Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Our Garden Grows: Back in the Saddle Again

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been offline for a while and only yesterday sat down at my computer to write my first brief blog report in over a month.  The easiest and most dignified way to explain my absence is to say that I injured my rotator cuff.  (No need to mention double strollers, babies who are no longer babies, and a giant hill with a 45 degree angle slope.)  My shoulder is getting better-- slowly-- much more slowly than I'd like.  But with a cup of coffee and a handful of Advil surging through my body, I'm ready to start the day with the latest crop report, much delayed.
Watering our garden, May 2011.

We planted our garden in early April, and it's been doing pretty well, with the exception of the basil and parsley seedlings that the squirrels dug up.  The watercress has been neglected, but I still have some hope that it will survive if I water it more regularly.  In spite of my shoulder injury, we've managed to keep the rest of the garden watered, thanks in part to recent rains and the fact that we turned on the automatic sprinkler system during a dry spell.

Strawberry plants doing their stuff, May 2011.
The strawberry plants are thriving-- they seem to love the self-watering container we planted them in.  And they're doing equally well in our small garden plot in the backyard.

The green bean plants are small, but are already starting to produce beans.  I think I'll let the girls pick the first of the crop this weekend.

We've already harvested chives and some of our other herbs (sage, thyme, and rosemary), but that's no big thrill since many of those plants have been in our garden for quite a while now.

Perhaps the most exciting change in our garden is the growth of the tomato crop.  We planted six tomato plants this year and I must say it doesn't feel like nearly enough.  The Mortgage Lifters are going to town-- although plant is much larger than the other.  This is interesting because they came from two different sources.  Sadly, I can't remember which came from which nursery anymore.

We're even starting to see a few small plum tomatoes.  We didn't label the tomatoes very well, mostly because it's pretty easy to tell them apart when they ripen.   I think they're some of the San Marzanos, but they don't seem as pear-shaped as I remember them.  They could also be the mystery plant-- the one I chose so carefully, but forgot to label or even write down the name in my gardening journal.  I suppose that will be one more surprise for later this summer.  In the meantime, I am content to watch them grow and wonder what they will become.  That is, if they make it to maturity.

Our tomato crop faces an even greater danger than our hit-or-miss watering practice-- my youngest daughter.  I've had to watch her like a hawk to stop her from picking the hard, green fruit and chomping down on them.  Who knew that the biggest threat to my tomato crop would be my own tomato-loving daughter?!
Small green tomatoes in our backyard, May 2011.