Garden Update: July 1, 2010

Sorry about the radio silence from here lately – it’s been a really rough month and a half for me. I felt like a bunch of things were hitting me at once. Sometime in mid-June, I ended up in the emergency room with massive pain in my chest, shoulder and neck, and the past month has been all about trying to deal with the pain as everything was healing – it’s been a haze of pain and physical therapy and painkillers that has left me pretty debilitated. I was trying to handle a massive course load at school while all this was happening, and quickly got overwhelmed. And I got some really disappointing news last week – I got a rejection letter from the nursing school I applied to, so I’ve been in a pretty deep funk all week with no passion for eating *or* food. I’m choosing to look at the rejection as a blessing in disguise – the stress I’ve been putting myself under both physically and emotionally were taking a toll on me, and it’s only since I’ve eliminated some of the sources of stress that my problems have started to resolve. And on the bright side, P. has started working again after being out of work for over a year and a half. It couldn’t have come at a better time – we had just exhausted all of his unemployment benefits, our credit cards are maxed out, and our savings are gone. Best of all, the new job comes with health benefits. Expensive health benefits, but benefits nonetheless.

But I digress. Things are starting to look up, and I’d like to talk about the garden. Unfortunately, there probably won’t be an August or September update, since I’ve not been able to keep up with the weeding and/or tending and the poor things are starting to suffer. We’ll see – some plants are still going strong, others (like my poor Sungolds) only have a few weeks left.

Click on through for an update of what’s going on in my backyard.

The raspberries, as beautiful as they are, have mostly been going to the birds. I still manage to get a handful of berries now and then, which taste wonderful. And now that the bush is established, I hope to get a bumper crop next year.

Raspberries 7/1/2010

And I got a ton of blueberries this year. Big, fat, juicy and sweet, better than anything I’ve bought in the stores.

Blueberries 7/1/2010

The poor mulberries were wasted on me this year. Part of my shoulder injury is that I (still) can’t reach over my head – working on it, but impossible when the mulberries were producing.

Mulberries 7/1/2010

I’m still waiting for these darn blackberries to ripen, almost a month later.

Blackberries 7/1/2010

The grapes were definitely setting fruit by the beginning of July, but they’re just now starting to sweeten.

Grapes 7/1/2010

The Japanese beetles did a number on the leaves, though. Picking them off seem to have done the trick, because I haven’t seen any for a while now.

Japanese Beetle Damage

These are supposed to be Paul Robeson tomatoes, but now that they’re ripe, I’m not so sure…

Paul Robeson Tomatoes 7/1/2010

The Early Girls are producing much later than they usually do, for some reason.

Early Girl Tomatoes 7/1/2010

Can I just say the Topsy Turvy isn’t worth a damn? I lost one tomato plant to blight very early on, the other one has withered and died despite being watered regularly and fertilized.

Early Girl Tomatoes in the Topsy Turvy 7/1/2010

I’ve been getting quarts of Sungolds from these 4 (make that 3 – one of them actually is a Sweet 100, I believe) plants.

Sungold Tomatoes 7/1/2010

And the red beets had just come up at the beginning of the month, and we just harvested these (small, but pretty) the other day.

Red Beets 7/1/2010

Still clueless on how to grow fennel. Ours turned out to be mostly leaves, no bulb.

Fennel 7/1/2010

The zucchini hasn’t been as prolific as I expected it to be. Go figure. I have twice as many plants with half as much yield.

Zucchini 7/1/2010

It’ll be a while before the leeks are ready…

Leeks 7/1/2010

I planted 3 kinds of eggplant, haven’t had much yield yet, though. And the plants are still really small.

Eggplant 7/1/2010

The herb garden looks like hell, but some stuff is thriving in it. Many, many lessons learned for next year about what works and what doesn’t.

Herb Garden 7/1/2010

My poor basil is getting choked out by the pineapple sage – I think I’m going to start a separate pot of just basil.

Basil & Pineapple Sage 7/1/2010

So tell me, what are the rest of you growing this year? How are your gardens doing? Are you having as many problems with weeds as I am?

7 thoughts on “Garden Update: July 1, 2010

  1. Lena

    I picked my first early girl yesterday and they went in in May! The one I picked isn't 100% red yet but is ripening indoors. I didn't want a critter to come steal it away. A critter already took one of them earlier in the season – the one that was the first tomato on my plant! Mom's big boy's aren't ready yet either… it will be interesting.

    The flowers this year are all wilted. I will be amazed if anything survives the heat. The peonies got horrid mildew and were cut back. Hoping they make it through the winter.

  2. Sweet-tater

    I made a huge mistake this year of overcrowding. Its my first garden so I had no idea that putting 7 tomato plants, 2 cayennes and 2 jalapenos in a 4×4 box was a bad idea >.> yeah.. I know…

    It seemed so neat and tidy at first, then around the first week of July it all started going crazy. Its a mess! I cant tell whats what. Part of it is shriveling up and dying, but part of it is still fighting! Growing new flowers and tomatoes even now.

    I'm not sure how long its all going to last. I have harvested a lot though. Tons of cukes, jalapenos, caynennes, and I actually brought my rosemary plant back to life and its taking off. Its like a tiny little shrubbery now! I'm still hoping to get at least 1 tomato off the Lemon Boy, Cherokee Purple, and Black Brandywine that I planted.

    Next year I'll know better, hopefully : )

  3. EKathleen

    Hope you feel better and I'm sorry to hear about Nursing School. I'm in the same boat and apply in September! The who process is crazy!

    Your garden is also AMAIZING. I'm so jealous! We haven't had the best luck this year and have lost almost all of our tomatos to a virus.

  4. clarinetsw

    We lost our squash, zucchinis, and cucumbers to the wet weather and then the heat. Our Hungarian peppers, green peppers and hot salsa peppers are doing fantastic. Our 6 Big Boy tomato plants are producing like crazy. I pick them when they are turning yellow to ripen indoors. They have made fantastic spaghetti sauce, slices for burgers, side fixings for everything… so glad I planted that many. 🙂

    Sorry to hear about nursing school. But glad to hear about the new job front!

  5. Rose Silver

    Everything is going great on your garden! My garden has tomatoes and eggplants too. I just cannot resist picking them up and making a creamy omelet for breakfast. Your post just reminded me that I haven't eaten my breakfast yet! LOL

  6. Isabella Cake

    This post just made me really hungry! The tomatoes are lovely and the blueberries look delightful! I would definitely love to visit your garden and have a quick picking for my dinner recipe ingredients!

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