Summer Veggie Garden Update

Well, summer is just about over here as Friday marks the officially start of fall! Mother Nature has already had moments where she’s acted like she decided to pack in warm summer days for some cool, crisp air and falling leaves. While I love summer and hate to see it go, I truly enjoy fall as well.  Changing leaves, hiking, camping, pumpkins – fall leaves a lot to adore.  One thing I’m really excited about is the comeback of the cool weather veggies, particularly my favorites broccoli and kale – both of which I’ve majorly cut back on because they haven’t been in season locally for several months.  As many of our summer vegetables have died off, there was a little bit of room to plant a few of these as starters! With these new veggies and lots of changes since my last update, I felt like it was time for another peek at how things have been going with our backyard veggies.

Following the last update the cucumbers continued to spiral downward. They looked sick and the few cucumbers they did produce were small and slimy when peeled.  After a week away at the river, I came back to find them completely dried up and dead. Now I have no benchmark to go off of but I feel like my cucumber plants never really did all that well throughout the whole summer. As you might recall the baby cucumbers would start but then shrivel up. I can’t seem to figure out why they were slimy towards the end but so far the only thing I can gather from reading and asking around is that maybe they weren’t picked in time and had gone bad (likely since they were small therefore I wasn’t picking them thinking they needed more time to grow)? Any insight is more than welcome!!

The beefsteak tomatoes on our porch that were suspended in time finally changed over but didn’t really produce much more after that. I didn’t keep track but we got maybe 5 or 6 tomatoes total from these plants.

The strawberry plant remains alive and produces a couple strawberries here and there. It currently has a couple of buds which I’m interested to see if those turn into anything.

Until lately, I had pretty much given up on our peppers – after those few jalapeños we did have were picked, it was pretty much barren for a while.  In the last few weeks though it has started flourishing with multiple jalapeños to enjoy! Still nothing from the bell peppers but the plants haven’t died yet so I haven’t written them off yet.

Our cherry tomato bush continues to flourish and has really been the star of the show (with exception of the sweet potatoes) up until now. Since we’re on the subject of sweet potatoes…

They are literally taking over the yard. The vines have crept out of the bed and into the grass where they are starting to put out more roots. I’m really excited to see how things continue to progress.

The carrots have been slow and steady but they are starting to pick up here lately.  Most of the time I’d pick a carrot to see where things were and it would still be itty bitty. This past week was the first time I’ve been able pick a bunch that were actually a decent size. I decided to get in there to see if what they needed was to be thinned out and started to notice areas where the earth was raised. This was because the carrots underneath were finally growing to a decent size!

If you haven’t already noticed on Instagram, about a month ago I pulled up all of our green bean plants. They weren’t looking healthy and the beans they did have on them were just staying at the same size (tiny).  So, I decided to pull them up, save the tiny green beans (which we ate, as small as they were) and compost the rest.  The way I figured was I’d rather clear the area and plant something in its place come fall.  Since broccoli and carrots are companion boos three starters were planted in that space.

The basil continued to do well for quite a while – never have I ever had so much fresh basil! It’s been like a pesto factory up in here. I say this but then also fear it is on its way out as all the stems have turned brown.  Not sure if its from all the rain we were having or from me taking my time trimming them down before they started flowering but we’ll see how things pan out. I’m kind of worried that if they are on the outs whether I should go ahead and take all the leaves off now before they die so at least I can make use of them. But they continue to surprise me with healthy green leaves and growth.

Rosemary and sage were both planted in this same pallet garden but they basically haven’t changed. I’m not sure if its because they are in this style of planter or what but I have since moved them to individual planters to give them a bit more space.  Marigolds were also planted in this raised garden space and they’ve grown but haven’t looked as healthy lately. Again not sure if this is because of the limited space this style of bed provides.  To see if giving them all more space helps, I moved two of the marigolds to the neighboring row.

Kale was planted into the large pots where the beefsteak tomatoes had been living and filled with some of our homemade compost to test it out. So far so good!

I’m eager to see how the fall veggies do along with the remaining plants in our backyard produce family!

Hope you have a great start to the week! 🙂

xo, Erica