Friday, July 31, 2015

Reflections on the Garden

It's been a win some/lose some year in the garden for me. My garden looks great but I'm extremely frustrated with it. I planted too many wait- and-see plants and not enough harvest-as-you go plants.  Except for tomatoes! Tomatoes are working out great this year. The seeds I planted for cherry tomatoes didn't do squat but I have all the full size tomatoes I can handle. Plus our CSA is being generous in the tomato department too.

I've planted:
Tomatoes- doing great...especially the cherokee purples which are my new favorite tomato.
Cukes- Big fail. I've gotten like...3.
Basil- Awesome
Catmint- Pretty
Mint mint- Yum.
Oregano and spicy oregano- taking over everything
Sweet potatoes- healthy vines...we'll see
Potatoes- OMG I better get more potatoes than I planted this year.
Okra- this has done nothing
Peanuts- We'll see.
Jalapenos- doing ok but I think I need three more plants
Poblanos- No poblano.
Thai chiles- totally nuts...I have a million of them.
Strawberries- so good and they surprised me with a second round of fruit
blueberry bushes- looking like sticks
radishes- long been eaten
lettuce- overwhelmed by sweet potatoes
watermelon- has softball sized melons...when they are grapefruit sized I'm gonna eat one
eggplant- no eggplants...just leaves
squash- made a bunch of flowers and then died a terrible death
thyme- looking good
sage- looking good...but I have no idea what to do with it
sugar snaps- got planted too late
green beans- yanked out

As I'm reading this list it sounds kind of....insane...I had no idea I had so much squeezed out there.

Every year I tell myself the SAME THING; "JULIE STOP BUYING SEEDS AND JUST BUY SOME DANG PLANTS."  But every Spring when the seed catalogs come I start to drool and my eyes get bigger than my raised beds. Let's face it, I am terrible at starting seeds indoors and even though I have at least one friend who views it as "cheating" I do better getting plants from the Lowe Depot.

That's not to say that some things aren't easy to start from seed....I did a lot better starting cukes from seed last year than I've done this year. My zinnias and marigolds didn't come to play and even the generally fickle watermelons are making an attempt. I managed to grow a serving of green beans accidentally and probably could've grown more if I didn't have a mosquito induced temper tantrum. I had so many mosquitoes on me at once that I freaked out, pulled all of the bushes out of the ground and carried them, dirt and all to the kitchen while screaming guttural obscenities rather than spend one more second being eaten.

(Boys, if a woman yells, "NOTHING!" when you ask what's's not nothing but for Gods sake let's all pretend that it is for the time being. She's trying to do your health and safety a favor.)

But like, I know this about myself....and I'd be lying if I pretended I didn't have some kale and carrot seeds in my Amazon cart right now. I'm going to rip out the waste of space cucumbers and the shriveled squash and put in something for the fall.

My pumpkins are taking over the back yard and starting to make some teeeeeny pumpkins. I'm worried because the leaves have some blight. I am hoping that it miraculously survives. It's so amazing to me that these huge plants come out of such tiny seeds.

The real win of the summer is that I have finally planted flowers. I've been a veggie only girl for a long time so having a flower garden is kind of a new thing for me. The butterflies, bees and even hummingbirds have been an overwhelming improvement to the scene. Next year, when the yard isn't littered with construction detritus and ladders it'll be nice to let those gardens shine.

Inside I have gone overboard on scratch and dent orchids. Now that I know how to keep them alive and happy it seems a shame to not save them when I see them for a $1 in some bin.

It's rare I see a $1 orchid that's as big as this I really HAD to buy it.

AND miracle of miracles....I've actually started some lemon seeds! Hopefully I'll be able to coax them into something more.

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