Last year’s garden gave me unrealistic expectations about this year’s garden. No, scratch that. The only things growing in my garden last year were flowers, and the flowers are currently doing fantastic.
The vegetable garden is a different beast. Watering, or accidental lack thereof, plays a huge role in their growth with the brutal summer heat. And so do pests. F-ing pests.
It would be fair to say that the vegetable side of my garden has kept life interesting.
Tomatoes ~ My eight tomato plants–stuffed into two planters– are faring better than expected. I didn’t realize how sensitive they are to heat, but they bounce back well when I finally remember to water them. The first harvest produced in the neighborhood of 15 tomatoes, and the second harvest is looking to be just as fruitful.
Carrots ~ The full-size carrots I harvested a few weeks ago are in the neighborhood of two and three inches, and I must’ve ended up with ten. They taste… okay. I’m convinced that I haven’t scrubbed all of the dirt off them yet or just need to cook . Once I picked that first batch, I planted a second one.
Parsley ~ These suckers are so easy-going. When I forget to water them for a day or two, it doesn’t seem to do lasting damage. They shrug it off. They also bounce back quick from when I harvest the leaves. Now I just need to find more recipes that require parsley.
Basil ~ The two basil plants in my garden refuse to die. One of them was literally knocked off its shelf during the storm, came out of its pot and was put back in a day later, and the asshole is still alive. And no matter how many times I forget to water them and the leaves shrivel up, they still go right back to normal after I get the watering can out.
Cucumbers ~ I pretty much considered the cucumbers on their way out when every single leaf started turning brown. Yet the vines stayed healthy, so I kept watering them. The leaves at the tops of the plants seem to be holding their own. Plus it’s been producing bright yellow flowers for a couple months now; but the cucumbers that start growing just look… weird. Like one end is far fatter than the other. Or the skin has turned an ashy green. I’m not holding my breath.
Pumpkins ~ Losing these plants bummed me out. They were doing so well, the vines hanging over the edge of the pots and off the side of the shelf. But then some f-ing pest decided to burrow into the vine. And not just a little bit either; they turned the insides into pulp. I got wise to them after the first pumpkin died and bought powder that’s supposed to repel insects. It did just that… where I put the powder. The f-ing pests started burrowing farther down on the vine and ultimately killed it.
Peas & Peppers ~ I take about half the blame for these guys not surviving. The rest of the blame I place on whoever designed the decks in my apartment complex. Rainwater streams straight down through the boards on my upstairs neighbor’s deck and directly onto the vegetable shelves. Since there’s no drainage in the pots, the plants ultimately ended up with about an inch of water atop the soil after each storm. I ultimately gave up on draining the pots by hand.
I’m glad that I took that leap of faith in the spring and started a veggie garden on my patio. And I’m absolutely going to do another one next year; I’m just going to learn from this year’s mistakes and maybe scale back my expectations a hair.