I thought that the July garden update would be a lot happier as July tends to be the most exciting month, with the big producers providing some great summer vegetables. Unfortunately, I’ve learned a few garden lessons from the disappointments that this July held.
The first of those disappointments was that I didn’t get a single zucchini because as soon as they started to flower, two of the four plants up and died, and the other two didn’t produce. It made me very sad, but I think I figured out the cause- I planted them in the exact same spot as last year (and the year before). Most garden books and gardeners recommend crop rotation, something I’ve up until this point, ignored unless it was convenient. Well the death of usually prolific zucchini has cemented the crop rotation as a rule in my mind.
During my June Garden update, I mentioned that Jon had brought me three strawberry plants from a friend in Pittsburg. At last count, I’d killed one of the three, but another one died after that. It’s okay though, because the last one is doing splendidly, and I suspect it’ll come back even better next year.
July was very hot, and so lettuce season came to end when all of my lettuce bolted. Before I leave for Wisconsin, I’ll plant some more lettuce seeds for my parents to enjoy lettuce into the fall.
Eggplants love the heat, and they are doing very well, even if I haven’t eaten any since June. It looks like they’re going to be pretty prolific for us in August.
The string beans sort of made up for the zucchini failure. I moved them to a new spot this year, because I thought it’d be better. They grew up the trellis I made, and now look like a giant bush that provides the most delicious string beans about twice a week. They remain one of my favorite things to grow.
Okra, oh okra, you are so cool! The thing I love about okra (other than the gorgeous flowers) is that they continue to grow up as they produce fruit. They are just a really neat plant and delicious when fried or grilled or roasted.
My favorite thing to grow is absolutely tomatoes. And in the past, other than blight, I’ve always had a ton of fruit each year. Enough that I share it with everyone I know. Unfortunately, I’m only just now starting to get ripe edible tomatoes, and there are a bunch, but nowhere near last year’s yield. I’ve also experience blossom end rot for the first time. It’s the affliction where the bottom end of the tomato starts to rot before the tomato has a chance to ripen. I’ve researched it a bit, and I think it’s because we’ve overwatered, which probably happened because it’s been ridiculously, and consistently hot. Luckily, we noticed right away, and altered our watering, and the newer tomatoes are not afflicted. But still, it was another disappointment and another lesson learned.
July gardening, is usually as very happy time, but this year it was a mix of emotions. I enjoy learning new things each year when I garden, I only wish the lessons weren’t from failing. Some of the other things not pictured: the cucumbers are producing, but not as big as they’ve been in the past- another case of planting them in the same spot as last year. The soybeans are prolific and awesomely delicious. The beets were beautiful but have all been pulled up and eaten. The swiss chard is gorgeous and hard to keep up with! And the carrots are still growing but the ones I’ve eaten have been perfect.