Many of the seeds I started never took off. I actually ended up buying starts of tomatoes, peppers, and brussel sprouts. Is it because I used choir instead of seed-starting mix? Or just because? I will be rethinking next year’s approach.
|Banana Pepper from start. I planted both hot and sweet varieties.|
|Italian plum tomato from start.|
|Lemon Boy tomato from start.|
|Brandywine Red tomato from start.|
This year I made tomato cages from bamboo and grape vines. The tiki tomato ladder was becoming quite rickety. I have one very small German Striped Tomato from the seeds I saved last year that I didn’t give up on. It is just starting to take off, probably too late but one can always hope.
|Brussels among Borage|
|Borage is a great bee magnet and the flowers are edible.|
My lettuce (again!) and spinach bolted with the mix of “Mercury” days. The trick I’ve learned is to keep things well watered during the heat spells – hot and dry = flowers and seeds. Next year I will really pay attention to lettuce seed mixes that are slow to bolt. A savvy local farmer told me she plants her lettuce between rows of kale and chard which shade the lettuce nicely and I bet looks beautiful, too. Planting my lettuce between rows of garlic did practically nothing to hinder the flea beetles. I could plant a “trap” crop of Arugula, their favorite. A trap crop is planted with sacrifice in mind usually a few weeks earlier than the crop you want to thrive. I’ve also recently read that catnip deters the beetles so I will let my catnip go wild. Lettuce under shading Sunflowers sounds appealing, too. I’ve been sowing lettuce every few weeks since my first sowing flopped. Some of it is coming up nicely, or was, until the bunny (make that bunnies) dined on it for dinner one evening. I now have two generations of rabbits running around. Guess that old saying is true. But I still should have a worthy fall crop of lettuce and spinach.
|Newly planted lettuce among garlic and pole beans just starting to climb.|
My cucumbers barely germinated. I have two small plants. The eggplant I may have accidentally weeded out. I haven’t grown it before but now see what it looks like after a trip to the nursery – oops. I remind myself that this is gardening.
On the sunny side of the Potager, my snap peas were awesome this year and are just now fading. They are/were the tallest they’ve ever been and I enjoyed snacking on them as well as using them in stir-frys and salads.
Again I remind myself of the ups and downs of gardening. As usual, the Swiss chard and kales are beautiful, up. The broccoli rabe is not growing very well this year but it is planted next to some strawberries, a bad combination I recently learned, down. I have scallions!, up. The artichokes (another new trial this year) aren’t looking very big and lush. Will they flower before cold weather?, down. I have blueberries!, up.
|Swiss chard, kale, scallions, beets and carrots.|
|Who took the art out of artichoke?|
Oregano and thymes are in flower. Purple perilla has reseeded itself from last year.
Something new this year, radish scapes. I almost prefer the radish scapes to the radishes! I believe I read about them in Mother Earth News. A woman from WI (a state I’m partial to), wrote that she lets some of her radishes go to flower. They then form scapes and are delicious to eat. I put them into salads and stir-frys. I left some of them to go to seed for an easy fall crop of radish just as she recommended.