In June I described the garden as "out of control." Ha ha!! I had no idea what was in store. My cantaloupe trellis quickly fell over from the weight, so the foreground of this picture is mostly cantaloupe vine. It yielded four fruits. Two were eaten by slugs before I could get to them, but the others were delicious, and I might still get one or two more. As for my heirloom watermelon, I finally got one fruit, but it started rotting while I waited for it to pull away from the vine. :( But that's improvement over last year! Maybe this summer wasn't quite hot enough for the watermelons.
My basil took off like a rocket! I need to start picking and drying it soon.
All the peppers did very well and are still bearing. The banana peppers were especially prolific. I've put chopped banana peppers in salads and stir-fries and even on sandwiches, but what else can you do with them?
Tomato Jungle! As the tomatoes grew to unprecedented heights, I threw in any support I could find and/or wedge between the plants (hence the big hook). My "front row" tomatoes - Roma, grape, and Mortgage Lifter - bore a lot of fruit, but I never got anything from the back row tomatoes. I guess the front plants cast too much shade. As you can see, they've spread forward onto the lawn and back onto the cucumber trellis and beyond. The current blooming area is on the far side of the chimney. !!!
My Garden Life Lesson of 2013 is the importance of preparing well for success, instead of assuming failure. Next year, I'm setting up full size cages and structures on planting day. No joke. If you're looking for advice on how to grow a garden like this, I only have two words for you: Wholly Cow.
|Manure worth its weight in gold|
Since the summer garden grew so well, I'm attempting to grow fall vegetables for the first time! I bought a small seed starting kit at Lowe's, and hopefully these seedlings will be ready at the same time space clears for them. Here's the progress after only a week.
Vertical rows left to right: green onions, spinach, mesclun salad mix, arugula, Swiss chard, and sugar snap peas. Exciting!