I didn’t do a blog-along this year documenting my garden progress, so now, at the end of the growing season, I shall attempt to recount all of it.
February 2016: started 25 seedlings. They are pretty successful.
March 2016: seedlings go in the ground. I leave on a 3-week trip.
April 2016: return to find everything got eaten by snails except for some San Marzano tomato plants and nasturtiums. The survivors are straggly. I buy four tomato plants (Green Zebra, Black from Tula, Sunset Falls, and Big Beef), a six-pack of cherry tomatoes, a six-pack of bell peppers, one chili pepper, and some chives and basil. I make seven hanging baskets and four pots. Two of the tomato plants go in the ground.
June 2016: tomatoes start to have ripe fruit! Basket and pot tomatoes, that is. Ground tomatoes are doing nothing. Peppers being slowpokes. Lydia gives me some shiso seedlings.
July 2016: more tomatoes! Still nothing from the ground. Peppers getting with the program.
August 2016: more tomatoes! Basket peppers are finished. Potted peppers begin going nuts. I start some cucumber seedlings for the hell of it. I rip out the San Marzanos because I am over watching them do NOTHING.
September 2016: the Sunset Falls tomatoes, which were marked “determinate,” start producing more fruit. Cucumber plants start producing flowers. I leave for two weeks.
October 2016: the cucumber plants are going crazy! The peppers are giant! The tomatoes are giving everything they can in a last hurrah!
Gosh I’m looking forward to pickling season! Hopefully the first frost is still a ways off (last year it didn’t come until Thanksgiving) so I have time for more ripe veggies.
So what have I learned this year? Mostly that the soil/sun situation in our backyard is TERRIBLE and if I want to grow anything it’s going to have to be in pots or beds. The baskets are nice, but doing the top+bottom load means that neither one gets enough soil or resources.
I’m thinking about joining the community garden next year. I have a LOT of seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library—Lydia and I both bought a ton from their overstock sale, and then we shared them with each other. I have at least ten different kinds of tomatoes as well as a bunch of other stuff. The community garden has a lot more sunlight than my backyard, and hopefully more bees as well. And hey, community! Maybe I’ll make friends.