As we near the close of the month of July, my garden looks as it almost always does; unruly tomato plants, untrellised cucumbers, and an abundance of weeds. I garden in the same way that I keep house; let things go and just kinda "see what happens." But, through some sort of grace we have been able to eat a little bit from our few small raised beds.
These adorable tiny cucumbers sprouted from seeds that have been lying around for awhile. I ordered them for the 2009 season, I believe. I think I'll keep planting them every year just to see how long before they become unreliable in germination. The few cukes that we've harvested so far have been incredibly bitter, a testament to the stress the plants have suffered from this heat wave. If I were more proactive I would have mulched them so that their soil would have stayed a bit cooler.
We bought tomato and pepper starts this year from our CSA farm. With the uncharted waters of new motherhood looming before me late last winter, I held no delusions about starting my own from seed. One of our plants was mislabeled and we ended up with a cherry tomato plant, which has been bearing an incredible amount of fruit. The other two plants have blight and so have been a bit slower to produce. I only just picked my first tomato today and it is finishing up ripening on my counter.
We've never had much luck with pepper plants, so Steve was both surprised and delighted to see several little jalapenos growing. We also have two green bell plants that have contributed some peppers to our dinners.
And finally, my volunteer sunflower. She looks a bit sad now, but she was glorious in her day. She sprung up in my "prairie patch" along with a host of other mysterious dormant seeds. This is where my live and let live gardening philosophy really shines. I love to see what surprises await me in this little space. I try to make mental notes of what I see to aid in some identification when I have snippets of time here and there. There is much this little plot can teach me.
What's growing in your garden?