Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Garden Update: August 2014

Can I just say that tending to a garden when you're pregnant is really difficult. Like, really. All those wonderful thoughts I had last year about farm living and growing your own veggies and being self sustained have definitely changed in the last 9 months. Kudos to that lady on that show about the Alaskan frontier who was chopping wood and patching her roof until her baby was born.  I mean, AMEN sister.

This spring came and went and while we still had ambitions for our little garden, we were still overly excited about the baby, and knew that gardening was going to be harder to maintain. So we started with plants rather than seeds this year. No ambitious squash and zucchini, no eggplant. We decided to stick with what worked: tomatoes and peppers. And we got ambitious with one new plant: artichoke.

E has a cousin who owns a farm in Ohio, and we get some great gardening tips from him. When we purchased the tomato plants, per his advice, we chopped off any branches low to the roots, and made sure those spots were planted below ground. This gives your plant more stability and helps it grow stronger (something about the shoots that grow in place of what you cut turn into roots? not sure of the science, but hey!). So we did this with all three of our tomato plants. At first we weren't sure if the plants were going to do well. The leaves were curling up and looked dry, but sure enough these plants took off! Much stronger than previous tomato plants, and so hardy! For the most of June and July it seemed like we were picking at least one tomato a day!

And they're so much bigger than the tomatoes we got last year. And so, so tasty.  We were chopping up some tomatoes for a party the other day and I tasted a store bought tomato compared to a home grown one. No comparison! The store tomato tasted like NOTHING! I'm sad for the day that will come when we have no more tomatoes in the garden and have to buy tasteless ones again.

Our peppers are doing....OK. We always seem to forget what kind we've bought and aren't sure if they're ripe when they're yellow or if they were supposed to turn red. Turns out they're supposed to be red. They take forever to ripen, but when they do they are sweet and crunchy and you just want to eat them up right after picking! We haven't gotten too many, but they've been pretty tasty.

And as for the artichokes, well, they aren't pictured here because they're still in their pots we purchased them in. We bought three plants and one has since bit the dust, but the other two are propped up in pots where they're going to (eventually) be planted in the ground. We water them and they are doing really well. I think. Well, they're still alive, so there's that.

Honestly, other than picking the plants out, I can't take any credit for the garden this year. All the upkeep has been on E, and he's doing an awesome job. It's been a busy year, and I'm sure it's only going to get busier. But in the meantime, we're enjoying the last of our veggies and planting our dreams for our gardening future. Plus side: next year we'll have a little helper!