Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Garden Update

2007 July 18: Edited to add the pictures. Garden updates aren't worth much if you don't include pictures.

When JunkMale and I left for vacation a week or so ago, we expected our garden to be on the verge of death when we returned. After all, most of our plants are in containers -- and need to be watered frequently. They would be just clinging to life, and the two of us would lovingly nurture it back to health.

Well, it didn't quite happen that way. In fact, upon our return the garden had done something it hadn't appeared to do in the last month or so -- it grew. We now have several green peppers which are large enough to eat (but not ready for harvest yet, as we are holding out for them to turn red), and more green tomatoes than I know what to do with. The butter beans have taken off (although they are still being attacked by pests -- this time it's an unknown insect colony that is living in the box), and the carrots are large enough that I can see the tops of them through the soil, and they're orange. The row of carrots I planted in the soil for a winter harvest actually sprouted (although not so many as I had hoped -- will be re-seeding perhaps tomorrow or Thursday).

Before leaving:

After getting back:

(the yellowing of the weeds is courtesy of Roundup)

Perhaps not much of a noticeable difference from the pictures, but we were still quite surprised that everything was not dead.

But, alas, still no red tomatoes. Not even a green one with a blush. Why in the world does it take tomatoes so long to ripen? You'd think a month would be enough time for the fruit to mature.... *sigh* And here I thought that because I live in the South, I would be eating tomatoes by the 4th of July. At this point it looks like I'll be lucky to have one by early August.

In other news, my winter garden is beginning to take shape. The carrots are already in the ground, the lettuce and spinach seeds are ready to plant once the weather takes a dive, and 1 pound of seeds from my husband's favorite garden crop have been ordered and are set to arrive a week or two before they need to be planted. For those who do not know, that means I ordered 1 pound of garlic cloves for seed. Creole Red garlic, to be exact.

Garlic is actually a cold climate crop -- that is, it needs a good solid freeze every winter to ensure good garlic production. We are just on the edge of that, and probably could have gotten away with a 'regular' garlic (ie, the stuff you find that the stores), but if we had a mild winter the entire crop would be ruined. So we ordered Creole Red, which is a subset of the Creole garlics, which as the name suggests grows well in warm climates. Besides, it's so pretty.... and supposedly the flavor is excellent.

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