We neglected to write about it this summer, but back in late April we planted our fourth garden since moving into our apartment.
Previous years of our gardening were marked by fretting and constantly tinkering with the plants. Last year, we were a bit more mellow about it. This year was even more laid back. Call it the "Set It and Forget It" year of gardening (that's for you, infomercial fans). Maybe it's that we were out of town a lot. Maybe it's a more relaxed attitude about the growing season. Or maybe we're just really, really ridiculously good at gardening -- nope, that's not it.
As with previous years in our garden, there were special guests, triumphs, failures and lots and lots of cherry tomatoes.
Our first tomato of the summer, harvested back in June
In fact, most of what we planted in our two raised-bed plots were tomatoes (we don't grow large tomatoes because we don't have enough sunlight -- they take forever in our backyard).
This year, we ordered a mix of cherry tomato seedlings from Burpee: sungolds, sweet babies and honey bunch tomatoes. They went into the ground at the very end of April; we harvested our first tomato in the middle of June. The plants have remained largely healthy, though now they're starting to look a bit blighted as the summer wraps up.
A typical tomato harvest -- we get this many tomatoes once every few days,.
The big story of this year's garden -- and our crowning achievement -- is our first-ever zucchini (pictured up top). Though we have never successfully grown a squash or zucchini, we tried again this year, planting from seed. We grew two huge, beautiful squash plants. They flowered like crazy. Fearing that we don't have enough bees, we hand-pollinated the female flowers. And it worked! We grew a squash! It was, however ONE squash. Two big, healthy looking plants; exactly one squash. We have bronzed it and placed it on the mantle.
We've grown our fair share of greens as well this summer, with different varieties of lettuces, and then also planted lots of herbs. Our basil has come and gone -- we planted a second batch but it didn't fare well in our backyard.
We also got some seedlings from our CSA, including (we think) Hungarian Wax Peppers and kale. The peppers have turned out beautifully, with bright red little peppers popping up every few days. And our kale has hung on all summer -- we still cut from the plants every few weeks.
We'd like to report that we're now transitioning to a winter garden, but the detritus of summer is still out there in the backyard, preventing any new planting.
How about you? Did you grow anything this summer? We'd love to hear how it went!