garden update

It's been over a month since the last garden update and a lot has happened. The majority of the tomatoes flipped from green to red, the beans have been harvested, and so far none of the giant tomato caterpillars have arrived. Small victories. A little part of me is nervous every morning that I weave my way through the rows checking for ripe fruit but I've been lucky so far.

The flowers have been doing pretty well - with the sunflowers really stealing the show. It's pretty awesome when people compliment them from the street. But they really take care of themselves - and the most impressive ones actually grew themselves from last year's leftovers. The white dahlias are managing to hold on and the cosmos continue to attract so many bees. I love it. I did plant a second batch of cosmos to hopefully extend this season into the fall a bit. We'll see how that goes.

I won't say that I've been super pleased with all the veggie varieties this year. I'll write that all up in a tomato recap but some of them have been amazing and some have been pretty bland. The most ridiculous part is the one I like the most is a mystery variety. I got a letter from Burpee a few weeks back letting me know they had some mistakes in production and my "Black Krim" is not actually "Black Krim". The next week I got a second letter from Burpee letting me know that my "Purplesnax" carrots were also wrong. So no red-purple tomatoes and no purple carrots.

Here are more of the update details:
tomatoes // a real mixed bag of feelings here. Red Lightening? Looks awesome, but not incredibly flavorful. Razzle Dazzle? Sad pink color when it's ripe - but great for beefsteak slices. Black Truffle? Only one so far, but my favorite 2016 carryover. Orange Juice? So big... but not ripe yet. Black cherries? AMAZING. Mystery tomato? Perfection.

beans // harvested a few weeks back and tossed in the freezer for the winter. Next year? Grow some pole beans to take more advantage of the vertical space.

snap peas // overgrown and I never really captured them. I did eat them standing in the yard and I did really enjoy watching them grow up the trellis.

carrots // the traditional variety is doing really well. I've pulled up a few of these babes and they are growing nice and straight. I'm sure that they'll become oversized and gnarly in the fall but right now they are perfect. Lots of carrots for soups this winter.

onions // doing just fine - but not amazing. While they couldn't be easier to grow, I'm not sure it's really worth it. I'm not exactly trying to become a homesteader and there just isn't the same degree of satisfaction from growing onions.

peppers // giant failure. I have 5 plants and I've gotten two peppers, one of which actually went bad before I could even pick it. A bunch of water pooled on the top of it and softened the pepper and rotted it out. I keep seeing flowers on one of the traditional green plants and then nothing.

radishes // still crushing it. I just don't eat them nearly enough. Some of them might actually be overgrown now. I'm not a very good radish owner.

cucumber // the mexican gherkin cucumber has grown more vines and at one point had a bunch of tiny little cucumber flowers. I only have about 4 or 5 itty bitty gherkins which is more exciting than not. They do look so incredibly different - but perhaps not worth all the emotional investment and enthusiasm that I have thrown to them.

eggplant // love the petite little size of the patio babies. Only have gotten 2 so far. It's been behaving like the pepper plants - all the flowers, none of the fruit.

zucchini // pretty productive. One of the squash plants suddenly died one afternoon - to the point where I questioned if I had accidentally over fertilized it or something, but according to the internet it fell victim to some squash bores - whatever that is. Next year? Need to find a better place to put this. It needs more personal space than I have afforded it - but to be fair, that was when I thought it could climb a trellis.

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