Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garden Before and After

Hi Guys! How was your long weekend? We didn't do anything big, but we did ride our bikes to the local farmer's market, and picked some apples for free. We're living the green dream, my friends, and I love it! Speaking of green, I thought it would be kind of fun to show you how our garden did. In the spring I often post pics of us planting stuff, but I usually forget to show that they actually grew. I have a policy that I don't pin things that don't show the result, so I thought I better start playing by my own rules. Plus, everyone loves a good before and after, right?

I'm always just amazed at how big tomato plants grow. One day last week I picked 15 full-size tomatoes from five different varieties, and a pint of the Sungold cherry tomatoes. 


One of our exciting successes this year was finally growing good onions. We have picked and are dry-storing our small crop of onions. I can't wait to use them for fall soups. 


This year we got more basil than probably all the years we've grown it combined. I've made a lot of pesto, dried enough to last all winter and tossed it into salads.



This was the first year I planted nasturtium with the veggies. It went crazy! It actually kind of took over the beds. I would probably plant only one per bed if I plant it next year. It did add a lot of nice color to our veggie gardens though!


In the fail column: this combo of green beans and squash didn't really work. The squash took over so much it covered and killed the beans. Then we got squash beetles (again!), and some of the squash died. We didn't get a single zucchini this year, thanks to our beetle enemies. We are going to have to get creative next year to figure out how to defeat those guys. Any ideas?


Because we started it so early though, we did get a few good size squash before the bugs got to the plants. It worked well to support the spaghetti squash on these trellises (I always wondered if large squash could really grow on a trellis--yes!).  I also was diligent about spraying Neem Oil on our plants at the beginning of the season, but not so much the last half. Maybe if I had kept up with this it would have kept the bugs away. Next year...


A couple other success: jalepeƱos from seeds, 


and determinate tomatoes in pots produced a good amount of fruit. We learned a few seasons ago that a sprinkle of bone meal right when the plant starts to produce is the key to healthy potted tomatoes with no bottom rot. Hooray!


Every year is such a learning process. I'm already planning out what we'll plant where next year, based on how things went this year. For now, we're enjoying bringing in fresh produce every day. Lots of our meals have something we grew in every dish, which makes all the work feel worth it. I hope you can find little successes like these to celebrate this week whether they be in the garden or the workplace. I'm convinced the fruits of our labor are worth celebrating, and gratitude is where true happiness is found.

You are loved!

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