If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve likely caught some of the action that has been happening in the garden, whether it be on my page or Instastories. Much has changed since the last garden update. Two new beds were put in and we’ve continued to see a lot of growth. It has been really amazing to see the transformation right before my eyes! There have even been a few exciting surprises and triumphs along the way for this newbie backyard farmer. I feel like a total proud momma, showing my veggie plants off to anyone who will look. So, as I would say to any guest who comes to my home: do want to see my garden?! You do, do you? Great, lets go! 🙂
First off, what’s new:
We added a raised herb garden built from a used wooden pallet and filled it with lots of basil (for pesto), sage, rosemary and some marigolds in hopes of inviting pollinators over to hang.
I started with 6 basil plants purchased from a local farmers market. They weren’t really doing much of anything until a friend of mine mentioned trimming off the top because the bottoms likely needed to get some sun. After I did this, they flourished! It was amazing and for the first time I was able to harvest enough basil at one time to make a full sized batch of pesto to freeze!!
I just added two more this past week but they have been looking pretty wilted. I’m sure they are a little dry because the sage and rosemary are also looking pretty scorched in this heat, but I don’t want to overwater the basil that is doing well so I’m hoping to find the balance because I don’t want everything else to die off.
We also put in a bed for the sweet potatoes and planted our homegrown slips! It’s amazing how many shoots grew out of one purple sweet potato. After about a month and a half, we had an army of slips ready to go into the ground.
I’m excited to see these sweet potatoes grow. Apparently the tops get really tall and bushy!
Now on to how things are looking in the rest of the garden…
As you can tell the raised bed has seen some dramatic changes!! 🙂
The star of the show has truly been the cherry tomatoes. What started out as a small plant has since grown into a huge bush!! Look at all them ‘matoes…
It has been so awesome being able to just step outside and pluck off bright orange cherry tomatoes every couple of days! These have become one of teenie and I’s favorite snacks and I’m even getting to the point where I have enough to start sharing now.
The green beans have started sprouting and we’ve even picked a few to eat!
But they have kind of slowed down a bit and recently here over the last couple of days some of the plants haven’t been looking quite as healthy…
If you’ve grown green beans before, I’m open to any insights as to what might be gobbling them up and how to stop it (organically, of course). When you look it up there is always a laundry list of possible pests so as a novice I’m just taking the more passive approach of watching to see what happens.
The carrots are growing too! I pulled one out the other day out of curiosity to see how big they were and to make sure that, in fact, they were growing. So tiny and cute!!
It was fun to get a peek at what has been going on below the soil since all I can see are the tops!
As far as my cucumber friends go, we have harvested four so far! Each plant has only really been producing like 1-2 full sized cucumbers at a time. They will start out looking good (first pic below) but then its like one keeps growing and the rest shrivel up (second pic).
How funny is this cucumber btw? Anyways, I was talking with a farmer at the market Saturday and he said it probably means the plant is stressed. Maybe I should play it some soothing music? lol But seriously, have you heard about this winery in Italy that plays classical music for its grapes? Apparently those that listen to Mozart on blast are healthier and taste more delicious!
We planted four pepper plants back in May and as of right now the only one that has really done much of anything has been this jalapeño plant.
These three jalapeños have pretty much been the same size for a while so we ended up cutting them off this weekend. The remaining red, yellow and green bell pepper plants have been touch and go. If you remember that one little green bell pepper from my last update, it grew to be about half a normal pepper size then started turning red. One morning I noticed something had taken it overnight, and found it a few minutes later, pecked all to hell and left to die in the raised garden bed. RIP red bell…
As far as the remaining two go, one is completely unchanged from when we planted it and the other started growing a small pepper a while back but that disappeared early into the game. Since then that one has started budding but I haven’t seen anything come from these yet. We shall see…
Onto the porch!
On the porch we have two beefsteak tomato plants and a single strawberry plant. The tomatoes have pretty much been frozen in time at this size for the last couple of weeks and this weekend they were starting to look a little shriveled. Roots at the base of the plant had been exposed, for quite a while (#lazyfarmer), probably from water being dumped into the pots too quickly causing the soil to wash away. I finally took the time to top off their pots with a little more soil along with some coffee grinds mixed in then cut away a lot of the dead stems and leaves towards the bottom. The next day they were plump and firm!
These strawberries were truly a surprise as I had figured I missed the boat when nothing happened for several weeks after planting this as a starter! Even if I only get a few berries out of it, I’m a happy camper!
Hope you enjoyed this tour of the garden! I look forward to sharing more updates as things continue to grow and progress throughout the summer. 🙂