First the good. Lots of zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, and beet greens. This year I will plant much more garlic.
Here, a very strange collection of random things growing, but I love the mix of flowers and edibles.
I started the bed above much later than the others. It has bush beans, broccoli, beets, spinach, carrots, watermelon, tomato and amaranth growing in it, and so far all are doing very well.
I don't know what that gourd-like thing is. An alien egg? This plant was from after the chickens had tossed everything around, and I really thought it was a cucumber. I thought wrong.
Another late planting. I overdid it and threw everything in there, but I started too many seedlings and didn't know where to put them. I already know I've created another mess. If any of it survives I will have a black cherry tomato, a calabacita squash, basil, an heirloom Italian sweet pepper, lots of a small variety of butternut squash, and loofahs. Also a watermelon. Almost all of those plants either sprawl or vine and I have to figure out a way to make space for it all to spread or a way to trellis it, and soon.
This must be a musk melon, but I thought it was a cucumber. Another surprise.
The picture above is of what was supposed to be a three sisters' garden. I decided to "squeeze" one last San Marzano tomato in, and then another sprouted next to the box, and now I think I will be lucky if any of the corn survives. There is a squash plant hidden in there somewhere, and the green beans are coming up. It will be great if I can just get enough water there. This picture gives you a feel for just how much I might have overdone the tomatoes.
Any day now we will be drowning in San Marzano tomatoes.
The cutest cabbage ever and my first bell pepper.
I've never seen how okra grew before now, and I can't get enough sunflowers.
The bad: there are these tiny little bugs, possible spiders, that are killing my eggplant. There are also these black aphid-like creatures eating my leafy greens. Not the end of the world, but I'm not sure yet how to fix it.
That is not a healthy eggplant. :(
Disgusting squishy little black bugs attacking purslane.
But, oh, the ugly...
I made a few horrible planning and watering mistakes. I didn't leave myself enough space to actually get to my plants. It's such a drag. 18" between raised beds is not enough when you have prickly zucchini leaves from one side and a tomato thicket on the other intertwined in unholy matrimony. Plants that were easy to reach when they were less than a foot tall are now impossible to get to since I planted the tall things where they wouldn't shade the other plants. Unfortunately it's pretty hard to reach anything, and it turns out my garden gets so much sun in the summer that it might not have mattered anyway.
But the absolute worst of it is that apparently, wherever a squash or cucumber leaf sees water, it wilts, molds and dies. Since I don't have a drip system installed yet, this means that when I have to put my hose on jet to get to some plants, I am killing others. It's so frustrating, and I only have my own bad planning to thank.
Thirteen tomato plants? Excessive. Four would probably have been enough, but I just couldn't help myself.
Next year I will have a drip system. I will have a drip system. I must have a drip system. No more hot sweaty panicked afternoons watering everything by hand because it's all wilting.
I will also plant much, much less. There's no point if you're going to kill it anyway!
Last, all the high maintenance plants whose princess leaves can't handle water (even though they grow in the great outdoors) will be planted in one spot and trellised.
Poor moldy vining thing. It's a goner.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!