July Garden Update

Despite all of the perilous storms we’ve had here this spring and summer, the garden is doing great.  But I just went back and read this post, and it’s funny how not everything worked out as planned.

Namely, the grass reclaimed it’s rightful place in the newly tilled area.  It’s impossible to combat.  Hopefully over the course of the next few years, and maybe some more thorough mulching we can gradually suppress it.  But that ain’t happening this year. It’s so bad we had to take down part of the fence and pass the lawnmower through some spots yesterday.

The corn and okra are really the only pieces that survived in this weedy wasteland. You can see a few potato stragglers in the foreground here.  Last weekend I thought it was time and tried to dig up some potatoes.  This measly bowlful was all I got from about 8 plants:

So I figured that I jumped the gun, and left the last 4 surviving plants in the ground to hopefully let them develop more.

Let’s see how the rest of it shaped up:

  • Green beans: AWESOME.  Each week we’ve been able to harvest a 2-person serving.  It was just the right amount of plants for us without getting tired of them.
  • Banana peppers: AWESOME.  I’ve pulled at least 10 or 12 peppers off already.
  • Bell peppers: FAIL.  10 seedlings started, 4 made it into the ground. Birds/rabbits ate 3 the next day.  One pathetic plant survived and has yet to produce.
  • Potatoes: FAIL.  Weeds took over, low success rate.
  • Okra: AWESOME.  The quantity is good for 2 people to eat off of.  Maybe I’ll add a 5th plant next year.
  • Corn: AWESOME.  It’s growing like crazy and we ate our first delicious ears last week.
  • Tomatoes: TBD.  Cherry tomatoes have been going strong for a while, the others are still taunting me by staying green forever.  And Mr. Stripey doesn’t want to produce.
  • Zucchini: AWESOME.  The one plant has taken over a huge section of the raised bed and is spitting one out about every other day for the last 2 weeks.
  • Yellow Squash: FAIL.  The two plants are still alive and have continuously flowered all season, but they refuse to get any bigger and haven’t produced a single fruit.
  • Cucumbers: AWESOME.  This was a late addition impulse buy on a trip to Home Depot after the second zucchini died in a storm.  But I just took off the first two cukes, and it’s still going strong.
  • Eggplant: FAIL.  Another late addition.  Although it’s still alive, the plant is small and hasn’t produced anything yet.  I should really know better at this point after the same result for the last three years.  I just love eggplant so much that I keep trying.
 

The corn really is a success story.  We really didn’t think it would work, so it’s been a pleasant surprise.  The first 3 ears of it that we ate this week were so delicious.

The only thing that we really have too much of is the zucchini.  Although I love it, it’s getting hard to use it all up at this rate of growth.  I’ve had zucchini omelets, zucchini pasta, zucchini fritters, stuffed zucchini, zucchini parmesan and zucchini bread.  I’m running out of ideas.  Anyone have any good recipes?

I seriously can’t wait for tomatoes.  I think next year I’ll plant even more.  5 plants is not enough to satisfy my summer tomato addiction.  And what’s the harm?  If I would happen to get too many, it’s easy to give them away to friends, neighbors and co-workers.  Everyone wants them.

It’s pretty satisfying to go out here everyday after work and pick some things for dinner.  There’s something old fashioned about it that makes all the work worthwhile.  And since every year we keep getting better at planning and maintaining it, it’ll only get better as the years pass.

Still no need for canning or preserving any of it yet, but I’m practicing my skillz this summer with my friend.  Earlier this month we put up 4 jars of dill pickles and 2 jars of pickled banana peppers.  If only there were more time.  Time, time, time.  When my grandmother made pickles all summer she didn’t spend 50 hours of every week at work in an office.  That was her work.  And sometimes that sounds like it would be nice.

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5 thoughts on “July Garden Update

  1. This was an exciting post to read! It made me miss having a vegetable garden quite a bit. Maybe I’ll have one again someday.

    Meanwhile, I made these once and they were delicious.
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000281.html

    My only complaint was that you couldn’t even tell that zucchini were in there, but maybe that would be a positive after all those zucchini-based meals.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. My typical method is to plant a lot (though only containers this year). I did 15 tomatoes normally. They all go off at different times, critters or mildew might get them. I never had to many. But yeah, like you the cherries (I love sungolds!) were also prolific while the fancier sounding ones were more sparing in their production.

    You are having a lot of successes. I think the secret to a green thumb is just not caring too much when things die and don’t work out… keep trying! Bell peppers were always reluctant for me….though jalepenos and bananas were successful.

  3. Pingback: 2012 Resolutions « escape from brooklyn

  4. Pingback: 2012 Vegetable Garden « escape from brooklyn

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