As we start the garden each season, Will and I always say “this will be the best garden, ever!” This makes sense logically since every season the soil gets better, we get better information, more experience and new ideas to improve our garden. Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances arise that do not allow for this to happen…drought, too much rain, hard freezes, dogs rolling on the seed beds, stink bugs, and the woolybear invasion of 2003 have all been obstacles on our quest for the best garden ever. However, this season I think we are on the right track. I am being more efficient in planting, and my goal is to leave no space without something growing, whether it is edible, ornamental, or both.
First, I have added more ornamentals and edible flowers to the tropical herb bed, including pineapple sage, ‘Cherries Jubilee’ nasturtiums, calendula, and that awesome blue sage that almost died this summer but is making a nice comeback. I’m seeing more butterflies and bees, and I hope to have lots of hummingbirds in the spring.
There are tiny cukes on the baby Armenian, and I am excited about a fall cucumber crop (which is better than no cucumber crop at all). The “Bright Lights’ chard and Tuscan kale in the container are settled in and growing fast.
The tomatoes are loaded, all of them, even the Troy Experiment – although not as much since I planted it later. Regardless, I am calling the experiment a success and I will grow cherry/grape tomatoes in this contraption from now on. Who needs 10 pounds of cherry tomatoes anyway? Looks like as long as we don’t have an early freeze we should have piles of tomatoes in a couple of weeks.
The peppers are still going strong, and I have already harvested a couple of ‘Blushing Beauty” bells. I will make pepper relish this weekend to try and use the dozens of Hungarian Wax peppers my plants are still making. What an amazing producer! Next year only one plant…
I harvested all the eggplant and will probably pull it soon. Nights are getting to cold for it. But I am pleased with this variety and will plant it again, this time in a pot. The fruit was beautiful, tiny, and flavorful without a hint of bitterness. True baby eggplants!
The carrot seedling are beginning to pop up. I harvested the first French breakfast radishes and I seeded a few more for a following crop. I also seeded the Asian greens mix, ‘Bloomingdale’ spinach, ‘Monet’s Garden’ lettuce mix, ‘All American’ parsnips, ‘Primor’ French baby leeks, and ‘Jewel’ beets. I added a trellis with ‘Oregon Giant’ peas next to the brassicas, which are looking strong and healthy now that I got rid of the wriggle worms that were munching on them. Last but not least, my lemon tree looks pretty in its new container, next to a pot of basil volunteers.
After a weekend of productive work, glass of vinho verde in my hand, I admired the garden again. Willy and I agree that, so far, it really is looking like the best garden ever.