We’ve hit mid-July and the garden is still alive. There’ve been no major setbacks – outside of the Okra, which I believe are stunted due to poor placement on my behalf and unstable weather. There hasn’t been any harvesting of the summer crops yet but what the spring crops we have harvested have been delicious.
Radishes have done fairly well and only two were lost to slug attack. During a two-day period of rain, I removed the pot from it’s elevated spot in it’s tray and placed it on the ground to allow for better drainage. Two days later when the sun returned, several ‘adorable’ nibbles were noticeable. Still, we managed to have enough for snacks and salads.
The spinach and romaine lettuces are done as well too. They started to get really tall, which is a sign that they’re getting ready to produce seeds. With all the plant’s energy being diverted to seed production, the leaves will start to get bitter and stringy. So after harvesting the last of the leaves, I cut the stem at ground level, leaving the roots to decompose within the soil (returns nutrients to the soil) and ‘chopped and dropped’ the stems onto the soil. They will mulch the soil as they rot and return nutrients. The tomato plant growing in the same pot is very happy for their contribution.
The only leafy green available in our garden now, the Rainbow Chard, was harvested for the first time this summer. As I tend to harvest in the morning cool, their intense dark green and maroon leaves veined with yellow, orange, pink, and red provided a unique (and in my opinion, beautiful) bouquet throughout the day.
That evening, to accompany a dinner of steak & pasta, I sauteed the chard – including stems – just as one would spinach. They kept their color beautifully, adding visual intrigue to the meal, and tasted a bit earthier than spinach. Like spinach, they shrink down to literally nothing when heat is applied; so next year, I will be planting plenty more. Thankfully, they are amongst the few leafy veggies that can handle the unstable spring, summer heat, and cooling fall, but will only be able to eat them as salads since we’ve only got two little plants.
I also didn’t post any photos of the harvested peas; mostly because the harvest was pitiful and what was harvested didn’t even make it to the terrace (I ate them). Next year, will definitely call for more than 9 crowded plants and they will have to be placed on the cooler side of the highbed.
As for the summer fruiting plants; the tomatoes are laden but green, the Hungarian pepper managed to hold onto the four pods it’d already developed but lost countless smaller buds & flowers in the last chill, the hot pepper is covered with green pods, and the Zucchini is putting out lots of male blossoms but no females as yet.
I’ve already started making notes and plans for next year’s adjustments and ammendments. Truthfully, it’s too late in the season to add anything and too early for fall/early winter plants, so my future posts will probably be more food-oriented. There are a couple of interesting/impactful gardening insights I’ve been reading/reviewing and, if I decide to incorporate any of those tips into my garden, I will share those with you. Not to worry, you’ve still got to see the harvest(s) as well, so there’ll be lots of pictures (unfortunately) of self-induced disasters and (hopefully, lol) gorgeous eats!