Monday, July 21, 2014

Garden update: Week 8

In the last few days, it feels like our garden plot entered pandemonium. My hunch is that it's the combination of less pouring rain and more seasonable summer temperatures, but whatever is happening, things really seemed to accelerate into action this week. So far, I have harvested purple beans (and then more purple beans), rosemary, a jalapeno pepper, and a big bunch of lettuce.

Here's the garden in mid-June:

And a month later (from the opposite viewpoint):

I haven't been using the herb garden too much yet, but that will change soon (I googled "what to do with lots of oregano" this week). The dill is still flowering, though I've been cutting off pieces to keep in a vase at home. My favorite part of this area of the garden is all the vibrant shades of green. Here's most of the wild herb garden, with the rosemary just out of the picture:

Next up: the purple beans. The main group of bean plants is producing beans right now, and there's a second, slightly smaller group that's about two weeks behind and just starting to flower.

Also visible in that picture to the right: the tomato tree. Another tomato plant got out of the gates faster, but this one is taller now - and taller than I remember last year's plants. I took the next picture on one mid-run visit not to check "selfie with a tomato plant" off my list of dream photo opportunities but to give context for the plant's height. "This plant is out of control," my mildly bewildered expression reads.

This isn't new, but one of this year's highlights continues to be the climbing and flowering beans, my first attempt at adding something to a garden layout just for decoration.

Speaking of climbing vines, this is the view across from my plot's fence. I don't know whose plot it is, but I love the morning glories.

After a slow and erratic start, the lettuce is growing fast now. This is pre-harvest. I thought it would only be a few leaves, but it filled up one of those little paper lunch bags and is growing back pretty quickly already.

Other updates: The jalapeño plant is full of peppers, but the poblano is still very quiet. I tried to transplant some more onions from a batch left at the garden, but they didn't do well. The basil is coming along slowly, but I'm hoping a few hot days this week will help speed that process up. I think there is Swiss chard coming up, too, but that could still be weeds.

In other "weeds versus not weeds" news, earlier this month as I was pulling up weeds by the purple beans, I noticed that I was ripping up plants that looked like tomatoes...and happened to smell like tomatoes, too. I'm about 80 percent sure that these plants grew from a few unpicked cherry tomatoes that sank into the ground at the end of last year's growing season. I left a couple of remaining seedlings in the ground and transplanted the two I had pulled up, so I will either have more tomatoes than anticipated later in the season - or I just transplanted some hearty weeds. Time will tell.

I'm waiting now for the summer garden's next milestone: the first ripe tomatoes, likely in the next week or two!

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