Our garden has been doing pretty well this year. Today I harvested a bunch of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and hot peppers. We have gotten about 2 dozen cucumbers this year, from only two plants. We have been using them in various salads, as well as making cucumber lemon water. We planted a variety of different tomatoes. We have 2 sweet 100 cherry tomato plants, and a sweet chelsea cherry tomato, which are orange. They have been doing quite well. I especially like the sweet chelsea. We also planted 2 early girls, a roma, either a big boy or a better boy, and a couple heirlooms – one cherokee purple, and one Mr. Stripey. I have been disappointed with the heirlooms. They don’t yield that much, and these particular ones are not very flavorful. They are pretty, but I want flavor too! The roma seems to be having a problem with blossom rot. Maybe they need extra water? The early girls are doing pretty well. Another added problem is that our chickens keep eating the tomatoes before I can pick them. Next year I am going to fence in the garden to keep the chickens out.
Our patty pan squash is also doing pretty well, and is quite tasty. I have gotten patty pan at farmer’s markets before, and they were yellow and small. Ours is not turning yellow, and seems to want to be bigger (it does not come off the vine easily when small). I have been removing the seeds and adding it in stir-frys and ratatouille and the like. It is pretty mild, but tasty. We also have some winter squash growing, which is looking pretty nice. I am not sure how to tell when it is ready. The blossoms were very beautiful (and tasty). I took some pictures of them several weeks ago. Eating from the backyard is fun. And around this time every year, I think about how I will do things better next year:
- putting rows of small things (peppers, basil) in between the rows of tomatoes
- pruning the tomatoes more aggressively
- trying out weed block instead of black plastic, and covering the entire garden
- fencing the garden to keep out the chickens
- Not planting heirloom tomatoes so I can get enough to can
- Planting eggplant instead of summer squash, since Clare doesn’t like summer squash