this year. I'm gonna have to suck it up at some point and get in there with a...hatchet, but not right yet.)
The corn is getting taller, which is gratifying. My green beans are still working out technical issues. Most of my first planting didn't seem to sprout - probably because it was too chilly. Now I'm debating whether I should sow another set.
Oh, I also learned that once you plant tomatillos, you never have to plant them again! I had all manner of tomatillo plants popping up all over, and ripped them out. I'm still ripping them out, since they keep showing up all over the place. I let 3 remain at the base of the corn bed and that should be plenty.
In Tomatoville, I find that if I don't get out there at least every other day, the tiny secondary sprouts that show up between main stem and branches get big really, really fast. So it's pinch! pinch! pinch! and tie! tie! tie! I learned from last year that I have to keep tying the plants up and pinching back the excessive growth to keep them in check.
So far, this is working like a charm.
I've been checking in on the Black Krim and the two tomatoes on there so far are now the size of a quarter (by the end of the day, the size of a half dollar) and growing quickly. I think keeping the number of tomato plants down to a more reasonable ten has made a big difference, as well as just having them all in one bed without anything else (well, except for that volunteer potato - but that wasn't my fault, per se.). I'm feeling pretty confident that I could reach in and grab tomatoes from the middle. At least, I could at the moment - if there were some in there. Ask me again in August when I forget to check in for 3 or 4 days and then we'll see how easy it is.
The tomato-in-a-pot is doing well, too. This is my experimental tomato plant. Can I grow a full sized, indeterminate Cherokee Purple tomato in a 24" pot? Let's find out!
In bell pepper land, I still had some space, so I shoved in 5 more bell pepper plants. I may come to regret this later when they're all full sized, but it's hard to just let them die on my deck! This morning, I even popped two more into a pot that looked a little empty, so we'll see how that goes, too.
Oh, I learned a little something about lettuce this year: you can never wash lettuce enough.
Once? Laughable. Twice? Not nearly enough. Thrice? You might be getting serious about it at this point. Four times? Quite possibly enough, but you'd better double check every. single. solitary. leaf. because one caterpillar/maggot/creepy crawler on your plate is one waaaaay too many.
I don't spray and I don't have superfine row cover, so insects are inevitable. However, once they cross my threshold and hang on through three separate washes and still make it past the "final" inspection and wind up with dressing on them? Well...that's just freaky. Plus, it makes me sad to toss a perfectly yummy salad, complete with bell peppers and strawberries into the compost bin.
Ah well. Live, learn and garden!
How are your gardens doing?