Are you in full-on, worm crushing, squirrel chasing summer garden mode? Well we certainly are around here. This is an absolutely fabulous time of year for appreciating how much work goes into gardening (and farming for that matter). I know this isn’t true for everyone, but having my hands in the cool dirt and being a part of growing beautiful and fruitful things from a tiny seed keeps me in awe of the complexity of our world and its Creator. What a blessing to be a part of growing good things!
I posted earlier in the spring about our garden plans, what we were going to plant and where. For the most part, we have stuck to those plans, but we’ve had a few hiccups along the way. Frankly, that’s how gardening (and life goes). Here’s the good and the bad news of our garden so far this year. Let’s start with the bad, because I just like to get that out of the way first.
- Worms love kale too! Clearly, the healthiest worms on the planet are living in our garden. We left for a weekend trip, and came back to kale stems, but no leaves. Glad I could provide such a nutritious meal.
- The squash vine borers have been relentless this season. I was able to harvest two zucchini (and zero squash) before those ruthless pests completely destroyed my plants. Once they’re done turning the plants stem into mush, they literally get down in the soil and wait for next year. Sheesh. I’m taking some advice from You Bet Your Garden, and I’ll plant my squash and zucchini in a different spot next year and try the wipe down method mentioned here. I’ve also planted some butternut squash in the squash and zucchini’s place, which vine borers hate. Take that!
- For those few garden mishaps this season, there have also been tasty developments. Using a heavier pruning technique, our tomatoes plants are bursting with fruit. The jellybean tomatoes especially have heavier fruit yields than years before. Our Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato plant (on the right) is still a slow grower, but that’s okay with us. We’re using some wildlife netting after the birds and squirrels started a buffet line on our first cluster or two of ripe tomatoes.
- Exploding marigolds. They’re not really exploding per se, but wow! They started off as two small single flowers, and they’re trying to take over.
- Successful Potato Tower. So far so good on my homemade potato tower. I tried it out this year, and the added dirt has now reached the top of the tower, so I’m just letting the plant grow now. I hope to post soon on how to create your own with just burlap and wire fencing. It’s a breeze.
- Finally, my Pinterest experiment of growing a watermelon plant in a pot seems to be working! I’m actually pretty shocked, and so are my Floridian parents, who know that it takes a whole lot of space to grow watermelons. I actually have one watermelon the size of a softball on the vine already. We’ll see how it turns out.
Most everything in the garden seems to be faring well. The patio eggplant bush is full of small fruit; the pods on the okra plant will be ready to pick this week, and our bean teepees have vines all the way up. We’d love a little more rain here and there, but I know some folks in our country right now need a little less rain, so we’re praying for them and offering praise for what we’re given.
How is your spring/summer garden growing? I’d love to know what you’ve had success with and what hasn’t been so successful. Happy Gardening!