For the second year in a row, I’ve planted tomatoes in February, and covered them on cold nights. I don’t believe it ever froze at my house this winter, and the practice has paid off again, with lots of early tomatoes. I have eaten lots of tomatoes, canned lots of crushed tomatoes, and made lots of salsa. My larder is more than full with enough to last until next tomato season. I will also freeze some before the season is over.
Fortunately, my anti-squirrel, anti-bird contraption worked, and I didn’t lose a single tomato to either. I simply wrapped bird netting around a makeshift fence made from the foldable tomato cages.
So, today is June 16, 2013, and the summer heat has set in, and the stink bugs are just starting to appear in one of my tomato beds. I’m good on tomatoes, so I’ve begun pulling up those plants that weren’t good producers, and those who appear to be done for the season. It isn’t cost effective for me to continue to water, more than a couple of plants that will bear fruit for another month. And, its hot, and gardening isn’t fun in this heat. By the end of today, I’ll only have 2 -3 tomato plants in the ground; 2 hybrids that will march through this heat, seemingly unaffected, and one hearty heirloom that is still producing new fruit. I’ve come to the conclusion that planting early is the only way to go.
The tomatillos grew into hearty plants, formed their lanterns, then made very few tomatillos. I will baby these through summer, and expect to be greatly rewarded in the fall.
The pepper bed is happy as can be and has given me lots of wonderful peppers.
I used some of these in salsa I canned yesterday, but will need to get creative to eat them all. I will start pickling some next week.
The cucumber and watermelon beds are wild right now, and probably over crowded. I’m literally tripping over cucumbers, that are well hidden under the big leaves. Cucumber plants never stay in the bed, they creep over the sides and into the lawn/pathways. It’s pretty fun finding cucumbers that I didn’t even know were there.
So far there is just one watermelon with any size. I’m really crossing my fingers for Moon and Stars melons, because I’ve never seen one in person.
That’s the state of my garden as we head into the dog days of summer. I learn something new every season, and its nice to have this blog to look back and compare from season to season. Remember, if you want pumpkins for Halloween, you’ll need to plant seeds around July 4, which is quickly approaching.