It was a little over 100 in the shade a little while ago before the breeze picked up.
My poor veggies looked like they were wilting. So I went out and gave them a mid-day drink. I’ll water them again after 6PM tonight. But when the leaves were temporarily wilted, I found a good sized cuke, 1 gigantic zucchini (the answer is YES you can successfully grow squash in pots!), more peas, tons of beans (I picked some of both for dinner tonight), the tomato plants are loaded, and there are two butternut squashes growing.
I trimmed off a few bad zucchini and left the two good ones. Matt was amazed how much the plants came back to life after their deep midday drink. They need a little more water in the pots in this heat, even with the water reservoirs in the bottom. It appears I’m having a lot of veggies for dinner since Matt is going to visit a friend. So far we’ve been able to keep up with the veggie production this year. Matt and I have eaten at least three zucchini already, plus several meals with peas. The beans are just starting to flourish, so I’m sure we’ll get a few good meals from those. the tomatoes are still green, but I’ve considered picking a few of the big ones to ripen on the kitchen counter just so they’re less apt to rot on the vine. I say that because I planted an heirloom variety this year and they’re not pretty and round and they aren’t as disease resistant. They require a bit more soil amendment — especially calcium.
A neighbor, a few years back, pointed out that powdered milk was a good soil amendment for tomatoes, and I had a cousin who actually buried a fish in the hole she planted her tomatoes in. She said it worked. Maybe I’ll try the fish thing next year.
But this year has been perfect for the garden. We’ve had more rain that usual. I’m still waiting on peppers. One of my pepper plants was a late bloomer and is just starting to grow, while the other is flowering. Despite the buzz of honey bees in the backyard, I’m not seeing any peppers yet. Maybe it’s been too cool.
My mom is house and cat sitting when we go on vacation next month, so I hope she’ll be able to manage the garden for 9 days. I’ll fertilize and water really well on the day we leave. If you don’t water diligently and constantly pick the ripe veggies, all that work goes to waste. I hope she’s hungry. She’ll be taking care of the garden during prime bean, zucchini, and tomato ripening time.
It’s not just the veggies that make the garden worth it though. After all, I’ve determined that this year I have probably spent as much money on the garden as I would have at the store buying veggies. Why? Because I bought soil instead of using my beautiful composted soil in the back (forgot I had it!). Another plus to growing my own — at least this way I know exactly what’s in my food. Not to mention there’s something comforting and meditative about working in the garden. Something you can’t buy from a store. I also get a lot of satisfaction in knowing I grew some of our food.
Now I’m off to have some beans and peas with hummus.
Dear readers – do you plant your own garden every year? If so, what’s your favorite vegetable in the garden?