Now matter how much we strive to plan our lives ahead, every now and then everything still gets out of hand. For me, that was the last couple of weeks. Things just kept piling up, and as a result I have not stopped by my community garden plot in a week (or longer, I’m not sure at this point). Even my balcony garden has only been receiving the bare minimal care, like occasional watering and keeping the worms cool. Add to this a broken camera, as well as a broken phone (aka backup camera) – and you can clearly see why I haven’t been posting anything…
Yesterday I finally made it to the garden, half-expecting to find it in ruins. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised: most of the plants are still thriving! I’m fairly certain the hugelkultur-inspired trick I described in this post is the reason the plot is still green.
(I am using an old backup phone to take pictures at the moment, hence the not-so-great photos).
Sadly, 2 out of 3 older cucumber plants (the ones I transplanted in May) died. I’m not sure what caused this. I kept checking them for vine borer damage, and found none. Maybe it is this abnormally long and humid heatwave. The younger plants (seeded directly in late May) are doing quite well, though.
The sweet corn is also maturing nicely, I even picked a couple of cobs to try out (I chose the ones with the dry silk).
This is the eggplant I complained about in a previous post about the balcony garden: despite all the blooming, it failed to set fruit. I moved it to the earth-level garden over two weeks ago, hoping that it would change something, but alas: still no fruit (other eggplant varieties are producing a lot, right next to it). Maybe this particular plant is sterile?
This golden zucchini is much bigger than the ones I prefer to harvest. I decided to keep it for seed.
Self-seeding marigolds always brighten my day.
The wild amaranth has completely blended in with the tomatoes by now. I’m not even sure why I decided to keep it when it first popped up in spring. One of its handy qualities is that a lot of green leaf-eating pests love it, so they stay away from my other plants.
Somewhere here used to be my lettuce patch, but now it is all occupied by the hardy self-seeding cherry tomato.
The few lettuce plants that remain have gone to flower, so I may harvest the seeds in a couple of weeks.
I had no idea lettuce had these fuzzy dandelion-like blossoms!
This corn stalk is being taken over by a bean from the neighboring plot. I will let it be, but depending on my mood, may choose to claim the beans that come from it 🙂
Yet another opportunistic self-seeding surprise. From the way it was growing, I could guess that it was something from the pumpkin-gourd category, but I did not expect the fruit to be this funky!
Another overgrown fruit – this time, a gherkin cucumber, from the one of the older plants that is still alive. When cucumbers grow this big and start turning yellow, they acquire a sweet melon-like taste that I am not a fan of (I like my cucumbers and melons separately, thank you very much), so I’m keeping this one for seed, too.
And here is what I harvested from my neglected plot: two corn cobs, two jumbo cucumbers, a handful of cherry tomatoes and some eggplants (emerald green and fairy teardrop varieties). Not too bad, considering.
Felix loves the corn silk (and occasionally the husks).
And the cherry tomatoes, as well as the overgrown cucumbers were devoured by Anna the tiny gardener. Seriously, she munched down a 1/2 pound cucumber!
So all in all, my garden is pretty independent – just the way I like it! When I leave it without care, it still produces, and when I do tend to it, it produces even more!
My dear garden, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!