The oppressive heat we had here on the east coast last week certainly did not help my garden. That, coupled with a few long weekend / vacations planned, has left my veggies very thirsty. I have to be honest…I’ve toed the line of loosing them on a few occasions, but luckily, have been able to pull them back to the land of the living each time.
Some things may look a little different. I harvested all of my lettuces. Some I replaced. One container I filled with cilantro, which somehow got left out of the herb section of the garden when I originally planted everything. In another, I planted eggplant, which truthfully, I have no idea if it will bear fruit, but it was for sale at the home / garden store where I happened to be shopping one day, and I thought it would be cool if I could grow some. I did just find a small purple blossom on one of the seedlings, so I may actually be in luck! I also planted some lime basil that I found at a farmer’s market a few weeks ago. I am in love with it. It smells so yummy, and I’m waiting for the exactly perfect day to make myself a mojito (or two) with it! I also felt the garden needed a little bit of color, so I added some flowers here and there.
As I’ve said before, this was my first go-around with a garden, and I’ve managed to impress myself. I’ve actually managed to keep all of these plants alive, and that’s an accomplishment right there. I’ve also learned a lot, and am already thinking of changes I need to make for next year. First, I know I tried to squeeze too much into my containers. I had a limited supply, and didn’t want to spend money on more pots, and didn’t really have a lot of time to hunt around at garage sales for containers I could repurpose, so I crammed way too many little plants into what I had, and therefore ended up with little veggies. Next summer, these guys need more room to breath.
Also, and I should have learned this from my parents, even though I was really excited to get my garden started, I should have waited another week or two to plant. (I believe the rule of thumb is not to plant until after Mother’s Day.) Most of my plants were fine, but my peppers were hit hard by the few cold nights we had when they were still tiny little seedlings. They are very fragile, and the flowers break off from the main stem very easily. My pepper crop would probably be three times as large if I just waited that extra week.
Finally, the most important lesson I learned: I love gardening. I love eating salads, filled with lettuce, tomato, peppers, cucumbers, and herbs from my garden. I love going out every morning just as the sun is coming up and seeing what new growth has magically appeared overnight. I love teaching my son how to pinch back arugula. I love seeing how excited he gets when he spots strawberries to pick. I love how much better the food tastes when I’ve raised it, cared for it, fed it, watered it, and yes, sometimes sang to it.
I’ll probably do one or two more garden update posts this season, but really, my mind is already on next year’s crop, and I’ve got all winter to come up with great ideas!
Nikki, In Stitches
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